A team of global mental health experts has been convened by the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) to prepare a special report on anxiety and depression that will be presented at WISH 2018, to be held in Doha on November 13th-14th.
News of the report was revealed at a WISH event held at the University of Oxford’s Harris Manchester College on Friday, April 6th, by Paul Farmer, Chair of the WISH Anxiety and Depression Research Group. Farmer, who is CEO of Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity, and who last year co-authored the UK government’s extensive report into mental health in the workplace, was guest speaker at an event that gathered representatives of several organizations that support people facing mental health issues.
Among the invited guests were Sir Graham Thornicroft, Professor of Community Psychiatry at King’s College London, Mr Hutan Ashrafian, Chief Scientific Advisor to Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, Executive Chair of WISH, alongside representatives of charities and support groups, including Mind, the Samaritans, Restore and the Oxford Mental Health Network. Student and academic representatives of a number of University of Oxford colleges also took part in the discussions held throughout the evening event, as did representatives from WISH, led by CEO Sultana Afdhal.
Speaking at the event, Paul Farmer said: “I’m extremely pleased that WISH has identified anxiety and depression as an issue that needs exploring. In our report, we’re going to look to clearly define the terms anxiety and depression, investigate the scale of the issue, and then look at what can we do to prevent anxiety and depression taking hold.
“Finally we’re going to look at how innovation can give us some clues about the approaches that individual countries can take when they’re building a policy approach to tackling anxiety and depression.”
Sultana Afdhal, CEO of WISH, said: “At WISH we seek to engage with people who share our commitment to building a healthier world through global collaboration and from time to time we take the opportunity to hold events that give us the chance to engage with new groups of people outside Qatar. I’m pleased that our first ever Oxford event was so well supported; those attending clearly shared a genuine interest in the topic being highlighted.
“During his highly engaging talk, Paul Farmer shared a number of valuable insights that come as the result of having had a long and successful career supporting people facing mental health challenges. I am delighted that he agreed to lead our anxiety and depression research group and I look forward to reading the final report that the group will be producing ahead of our November summit. In particular, I’ll be keen to read the recommendations the group make regarding how to positively affect policy around this important healthcare issue.”
WISH is an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. Two further WISH events will take place in Oxford over the coming weeks.
On Saturday, April 14th at Harris Manchester College, Dr Mohammed Bin Ghanim Al-Ali Al Maadeed, Chairman of Qatar Red Crescent, and Dr Mukesh Kapila, Professor of Global Health and Humanitarian Affairs at the University of Manchester, will explore the many challenges faced by communities and healthcare practitioners in conflict zones around the world.
On Monday, April 16th, Dr Mohammed Ghaly from the Research Centre for Islamic Legislature and Ethics will present a public lecture on Islamic ethics and palliative care at the Investcorp Lecture Theatre, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford.