The Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C. hosted the high-level meeting “Moving the needle: Mental health stories from around the world,” organized by the World Bank Group, with the support of World Health Organization, OneMind, and the Global Campaign for Mental Health on April 19, 2018. This remarkable event – which took place on the occasion of the 2018 World Bank Group-International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings – aimed to continue to move mental health from the margins to the mainstream of the sustainable development agenda (within the context of global challenges such as forced migration, sustained conflict and fragility), by supporting “the mobilization of an international movement aimed at scaling up mental health services in primary care and community settings, wellness and health in the workplace programs, and other social protection and support mechanisms.” The objectives of this high-level event were centered on delivering three key outcomes: share lessons learned & progress, up-date on current initiatives, and discussion on progress and challenges.
Professor Eliot Sorel, George Washington University (GWU) School of Medicine & School of Public Health, was the moderator of the Opening Session which benefited from significant contributions: Welcome Remarks – Kirsten Hillman, Deputy Ambassador of Canada to the United States; Statement: Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Canada’s Minster of Health; Tim Evans, Senior Director, Health, Nutrition, and Population Global Practice, the World Bank Group; Carissa F. Etienne, Regional Director, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization; Christine Hogan, WBG Executive Director for Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St.Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, The Bahamas (Event Outline Global Mental Health – 2018 Spring Meetings April 17 2018 FINAL VERSION PM).
It is worth remembering within this framework that two years ago Professor Eliot Sorel underlined the need for “Making mental health a global development priority” (Global Mental Health & Psychiatry Newsletter of the Career, Leadership and Mentorship (CLP), Newsletter, Volume II, No. 2, June 2016; Eliot Sorel, MD, Editor-in-Chief, CLM/WPS Founder), showing, among other aspects that: “The World Bank Group and the World Health Organization convened the first high level meeting on Making Mental Health a Global Development Priority… We were particularly pleased to have our TOTAL Health Screening for Integrated Care innovation included in the fair. It was derived from the research project on Depression and Comorbidity in Primary Care in China, India, Iran, and Romania that we initiated in 2012 with colleagues in those countries, completed in 2014 and published in the International Medical Journal of Japan this past April.”
On April 20, 2018, Professor Eliot Sorel was privileged to have been invited and to have participated in the launch of the #Healthforall project, an historic event. This project has been launched by Japan Finance Minister Taro Aso together with World Bank President Jim Kim at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. Once implemented #Healthforall will have a major impact on health care access worldwide and especially for the 50% of people around the world who now have no access to care. It will also make a significant contribution to eradicating poverty globally.
Both of the above mentioned April 2018 events are natural health policy catalysts for the excellent WPA Work Plan Triennium 2017-2020 and for the “1st International Perinatal TOTAL Health Congress: The First Thousand Days of Life. Innovations and Transdisciplinary Collaborations”, in Sinaia, Romania, this June. As highlighted by the Congress Presidents – Professors Eliot SOREL and Nicolae SUCIU – the main objectives of this historic, unprecedented, and catalytic (to innovative, transdisciplinary projects to emerge from it) Congress are “to define the importance of the first thousand days of life and their lifelong health consequences; a focus on research, education and training, health systems and services, and health policies; and to highlight innovative and transdisciplinary projects that demonstrate the advantages of collaboration and integration in achieving TOTAL Health” (https://www.perinatal2018international.org/ ).
Professor Eliot Sorel is well-known as an innovative global health leader, educator, health systems performance expert, and a practicing physician; the most recent of the seven books edited by him is “21st Century Global Mental Health”, his most recent publication being “Translating Scientific Evidence into Global Health Policy”; he was granted the title of “Doctor Honoris Causa” by Carol Davila Medical University (in 2009) and by the University Politehnica of Bucharest (in June 2014), on this last occasion the Ceremony being attended by special Guests such as: Leo M. Chalupa, Vice President for Research at the George Washington University (charged with overseeing the strategic and operational development of GWU’s rapidly growing research enterprise), Academician Ioanel Sinescu, Rector of Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy Bucharest, Dr. Aurel Vainer (a true symbol both of the Romanian commercial scientific research and of the Romanian Commercial and Industrial Chambers System), Member of Romanian Parliament, Chamber of Deputies, and President of the Federation of the Jewish Communities in Romania; Adrian Vierita, Former Ambassador to U.S.