On September 18th, together with Global Washington, Congressman Adam Smith met with about two dozen members of Washington-based non-profits to discuss issues of concern to the global development community. The meeting was held at the offices of World Relief Seattle in Kent, WA.
Congressman Smith represents Washington’s Ninth Congressional District, which comprises the central Puget Sound region, including parts of King and Pierce Counties. Read More
Following is a transcript of Global Washington’s conversation with Anne Peterson. It has been broken up into two parts and edited for length and clarity.
Part I: Integrating Mental Health in Humanitarian Response
Editor’s Note: Americares President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis will be participating in a plenary session at the 2017 Concordia Annual Summit in New York (Sept 18-19), on sustaining health services in insecure settings. One aspect of health that Americares has sought to elevate within the global community is recognition and care for the mental and emotional health of people who have been through traumatic events.
Why do you think that mental health hasn’t been getting the attention it deserves? What are the things that are lacking in a robust response?
At Concordia in New York, we’re going to talk about refugees and their ongoing trauma, especially looking at how you integrate mental health treatment across different kinds of programs. Not only is there a need, but we’re able to measure things that we can do that make a difference.
I think that the health world for a long time only thought about physical health. When I think about my own training as a medical doctor, I only had one class on psychiatry, but nothing really on mental and emotional well-being. I think that the first exposure I had to mental health concerns in a global health setting was around HIV. For the people who received this life-threatening diagnosis, we realized we should be dealing with their emotional health and coping abilities, as well.
There are also child soldiers who need mental health support as they work to reintegrate into their communities. And, of course, in war you see post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and as we started to measure it, we would see the difference it made Read More
Interviewed July 26, 2017
By Andie Long
Martha Brady, Director, Reproductive Health, PATH. Photo Credit: David Alexander/FP Voices
Martha Brady, the Director of Reproductive Health at PATH, a Seattle-based international health nonprofit, recently returned from the Family Planning Summit 2017 in London.
The summit was co-hosted by the UK Department for International Development, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in collaboration with Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) and in close partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Global Affairs Canada.
There were a number of new family planning commitments made at the meeting, including the announcement by Melinda Gates that the foundation would commit an additional $375 million over four years, a 60% increase in its family planning funding. PATH also revitalized its commitments from the previous summit, dedicating $10 million dollars over three years to “expand the contraceptive method mix in up to 12 countries by 2020.” New commitments were also made by Global Washington members Americares and International Rescue Committee. Read More