200+

Participants

30+

Speakers

6

Sessions

ACCESSIBLE

in-person or
live online

UNLIMITED

Downloadable access to all 6 sessions

JOIN US IN PERSON

GET YOUR TICKET

We look forward to seeing you at Les Salons!

JOIN US ONLINE LIVE

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We look forward to seeing you online!

After a two year break we are delighted to announce the 10th Giving Women Conference.

The Giving Women conference has become an important platform for convening UN organisations, Civil Society, NGOs, business, academia, and private individuals to INFORM, REFLECT and ACT on what we need to do to improve the lives of girls and women globally.

MENTAL HEALTH – NOT JUST A FIRST-WORLD PROBLEM

This year conference will focus on mental health. According to the OECD:

– 85% of individuals living with mental health conditions in the developing world do not receive care due to due to lack of resources.

– In Africa, 66 million women are living with depression, and 85% have no access to treatment.

Over the last two years of the Pandemic everyone has recognized how fragile our mental health is. Triggers such as loneliness, isolation, economic insecurity, domestic violence have seen the rise of people suffering with mental health issues globally. For girls and women in vulnerable communities, in conflict situations, in refugee camps, in forced migration, these are triggers they face daily with no recourse to support. In addition they have to face stigmatisation and isolation.

JOIN OUR CONFERENCE, CHANGE THE STATUS QUO

Hear from 30+ researchers, practitioners, project leaders and people with lived experience about the situation on the ground and successful programmes that are making the difference.

Most scientific studies show a close correlation between indicators of poverty and the risk of mental disorders, the most consistent association being with low levels of education — a common factor in low-income societies. Other factors such as the experience of insecurity and hopelessness, rapid social change and the risks of violence and physical ill-health also contribute to the greater vulnerability of the poor to common mental illnesses.

World Health Organization

There is no health without mental health!

HOW TO JOIN

 

Join our conference in-person or live online.

All sessions will be accessible and downloadable after the conference.

You will also have access to two online pre-conference panels

Programme - 6 October 2022

13:00 – REGISTRATION

13:30 – OPENING REMARKS

Atalanti Moquette, Founder, Giving Women
Gaia Montauti, Managing Director, Fondation d’Harcourt

13:35 – KEYNOTE

Pamela Y Collins, MD, MPH, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral
Sciences and Professor of Global Health. University of Washington.

13:50 PANEL 1 – INFORM
“Setting the Scene: Identification, Barriers, Stigma, Access”

MODERATOR: Roberto Beneduce, Professor, University of Turin

PANELISTS:

  • Julian Eaton, Mental Health Director, CBM Global, and Centre for Mental Health, LSHTM
  • Inka Weissebecker, Mental Health Technical Officer, World Health Organization
  • Shantha Rau Barriga, Director, Disability Rights Division, HRW
15:10 – BREAK – AGORA

 

15:30 PANEL 2 – REFLECT part I
Triggers and Treatment”

MODERATOR: Atalanti Moquette, Founder, Giving Women

PANELISTS:

  • Taban Shoresh, Funder and CEO, Lotus Flower
  • Raj Mariwala, Director, Mariwala Health Initiative
  • Rasa Dawson, Chief Development and Communications Officer. StrongMinds
  • Pieter Ventevogel, Sr Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Officer, UNHCR
16:45 BREAK – AGORA

17:10 PANEL 3 – REFLECT part Il
“The Wisdom of Those With Lived Experience”

MODERATOR: Gaia Montauti, Managing Driector, Fondation D’Harcourt

PANELISTS:

  • Hauwa Ojeifo, Founder, She Writes Woman
  • Charlene Sunkel, Founder. Global Mental Health Peer Network
  • Kamala Poudel, Program officer, KOSHISH
18:45 PANEL 4 – A CALL TO ACTION
“How Can We All Make a Difference?”

MODERATOR: Natasha Muller, Founder, Future mental Health Collective

PANELISTS:

  • Franzisca Gamma. Founder. Les Toises
  • Rabih El Chammay, Ministry of Public Health. Lebanon
  • Sarah Jeffery, Head of Health. Vitol Foundation
  • Sofyen Khalfaoui, Programme Lead , Z Zurich Foundation
  • Joanna Lai, Program Manager, UNICEF

 

20:00 CLOSING REMARKS

Ruth Szabo, Chair, Giving Women
Followed by a networking cocktail.

Pre-Conference Online Panels

ONLINE PANEL ON 29 SEPTEMBER @12:15CET
“The Power of Community”

MODERATOR: Dr. Maji Hailemariam Debena, Assistant Professor Division of Public Health, Department of OBGYN & Reproductive Biology, Michigan State University

PANELISTS:

  • Ruby Castilla, Co-Founder WARMI
  • Joy Morozov, Responsible for partnerships at Enableme.org
  • Jennifer Johnson, C. S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health at Michigan State University
ONLINE PANEL ON 4 OCTOBER @12:15CET
“Voices from the Field”

MODERATOR: Megan Paterson-Brown, Adjunct Faculty Member at Webster University

PANELISTS:

  • Amisa Rashid, Founder of Nivishe Foundation
  • Christina Ntulo, Country Director StrongMinds, Uganda
  • Luciana Rossi Barrancos, General Executive Manager of Instituto Cactus

Venue

Théâtre Les Salons
Rue Jean-François Bartholoni 6
1204 Geneva

 

COVID-19 Measures

 

While there are currently no COVID-19 national or cantonal regulations, we will have hand sanitisers and masks available.

Speakers

Dr. Catherine Abbo

Dr. Catherine Abbo

Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Makerere University, Uganda

Q

Dr. Catherine Abbo

Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Makerere University, Uganda

By basic training, she qualified as a Medical Doctor in 1998 from Makerere University Faculty of Medicine. She also holds a Master of Medicine in Psychiatry degree from Makerere University and a PhD in Transcultural psychiatry from Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Dr Abbo completed her super specialist training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital with certification from the College of Medicine of South Africa and completed her Mphil with a distinction in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from University of Cape Town in May 2017. She currently leads the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and mental health course in the Department of Psychiatry. Her current interests lie in developmental and preventive psychiatry and mental health, particularly in relation to prevention of mental disorders and building mental resilience in children and adolescents. In collaboration with University on Minnesota, she started an Infant mental Health Clinic in a Paediatric Unit in Mulago Hospital two years ago.

Prof Abbo has immense experience in developing training materials and training related to mental health aspects of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).  She is a national trainer of trainers for SGBV. She is involved in a number of mental health activities in the Mental Health Division of Ministry of Health as she is passionate about improving mental health services and therefore reducing the level of mental disabilities particularly in vulnerable populations throughout the country. From 2016 to 2018, she worked as Peter C Alderman Foundation visiting Expatriate Psychiatrist Village Health Works Kigutu, Burundi. She has published in peer review journals and as both main author/coauthor of various book chapters.

Roberto Beneduce

Roberto Beneduce

Professor of Medical and Psychological Anthropology, University of Turin

Q

Roberto Beneduce

Professor of Medical and Psychological Anthropology, University of Turin

Roberto Beneduce is an anthropologist and professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Turin. His areas of research include Mali (Dogon plateau), Cameroon (Boulou country), Uganda (Acholi territories), and Mozambique. He is particularly interested in medical and psychological anthropology and the anthropology of violence. Read full CV

Ruby Castillia

Ruby Castillia

Co-Founder, WARMI Mental Health

Q

Ruby Castillia

MD, DrPH, MBA – Co-Founder of WARMI

Ruby Castilla-Puentes MD, DrPH, MBA became Director, Clinical Research supporting Neuroscience Division of Janssen, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals, as well adjunct professor of Pharmacoepidemiology and Epidemiology at Temple and Drexel Universities of  Philadelphia in February 2007. Dr Castilla-Puentes was born in Colombia, SA. She earned her medical degree from the Universidad Industrial de Santander. Her postdoctoral trainings included a residency in Psychiatry at the Xaverian University, fellowships in Child Psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, and in Psychiatric Epidemiology at the Graduate School of Public Health (Master and Doctorate Programs), University of Pittsburgh. Dr Castilla-Puentes also obtained an MBA degree from the Katz School of Business, with a concentration in Global and International Business.

 

Dr Castillla-Puentes was the Director of the Psychiatric Department of a public university hospital – Santa Clara Hospital, Bogota focusing on the development of new treatment options for psychotic disorders. She implemented a renovation process of the psychiatric inpatient unit resulting in her unit being one of the most efficient and state of the art treatment units, for this type of patients. She is also Founder member of the Colombian College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CCNP) and a longtime member of many associations, including the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Medical Association. Her research interests are new treatment development, pharmacoepidemiology, psychiatric epidemiology (in Latin American countries), and the use of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data.  Her educational and training interests involve lecturing medical students, residents and graduate students, as well as participating as a graduate faculty in psychiatric-epidemiology and psychopharmacology (including University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Pennsylvania, Temple and Drexel in Philadelphia).

 

Dr Castilla-Puentes dedicated her career to addressing the health of the underserved, particularly racial and ethnic minority populations, and patients with psychiatric conditions. She served as the President of the American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry from 2020-2022 (http://www.americansocietyhispanicpsychiatry.com/meet-the-officers/) and Leading Medical Strategies at the Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Achievement (HOLA) and Mental Health Diplomats, J&J employee resources groups. She is one of the founders of “WARMI” (woman in Quechua), a network dedicated to promoting women’s mental health. Dr. Castilla-Puentes is a longtime member of many global associations and the author/co-author of many scientific publications. In August 2020 published the book “Quijotes de la Psiquiatria.” The book pays tribute to Hispanic psychiatrists who have contributed to the progress of mental health in the US and around the world  https://www.amazon.com/Quijotes-Psiquiatria-Lideres-Hispanos-Latinos/dp/B08F6R3TBD.

Rabih El Chammay

Rabih El Chammay

National Mental Health Programme at the Ministry of Public Health in Lebanon

Q

Rabih El Chammay

National Mental Health Programme at the Ministry of Public Health in Lebanon

Dr. Rabih El Chammay is a psychiatrist and currently the head of the National Mental Health Programme at the Ministry of Public Health in Lebanon. After founding the programme, he led the development and is currently overseeing the implementation of the first National Mental Health and Substance Use Strategy 2015-2020 aiming at reforming the Mental Health System in Lebanon towards community-based mental health services in line with Human rights and latest evidence that is currently under implementation. 

He has been working in Public mental health, Refugee mental health and health system strengthening for more than 15 years. He has been working on these topics in the MENA region as well as on the international level with various agencies such as WHO, UNHCR, UNICEF, IMC and many other NGOs.

He is also, a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the faculty of Medicine at Saint Joseph University in Beirut.

Pamela Y Collins

Pamela Y Collins

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington

Q

Pamela Y Collins

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington

Pamela Collins is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington (UW). She is the executive director of the International Training and Education Center for Health (ITECH), a global health implementing center that brings public health interventions to scale in partnership with ministries of health through a 13-country network on 4 continents. Dr. Collins also directs the UW Consortium for Global Mental Health—an interdisciplinary center dedicated to improving the care of people with mental health conditions in lowresource settinngs locally and globally.

Prior to her current role, she was Associate Director for Special Populations at the National Institute of Mental Health and director of the Office for Research on Disparities & Global Mental Health and the Office of Rural Mental Health Research. Her leadership led to the launch of research initiatives that have expanded the evidence base on extending mental health services globally, as well as research to reduce mental health disparities among diverse racial and ethnic communities in the United States.

Dr. Collins’s own research and practice actvities center on the intersections of mental health, HIV and urban contexts. Her studies have focused on social stigma related to mental illness and its relationship to HIV prevention, care, and treatment among women in US as well as diverse groups in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is the Principal Investigator of the HRSA-funded project, Capacity Building for Sustainable HIV Services, which engages 6 countries in the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia in capacity-strengthening for HIV, mental health, and related areas for improved HIV outcomes.

Rasa Dawson

Rasa Dawson

Chief development and communications officer Strongminds

Q

Rasa Dawson

Chief development and communications officer Strongminds

Rasa Dawson is an experienced campaign manager with a keen interest in empowering women in Africa. She brings to StrongMinds extensive experience in working with influential supporters, increasing constituency and elevating brand awareness, most recently at Oxfam America. Previously, she was Development Manager at Physicians for Social Responsibility. Rasa holds a Master’s of Science in Conservation Biology from the University of Kent at Canterbury and a BA in International Development from Clark University. Rasa is a Cambridge native and currently resides in Richmond, VA with her husband, two children and German shepherd. When she is not working, Rasa enjoys cooking, hiking, travel and being at the beach in all seasons.

Julian Eaton

Julian Eaton

Mental Health Director, CBM Global, and Centre for Mental Health, LSHTM

Q

Julian Eaton

Assistant Professor Centre for Global Mental Health

Julian Eaton is the Mental Health Director for CBM Global Disability and Inclusion. He works with a team focused on improving access to care and support, and promoting the voice of people with psychosocial disabilities in low and middle income countries. He is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Global Mental Health at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he is currently leading a number of research projects looking at strengthening community-based mental health care, reform of public mental health systems in Africa, and promoting greater participation in research. He leads the Mental Health Innovations Network at LSHTM, and is Chair of the Bond International NGO Mental Health Group. Julian trained as a psychiatrist in London where he now works, after living and working in West Africa between 2003 and 2017.

Franzisca Gamma

Franzisca Gamma

Founder, Les Toises

Q

Franzisca Gamma

Founder, Les Toises

Originally from St. Gallen, Dr med. Franziska Gamma studied medicine in French-speaking Switzerland. She obtained her doctorate at the Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich, and completed her specialization in psychiatry-psychotherapy at the Department of Psychiatry at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV).

Her scientific curiosity led her to join the Harvard Medical School in Boston (Institute of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Genetics) as a post-doctoral research fellow and to study epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she obtained a Master of Sciences.

Back in Lausanne, she joined the Department of Psychiatry – CHUV as a senior physician and specialized in schizophrenia spectrum and somatoform pain disorders.

 In 2009, she continued her career as a founder and director (CEO & CMO) of Les Toises –  Center of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, a major Swiss private outpatient center. In less than 15 years, the Center Les Toises has become with its eight outptient clinics (Lausanne, Yverdon, Sion, Fribourg, Nyon, Neuchâtel, Biel & Bern) the first Swiss ambulatory structure in the field of mental health with more than 425 collaborators who offer treatment in over 30 languages.

Les Toises provide comprehensive and personalized mental healthcare for any type of mental disorders to children, adolescents, and adults of all ages including individual, couple, family and group therapy, emergency and crisis management. The multidisciplinary team of experienced therapists combines a broad range of therapeutic approaches and has become a nationwide reference in psychiatry and psychotherapy. As a center of expertise in mental health, Les Toises also conduct knowledge transfer activities, skills development and training.

Dr Maji Hailemariam Debena

Dr Maji Hailemariam Debena

Assistant Professor Division of Public Health, Department of OBGYN and Reproductive Biology, Michigan State University

Q

Dr Maji Hailemariam Debena

Assistant Professor Division of Public Health, Department of OBGYN and Reproductive Biology, Michigan State University

Maji Hailemariam Debena is an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology in the College of Human Medicine. Her research interests include health disparities, mental health, underserved communities including women and justice-involved individuals. Her completed and ongoing research engagements focus on low-resource settings including those low-resource settings within a high-income country context.

Dr. Hailemariam holds a PhD in mental health epidemiology and a masters degree in social work from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Before joining the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, Dr. Hailemariam completed a postdoctoral program at MSU-Flint, Division of Public Health.

Sarah Jeffery

Sarah Jeffery

Head of Health, Vital Foundation

Q

Sarah Jeffrey

Head of Health, Vital Foundation

Sarah Jeffery spent the bulk of her early professional career as a nurse in the UK before transitioning into international development and global health accumulating over 15 years’ experience to date. She worked as a healthcare provider supporting primary healthcare services and then managing such programmes in predominantly fragile contexts. In 2014 she took over the health portfolio at the Vitol Foundation. Sarah designed, reviewed and operationalised the Vitol Foundation health strategy over this period to include mental health and adolescent health as key strategic pillars. Vitol Foundation have funded mental health initiatives globally since 2019.  Sarah’s academic qualifications include a BA in International Relations and Development Studies from the University of Sussex, BSc in Nursing and an MPH in Public Health in Developing Countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dr. Jennifer Johnson

Dr. Jennifer Johnson

C. S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health at Michigan State University

Q

Sofyen Khalfaoui

C. S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health at Michigan State University

Dr. Jennifer E. Johnson is C. S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health at Michigan State University.  She is a licensed clinical psychologist who conducts policy-relevant implementation and effectiveness trials of mental health and substance use interventions for vulnerable populations, including perinatal women and individuals involved in the criminal justice system. She has been Principal Investigator of 17 research studies funded by the National Institutes of Health, and Co-Investigator of another 17.

Dr. Johnson’s studies include the first large randomized trial of any treatment for major depressive disorder in an incarcerated population, the first randomized trial of suicide prevention for justice-involved individuals, tests of strategies to reduce maternal mortality disparities, and a randomized trial testing strategies for scaling up an evidence-based postpartum depression prevention program in 98 prenatal clinics serving low-income women nationally.

Her overall goals are to improve well-being, increase agency, and reduce preventable suffering of women and girls, justice-involved individuals, and Flint-area citizens. Her policy goals include reducing incarceration rates and preventing gender-based violence.

Sofyen Khalfaoui

Sofyen Khalfaoui

Programme Lead, Z Zurich Foundation

Q

Sofyen Khalfaoui

Z Zurich Foundation’s Mental Wellbeing Program Lead

Prior to taking on this global role, Sofyen worked with several NGOs and the United Nations in in EMEA, APAC and LATAM regions in the design and implementation of child protection, psychosocial support and education programmes for children and youth.

Sofyen holds a MA in International Relations from the Graduate Institute (Switzerland) and a MSc in Development and Humanitarian Studies from the University of Bristol (UK).

Building on his wide range of experiences, Sofyen became cognizant of how to best prevent, and respond to, mental wellbeing issues in both emergencies and non-humanitarian settings. Sofyen is passionate about the development of impactful innovative solutions, thought-provoking research and new partnership models. Sofyen is also a diligent meditator and an actor developing theatre projects addressing questions of trauma and resilience.

Joanna Lai

Joanna Lai

Programme Manager, UNICEF

Q

Joanna Lai

Programme Manager, UNICEF

Dr. Joanna Lai, DrPH, MPH, MS Ed. is a health specialist with UNICEF Headquarters where she serves as the health section technical focal point for school, adolescent, and mental health. Her work is focused on supporting national and sub national planning, delivery, and evaluation of health and counseling programs and services for children and adolescents through schools, digital platforms, and primary health care settings across LMICs.
 

Frederique Lambrakis-Haddad

Frederique Lambrakis-Haddad

Author, Co-Founder and Well-being Lead

Q

Frederique Lambrakis-Haddad

Author, Co-Founder and Well-being Lead

Frederique Lambrakis-Haddad (she/her) is a mental health therapist who has worked both in the US and UK for over 25 years with young people and adults. She is passionate about supporting youth and their families with their wellbeing and mental health in a practical, flexible and constructive manner. Frederique has recently written a book (Pavilion Publishing) called: ‘Trauma and Teens: A Trauma Informed Guide and Toolbox towards Well-being in Homes and Schools.’ This book and her entire profession wholeheartedly advocates for parents/carers and schools to work hand in hand to pragmatically support our youth. Frederique is also a co-founder of the UK registered charity, “Flourish Mentors” helping the well-being of young women (including non-binary) aged 16-25 years in Brighton and Hove.

Raj Mariwala

Raj Mariwala

Director, Mariwala Health Initiative

Q

Raj Mariwala

Director, Mariwala Health Initiative

Raj Mariwala is the Director of the Mariwala Health Initiativ,  an advocacy, capacity building and grant-making organisation in India that focuses on mental health of marginalised communities. Currently, Raj serves on the advisory boards of the Lancet Commission on Stigma and Discrimination and Parcham, nonprofit that works with young marginalised women on human rights, equity and social justice.

Gaia Montauti

Gaia Montauti

Managing Director, Fondation D’Harcourt

Q

Gaia Montauti

Managing director, Fondation d’Harcourt, Geneva, Switzerland

Gaia has been personally involved in her family Foundation since young age, initially as a member of the Board and since 2014 as Managing Director.

Prior to her involvement in Fondation d’Harcourt, Gaia acquired experience in the relief and development sector with several NGOs such as Human rights Watch UK, Terre des Hommes, and Geneva Call. She also gained some experience in the private sector in New York.

Gaia has dedicated herself to the cause of mental health and psychosocial support. She currently represents the Foundation in public events/philanthropy forums continuing to meet potential partners to collaborate with and to travel to all the countries where the Foundation support its project.

Gaia holds a Master’s degree in International and European Law and a Bachelor Degree in Swiss law, both awarded by the University of Geneva. Gaia speaks fluently French, English, Italian and Spanish and plays an active role in Nexus Geneva.

Atalanti Moquette

Atalanti Moquette

Founder, Giving Women

Q

Atalanti Moquette

Founder, Giving Women

Atalanti Hadjipateras Moquette received a BA Hons. in Philosophy and Ancient Greek at King’s College London. She continued her postgraduate studies in Art History at the University of Toronto. Atalanit’s passions include education, art, philanthropy and women’s rights. She started her career on the specialist side of Sotheby’s and has worked on education policy in Toronto and Geneva.

Her involvement in the field of philanthropy follows a family tradition that began at the grassroots level, running a life skills programme in a shelter for battered women. In 2009 Atalanti founded Giving Women, a network of diverse but like-minded women who pool their professional skills and experience to provide advice to strengthen projects directed at vulnerable girls and women globally. Her interest in social impact investing started when she and her daughter, Elianna, established Step Up, to advise start-up social businesses and banks on questions of social impact and responsible investing. As a philanthropist Atalanti has held positions on various boards:

  • Vice –President of the board of the International School of Geneva
  • Vice – President of the board of the International Baccalaureate Organisation
  • Founding member of the Executive Committee of Human Rights Watch, Geneva,
  • Member of the executive Committee of the Fondation Philanthropique Orthodoxe
Natasha Muller

Natasha Muller

Founder, Future mental Health Collective

Q

Natasha Muller

Founder, Future mental Health Collective

Natasha is an active impact investor with a focus on health, climate/food systems and gender. She is also a philanthropist and mental health activist. She founded NM Impact, through which she supports a global ecosystem of local change-makers, and Kokoro which champions mental health as the foundation for a safer, kinder and more productive world. Natasha is a UNICEF NextGen Global Principal, a trustee for United for Global Mental Health and Philanthropy Impact, and is on various advisory committees and boards, including The Valuable 500, the Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth at the University of Zurich, the Empower initiative with HMS, and Maanch. Natasha holds a BA in Geography, an MSC in the Political Economy of Violence, Conflict, and Development from SOAS University, and is an alumna of the Impact Investing for the Next Generation course at Harvard Kennedy School. Outside of her work, she used to be a competitive equestrian show jumper and is currently an avid weightlifter, sports enthusiast and contemporary art collector.

Joy Morozov

Joy Morozov

Chief Collaboration Officer, EnableMe Foundation

Q

Joy Morzov

Chief Collaboration Officer, EnableMe Foundation

Joy Morozov is an international practitioner with over 15 years’ experience in working at for-profits and in nonprofits.  In 2015, Joy decided to transfer her skills from working for international companies such as The Economist Group & Financial Times to do social good. She took on the role of Senior Manager International Partnerships at Light for the World, an international non-profit development organisation which strives to unlock the potential of people with disabilities in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2021, Joy joined EnableMe Foundation, a charitable foundation registered in Switzerland to forge partnerships with like-minded organisations who want to positively impact the lives of people with all disabilities including mental health.

Christina Ntulo

Christina Ntulo

Country Director, Strongminds, Uganda

Q

Tina Ntulo

Country Director, Strongminds, Uganda

Christina (Tina) Ntulo serves as the Country Director for StrongMinds Uganda, serving as the technical lead for the implementation, quality, and reach of our programs. Christina is a mental health and development worker with 23 years of professional experience in mental health, human rights, gender, economic empowerment, management, and organizational development. Christina also possesses skills in strategic and program planning, implementation, monitoring, research, evaluation and analysis, evidence-based advocacy, and organizational and national level policy development and analysis.

Prior to joining StrongMinds Uganda, she worked as a consultant for organizations like Network for Africa, BasicNeeds, GOAL Uganda, Legal Aid Service AGHA, StrongMinds Uganda, Uganda Child Rights NGO Network, Legal Aid Service Providers Network (LASPNET), and IRC – WASH Program, providing a wide range of services in the field of mental health, people- centered (self) advocacy, women’s and children’s rights, legal aid advocacy, and youth action but to mention a few. Her skills in human resource management, finance management, governance, and organizational policy development have been used to improve organizational systems to organizations like BasicNeeds Foundation Uganda, BasicNeeds UK Trust, SINFA Uganda, TPO Uganda, SNV, Uganda National NGO Forum (UNNGOF), Centre for Excellence for the Study of the African Child, Uganda Child Rights NGO Network, The Artfield Institute of Design, Council for the Economic Empowerment for Women of Africa – Uganda Chapter (CEEWA-Uganda), and others.

Christina also served BasicNeeds for 13 years in various capacities that include Director for Africa and Director of New Initiatives contributing to growing their programs in Africa and Asia. She also worked as a Counseling Psychologist for the Federation of Women Lawyers in Nairobi Kenya setting up their counseling practice for women and children affected by sexual and gender-based violence.

Hauwa Ojeifo

Hauwa Ojeifo

Founder, She Writes Woman

Q

Hauwa Ojeifo

Founder, She Writes Woman

Hauwa Ojeifo publicly identifies as a person who lives with a mental health condition and psychosocial disability. Popularly tagged as the voice and face of mental health in Nigeria, Hauwa has received numerous local and international honours and recognition.

She is the Executive Director at She Writes Woman (SWW); an award-winning movement that gives mental health a voice in Nigeria. She is the creator of Safe Place Nigeria – a digital community for mental health-conscious Nigerians to access tools, resources (24/7 toll-free helpline), professionals (counsellors and therapists) and a community to ensure a mentally healthy society. As a sexual violence survivor, she is giving mental health and sexual violence a voice; taking back the existing misinformed narrative and normalising mental health conversations in Nigeria.

Hauwa holds an MSc in Investment Banking & Islamic Finance from Henley Business School, University of Reading, England and has a career that spans 6 industries including health, finance, fashion, event planning, retail services and digital marketing. She is a certified integrative mental health coach who uses her psychosocial disability to advocate for people like herself across Nigeria and beyond.

Hauwa is a recipient of the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders award 2018 by the Royal Commonwealth Society, Cambridge University and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust. She was selected as a One Young World Ambassador and AstraZeneca Young Health Programme scholar. She was also shortlisted as one of the Top 100 Most Inspiring Nigerian Women 2018 by Leading Ladies Africa as well as Avance Media’s Top 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians for two consecutive years. Hauwa is the first African to bag the MTV Europe Music Generation Change Award in 2018 and was also honoured as an Obama Africa Leader in 2019.

In February of 2020, she became the first person with a mental health condition to testify in that capacity before the Nigerian National Assembly on the rights of persons with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities under the tenets of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Her testimony ensured that the bill affecting about 40 to 60 million Nigerians was stepped down for reconsideration.

Hauwa is a Mandela Washington Fellowship Awardee for 2020. In September 2020, she received the 2020 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeepers Global Goals Changemaker Award.

Megan Paterson Brown

Megan Paterson Brown

Adjunct Faculty Member at Webster University

Q

Megan Paterson Brown

Adjunct Faculty Member at Webster University

Megan Paterson-Brown, MA, CMHC. MFT Psychotherapist; Adjunct teaching faculty at Webster University, Psychology & Counseling Department.

With a specialized interest in the study of Eastern Traditions and Psychotherapy, Megan’s background in community therapy started in Berkeley, CA in 1994 and continued in Community Mental Health in Altamonte Springs, FL and Seattle, WA, where she also worked as an evaluator in the WA court system and on staff at Hall Health Mental Health Clinic at the University of Washington.

Active in diverse private practices over the years, Megan has been teaching at Webster University in Geneva since 2001 in the graduate and undergraduate psychology & counseling programs. She is also engaged in facilitating informal creative arts therapies and Integrative Community Therapy support groups with local immigrant and refugee populations in Geneva via the Bateau de Genève. Megan lives in Vesenaz/ Genève with her Scottish husband Willy, & their son (15) Finlay Gray.

Kamala Poudel

Kamala Poudel

Programme Officer, KOSHISH

Q

Kamala Poudel

Program officer  for sensitization, and awareness and promotion of the cause of mental health issues at  KOSHISH NEPAL  

Kamala Poudel is a Nepalese woman who had been a victim of child trafficking at a young age of about 5 years, getting all her connections with her biological family severed at that young age. However, instead of bowing to the destiny of prostitution imposed on her by the circumstances she ran away from the brothel house and survived on her own during her growing years, facing all the hardships and hurdles without giving up on hope for a dignified existence.  

However, in the process, she developed mental health issues at a fairly young age and has been battling with these issues ever since. Because of these issues her productivity and work efficiency suffered immensely and eventually she landed in the streets in Kathmandu, Nepal as she had no family connections or any friends to support her. Please read her detailed story at https://www.koshishnepal.org/campaigns/the-braveheart.

With support from KOSHISH, Nepal she was rescued from the streets and her life got transformed post treatment and therapies provided by KOSHISH and thereafter she has dedicated herself to the cause and  has reached various National, Regional and International advocacy forums for promoting the cause of the Nepalese women with mental health issues. She is seeking support for self advocacy, peer support therapies, self help group mechanisms and independent living by the women with the mental health issues as part of true and effective integration in the society through her advocacy measures . 

Amisa Rashid

Amisa Rashid

Founder, Nivishe

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Amisa Rashid

Founder, Nivishe Foundation

Amisa Rashid is a counselling psychologist and a mediator specializing in peace building and Trauma Healingcentring her work on Trauma informed resilience for community building. Aiming at reducing conflict and violence in her community, Amisa is the Founder and Executive Director of Nivishe Foundation whose main objective is building community resilient using Trauma informed programs for peaceful social cohesion to her community by creating safe spaces and offering psychosocial support to victims of violence. Being an individual who values inclusivity she has pioneered Nivishe in offering Mental Health services through sign languages which since its commencement has managed to serve 200 individuals with hearing Aid challenges. To have a holistic approach in her field she is also a 2020 IPHRD  (International Peace and Human Rights Development) Africa Fellow as a young woman Mediator Ambassador. She is the also the only Kenyan chosen among 10 participants globally to participate in the 2021 Orygen Global fellowship for young Mental Health Advocates.

Additionally She is the board member of SIASA PLACE that deals with issue of youth and Governance as well as Board of trustees of YWLI-Yong women Leadership Institute and a Board of Director at RHIZE which focuses on building a world of connected, growing and impactful nonviolent grassroots movements that transform societies through developing systems of liberation that promote peace, inclusion, justice and people-powered democratic societies globally. She is also the youngest global board of director at Restless development as well as a board of director for Amrell international School. Amisa is a Public Policy Enthusiast as she aims in creating more changes in her space using Policies hence a fellow for the Future Africa program. Amisa is also a Final year student pursuing Masters in Public Policy and management at Strathmore University.

Luciana Rossi Barrancos

Luciana Rossi Barrancos

General Executive Manager, Instituto Cactus

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Luciana Rossi Barrancos

General Executive Manager, Instituto Cactus

Luciana Barrancos is the General Manager of Instituto Cactus, a philanthropic, nonprofit organization that works independently to broaden the debate and care for the prevention of illnesses and the promotion of mental health in Brazil. Luciana holds bachelors’ degrees in Business Administration and Law from Fundação Getulio Vargas, and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Shantha Rau Barriga

Shantha Rau Barriga

Director, Disability Rights Division, HRW

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Shantha Rau Barriga

Director, Disability Rights Division, HRW

Shantha Rau Barriga is the founding director of the disability rights division at Human Rights Watch and oversees research and advocacy on the rights of people with disabilities and older people. Her areas of expertise include: education, gender-based violence, access to justice, abuses in detention and inclusion in humanitarian response. She also serves as the lead on strategy development, supporting regional and thematic teams on strategic planning. Shantha has authored numerous reports, essays and commentaries, and has extensive media experience. Her talk on how to end stigma against people with disabilities is featured on TED.

Shantha is a founding member of the International Network of Women with Disabilities and served on the UNICEF Advisory Board for the 2013 State of the World’s Children report.

Before joining Human Rights Watch, Shantha participated in the UN negotiations toward the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She received degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and the University of Michigan and was a Fulbright Scholar to Austria. She speaks fluent German and Kannada (Indian dialect) and is married with two sons.

Taban Shoresh

Taban Shoresh

Founder and CEO, Lotus Flower

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Taban Shoresh

Founder of The Lotus Flower

Taban Shoresh survived child genocide in Kurdistan under Saddam Hussein experiencing imprisonment at the age of four as well as narrowly escaping being buried alive with her family. In 2014 Taban returned to Kurdistan for 15 months to help during the humanitarian crises this time under the oppression of ISIS. The Lotus Flower was founded in March of 2016 in response to the struggles of women and girls she witnessed during her time in Kurdistan.

Drawing on her personal and professional experience to start a journey of supporting women and girls impacted by conflict and displacement. Taban is passionate about women’s rights supporting survivors of genocide and peacebuilding. The Lotus Flower has implemented projects focused on helping women and girls rebuild their lives. Supporting survivors of conflict and displacement through various projects focused on education skills training peacebuilding initiatives for women as well as income-generating projects.

Charlene Sunkel

Charlene Sunkel

Founder/ CEO- Global Mental Health Peer Network

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Charlene Sunkel

Founder/ CEO- Global Mental Health Peer Network

Ms Charlene Sunkel is the Founder/ CEO of the Global Mental Health Peer Network (www.gmhpn.org), an international lived experience organisation that focuses on empowerment, leadership and advocacy, with its Global Office based in South Africa. Her career as a global mental health and human rights advocate emerged from her own lived experience of schizophrenia and her determination to create a world where all people with mental health conditions are able to thrive, not just survive. She has published internationally on issues related to mental health and human rights, stigma and the needs of people with mental health conditions in low- and middle-income countries. Ms Sunkel has been involved in provided lived experience expertise and technical assistance to national and international mental health related policies, reports and documents. She serves on a number of international boards and committees, and received a number of national and international awards for her work, including the latest Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health.

Ruth Szabo

Ruth Szabo

Chairwoman, Giving Women

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Ruth Szabo

Chairwoman, Giving Women

Ruth Szabo has been working with international not-for-profit organisations, including the United Nations and the World Health Organization, for 16 years.  She is a lawyer currently working as an independent consultant advising on governance and human resources issues. She has been involved in a number of charitable initiatives, including with a Children’s Foundation in the Philippines.

Ruth joined Giving Women in 2011 and is coordinator of the Veerni Project Circle. She has also participated in other project circles and Giving Women events. Ruth holds a Bachelors degree in Law from the University of Southampton and a Masters in International Law from University College London (United Kingdom). Ruth was born in Iraq and grew up in London. She has also lived in Paris, New York and in Switzerland.

Pieter Ventevogel

Pieter Ventevogel

Snr Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Officer, UNHCR

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Pieter Ventevogel

Snr Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Officer, UNHCR

Peter Ventevogel, M.D., Ph.D., is a psychiatrist and a medical anthropologist. He serves as Senior Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Officer with UNHCR, the refugee agency of the United Nations in Geneva. In this role he supports UNHCR country operations with technical guidance around mental health and psychosocial support for refugees and other displaced populations. See more info here

Inka Weissebecker

Inka Weissebecker

Mental Health Technical Officer at World Health Organization

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Inka Weissebecker

Technical Officer in the WHO Department of Mental Health

Dr. Inka Weissbecker is a Technical Officer in the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Geneva. In this role, she is co-leading the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Minimum Service Package (MHPSS MSP) project. She has over ten years of experience working in over 15 conflict and crisis affected countries and supporting assessment, program design, project implementation, and evaluation of mental health and psychosocial support programs (e.g., in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Jordan, South Sudan, Japan, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Ukraine). Her academic credentials include a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Louisville and University of South Florida as well as an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. 

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Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.

- Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

Philanthropy is the love of humanity