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SG/SM/20883

Peacebuilding, Mental Health, Psychosocial Support Deeply Interconnected, Secretary-General Says in Message to High-Level Event

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message to the high‑level event on mental health interventions for peacebuilding in conflict and humanitarian settings, held today:

Vulnerability and mental health problems are part of our collective human experience and should be treated as seriously as physical health issues, including during a global pandemic.

Peacebuilding, mental health and psychosocial support are deeply interconnected.  People who have suffered losses, attacks, family separations and gender-based violence carry grievances and wounds that can perpetuate repetition and cycles of violence.  Mental health and psychosocial support must be seen as integral, cross-cutting components in all our humanitarian, peacebuilding and development programmes.

I therefore welcome today’s high-level event, which includes examples of promising initiatives to support mental health and psychosocial well-being, from north-east Nigeria to the Philippines, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

I commend the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Reference Group for developing a wide range of resources during the pandemic, some of which have been translated into more than 140 languages.

And I encourage donors, Governments and humanitarian agencies to scale up their investments in mental health and psychosocial support as a vital component in supporting peaceful, resilient and inclusive communities and societies.

For information media. Not an official record.