Will Including Health at COP28 Mean Transformation of Global Mental Health Action? And will Mental Health Professionals transform to help achieve it?

Research Note





Mental Health, Climate Change , Global Health, Mental Health Prevention, Decolonize


Introduction: For the first time COP28 have included Public Health in their climate change discussions. Given progress on climate change has many hurdles, from domestic, economic and corporate pressures, it is pertinent to explore what impact this inclusion might have and what specific challenges there might be in relation to global mental health.
Purpose: This positioning paper considers whether the implication of the inclusion of Health at COP28 might bring about transformation in the way Global Mental Health is addressed. It also considers how it might transform how mental health professionals, but also all others involved in working with people with mental health issues, transform mental health. The paper considers challenges to be faced going forward and potential solutions. The author acknowledges they are sharing their position on this subject, but in doing so, hopes to generate wider discussion.
Methodology: As this is a positioning paper, data has been derived from the argument and counter argument within the paper. Therefore, there is a possibility of the risk of bias.
Results: Plans to improve mental health globally have focused on replicating a Western, Global North model. Despite over 10 years of the WHO Mental Health Action Plan, there continues to be a growing mental health pandemic, worsened by Covid-19. Mental ill- health is caused by multiple factors, many are national, regional and even localized. The Western Global North model does not factor this in sufficiently to bring about improvement.
Conclusion: This paper evaluated whether by including ‘Health’ at the recent COP28, it would help transform Global Mental Health. What became clear, after reviewing previous policies and action plans, was that significant change and improvement had not occurred. Policy makers and professionals approach needs to focus on preventing mental ill-health rather than treating after the event. Additionally, decolonisation of policies and professionals education is required to co-create sustainable resilience with people/communities and reduce mental ill-health.


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How to Cite

Illingworth, P. (2024). Will Including Health at COP28 Mean Transformation of Global Mental Health Action? And will Mental Health Professionals transform to help achieve it? Research Note. Mental Health: Global Challenges Journal, 7(1), 50–54. https://doi.org/10.56508/mhgcj.v7i1.187