The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the virtual “Big Event for Mental Health” on October 10, 2020, during which world leaders, celebrities, and mental health advocates will join the event. This online event will focus on the urgent need to address the world’s chronic under-investment in mental health. The Big Event, which is free and open to the public, will be broadcast on October 10 from 16:00-19:00 Central European Summer Time (10:00 a.m. eastern time in the U.S.) on WHO’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok channels; as well as the WHO website.

The event will also include short films highlighting WHO and partner initiatives that are improving mental health around the world. The films feature programs spanning countries from Jordan, Kenya, Paraguay, the Philippines, and Ukraine. They cover a range of mental health issues including self-help and stress management, adolescent mental health, mental health and health workers, suicide prevention and improving the quality of life of people with dementia and, and those who care for people with dementia.

The Big Event, will be hosted by award-winning journalist Femi Oke. The event will feature a line-up of performances and conversations with celebrities and activists about their motivations for advocating for greater investment in mental health. These celebrities and activists include:

  1. Cynthia Germanotta: president and co-founder (with her daughter Lady Gaga) of Born This Way Foundation and WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Mental Health.
  2. Alisson Becker: goalkeeper for Liverpool Football Club and the Brazilian National Football Team and WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Health Promotion.
  3. Natália Loewe Becker: medical doctor and WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Health Promotion.
  4. Talinda Bennington: widow of Linkin Park lead vocalist Chester Bennington and founding partner of the mental health advocacy organization 320 Changes Direction.
  5. Klas Bergling: father of DJ, musician and producer Tim Bergling, aka Avicii, and co-founder of the Tim Bergling Foundation.
  6. Korede Bello: Nigerian singer and songwriter.
  7. Jonny Benjamin: mental health campaigner, film producer and public speaker.

During the event, national and international leaders who have championed mental health in their own countries and organizations will talk about the benefits of this commitment. These leaders include:

  1. Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of the Belgians.
  2. Epsy Campbell Barr, First Vice-President of Costa Rica.
  3. Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, the Netherlands.
  4. Peter Sands: Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
  5. Muhammad Ali Pate: Global Director, Health, Nutrition and Population, World Bank.

This was reported by World Health Organization on October 1, 2020.

Contact information: Alison Brunier, Communications Officer, World Health Organization, 20 Avenue Appia 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland; +41 79 701 9480; Email: bruniera@who.int; Website: https://www.who.int/.

Contact information: Regional Office for the Americas, World Health Organization, 525 23rd Street Northwest, Washington, District of Columbia 20037; 202-974-3000; Fax: 202-974-3663; Email: postmaster@paho.org; Website: https://www.paho.org/


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