Meeting at the Centre for Global Mental Health, London on July 16 2014

At King’s College London (which houses the Centre), I had the privilege of meeting one of the leading figures in the world of global mental health – Professor Graham Thornicroft, Professor of Community Psychiatry, lead researcher with a number of innovative mental health projects (such as EMERALD and COBALT) around the world, and author of cutting edge research articles and, most recently, of the critically acclaimed book, ‘Shunned’. The meeting gave me the opportunity to discuss Gede’s mental health work with Professor Thornicroft who stated clearly that there is an absolute dearth of quality research into comorbid conditions and that (for example) supporting HIV-AIDS Adherence Counsellors to identify, treat (where possible) and refer a range of mental health conditions would not only enhance ART treatment rates, but would also support the treatment of mental health conditions. Professor Thornicroft also voiced his support for the greater coordination of mental health agencies, with the proviso related to the importance of engaging all agencies which are affected by mental health issues, such as prisons, schools and universities. The meeting with Professor Thornicroft ended with his observation that he remained optimistic that mental health would be given an enhanced profile within MDGs following their review in 2015 – a development which everyone involved in all aspects of health must surely fully support –