REPSSI convenes the Regional Psychosocial Support forum to emphasize the need for locally designed solutions that will enable sustainable access to essential Mental Health and Psychosocial Support services while considering the socio-cultural context and existing barriers that children and youth in the region face in accessing mental healthcare.
The 7th PSS forum provides an opportunity to bring together stakeholders working on mental health related issues and share innovations in MHPSS, collaborate, influence the formulation and review of relevant policies, enhance programming and network. The forum will be blended, with a main physical forum in South Africa, and virtual streaming for partners around the globe.
The forum will explore the social, cultural, geographical, economic determinants of mental health. Taking into consideration the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, the forum will interrogate the correlation between mental health outcomes, mental health interventions and services, and other priority wellbeing outcomes for all African children and youth in a world that is recovering from the impact of COVID, impacted by war and climate change. Key thematic issues for discussion will include Child Rights and Protection, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) Prevention and Management, Education, Early Childhood Development (ECD), Disability Inclusion, Pandemics and Technology.
The forum will be hybrid, with the main physical event taking place in South Africa. Children and youth will also have the opportunity to participate in a pre-forum to share their experiences and solutions for improving their resilience and mental health.
The forum welcomes broad participation from partners in the region and internationally, including national governments, civil society, academia, international cooperating partners, media, local leaders, community caregivers, children and youth, and all those with practical and scientific experiences related to mental health and psychosocial support.
1) To share experiences and practices in MHPSS across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus across the region
2) To provide a platform and ensure meaningful participation by stakeholders who are usually marginalised or excluded from MHPSS discussions, such as children, youth and persons with disabilities.
3) To influence formulation, review and implementation of policies that promote mental health and psychosocial wellbeing.
More information can be found here.
Abstract submissions are open from 10 April 2023 to 30 July 2023 through an online system. A technical review panel will be established to evaluate all submissions. Tracks for submission are:
1) Social, cultural and Geographical Determinants of Mental Health
2) Climate Change, Humanitarian Response and Peacebuilding
3) Love, care and protection for every child
4) Policy and Advocacy