The Norwegian network for global mental health is a loosely composed group consisting of representatives from civil society organizations, researchers, professionals and private individuals who are interested and involved in mental health globally and in development work. The function of the network is that these can have access to a common platform, and a forum for sharing information.
Among other things, the network is concerned with openness, continuity and flexibility. We want to work to raise global mental health higher on the agenda, and to collaborate and learn from each other. One of the goals is to be a unified network with a unified message, which is to front mental health.
The network was established in 2012, as a result of involvement in the conference «Mental health in a global perspective». A similar conference was held in 2018 («Mental health – a key to development?»), which further strengthened the network.
The main activity of the network is sharing information through newsletters and in the Facebook group, as well as network meetings and more professionally oriented events. The newsletters are meant to be a base for inspiration, and to learn from each other’s experiences. The content can be anything from mental health projects, interesting articles, relevant events or exciting actors and projects. The website is intended to function as a library of material for inspiration.
The network’s working group consists of members who have extra commitment to the network and who want to contribute together with the coordinator and leader. The working group does not meet physically for regular meetings but keeps in touch via email. The tasks vary, it involves, among other things, helping to decide the topic for the network’s meetings, lectures and programs, and landing this by proposing contributors, etc. In addition, dealing with influence more directly, such as input to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norad, input on policy and working to enhance the focus on global mental health. The amount of work depends on commitment, interest and time, and which projects and processes are ongoing. It is a flexible committee that works together to promote global mental health and keep the network going.
The working committee currently consists of:
Ståle Stavrum i Forut (leader of the network)
Ragnhild Dybdahl, associate professor UiB / senior advisor FHI
Heidi Westborg Steel from ICDP Norway
Tor Kristian Birkeland from HimalPartner
Marte Wenaas from SOS-barnebyer
Sandra Bjerkan from ADRA
Ingeborg Arntsen, clinical psychologist (coordinator)
Rune Drotninghaug, psychology student (assists with technical matters)