We are very pleased that this World Congress is being held at Central Hall Westminster, London because this venue holds a special place in the history of global mental health advocacy.
It was here in August 1948 that an International Congress of Mental Hygiene was held and the International Committee for Mental Hygiene was transformed into the World Federation of Mental Health, WFMH.
Recognising that programmes for social change require joint efforts of psychiatrist and social scientists working in co-operation with statesmen, administrators and others in positions of authority, experts from different countries from sociology, psychology, psychiatry, social work, anthropology, political science, philosophy and theology countries were brought together and produced a document, “Mental Health and World Citizenship.”
This document understood world citizenship as “a common humanity” respecting individual and cultural differences, with the ultimate goal of mental health “to help men to live with their fellows in one world.”
It is an honour and privilege to be able to host this World Congress on the 73rd anniversary of the foundation of WFMH in the hall in which it began.
London is also important for the World Dignity Project because this is where the idea for this project was born. The mission of the World Dignity Project is to fight for mental health and well-being for all with equality of treatment and dignity in patient experience as a basic human right. Where better to think about ‘Mental Health: A Global Priority.’ As in 1948, this congress will bring together people with an interest in mental health from many perspectives including mental health professionals, the public and policy makers. Come to participate, come to learn, come to share your perspective.