Psychosocial support platform seeks abstracts for upcoming mental health forum
The Regional Psychosocial Support Initiatives (REPSSI) Namibia is calling all stakeholders to submit an abstract for the 2023 Psychosocial Support Forum taking place on 4 to 5 October in Johannesburg, South Africa, with the theme ‘Mental Health in Context’.
REPSSI Country Representative, Simonee Shihepo said the Forum welcomes broad participation from partners in the region and internationally, including national governments, civil society, academia, international cooperating partners, media, local leaders, basically everybody with practical and scientific experience related to mental health and psychosocial support.
“Abstract submissions are open from 10 April to 30 July through an online system at http://bit.ly/3McFJ9b and a technical review panel will be established to evaluate all submissions,” she added.
Shihepo further explained that abstracts should explore the impact of social, cultural, and geographical factors on mental health outcomes for children and adolescents and examine the impact of climate change on mental health and innovative approaches to addressing these impacts through humanitarian response and peacebuilding.
“Abstracts should also examine the link between mental health outcomes and other priority well-being outcomes like care, love, and protection for African children and adolescents, focusing on topics such as Child Rights and Protection, Violence against children, Reproductive Health and Rights, HIV Prevention and Management, education and Early Childhood Development, amongst a few. Abstracts should also showcase successful policy initiatives, advocacy campaigns, and efforts to influence the formulation, review, and implementation of policies related to mental health,” she emphasised.
“Do not miss this opportunity to contribute to the advancement of mental health and psychosocial support for children and youth in Africa and submit your abstract today and join us at the Regional Psychosocial Support Forum,” she said.
She further invited partners to co-host or support the forum, by offering opportunities to support specific tracks, delegates, presenters, and conference funding. “To register for the form use the link http://bit.ly/3McH93v and for more information on how to support the Forum go email [email protected],” said Shihepo.
Explaining more about the Forum, Shihepo said the forum will explore the social, cultural, geographical, and economic determinants of mental health. “Taking into consideration the humanitarian development peace nexus, the forum will interrogate the correlation between mental health outcomes, mental health interventions and services, and other priority well-being outcomes for all African children and adolescents in a world that is recovering from the impact of COVID-19, impacted by war and climate change,” she added.
She further explained that the Forum will emphasize the importance of locally designed solutions to ensure sustainable access to essential Mental Health and Psychosocial Support services for children and youth and will provide a platform for stakeholders to share innovation, collaborate, influence policy formulation, and enhance programming and networking.
“The Forum will be hybrid, with the main physical event taking place in South Africa and children and youth will also have the opportunity to participate in a pre-forum to share their experiences and solutions for improving their resilience and mental health,” she concluded.