New York

08 September 2021

Secretary-General's message to High-Level Event on Mental Health Interventions for Peacebuilding in Conflict and Humanitarian Settings

Vulnerability and mental health problems are part of our collective human experience and should be treated as seriously as physical health issues, including during a global pandemic.

Peacebuilding, mental health and psychosocial support are deeply interconnected.  People who have suffered losses, attacks, family separations and gender-based violence carry grievances and wounds that can perpetuate repetition and cycles of violence.

Mental health and psychosocial support must be seen as integral, cross-cutting components in all our humanitarian, peacebuilding and development programmes.

I therefore welcome today’s high-level event, which includes examples of promising initiatives to support mental health and psychosocial wellbeing, from Northeast Nigeria to the Philippines, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

I commend the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Reference Group for developing a wide range of resources during the pandemic, some of which have been translated into more than 140 languages.

And I encourage donors, governments and humanitarian agencies to scale up their investments in mental health and psychosocial support as a vital component in supporting peaceful, resilient and inclusive communities and societies.