WPA shares "Global Perspectives on Mental Health in a COVID-19 World" at 2020 WISH Summit

Updated: Dec 18, 2020

The World Psychiatric Association (WPA) organised a virtual session at the 2020 World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) held in Qatar from 15-19 November 2020. This special session was a key part of the virtual conference on the theme of “one world, one health”.


Titled “Global Perspectives: Mental Health in a COVID-19 World”, the session attracted a large audience of participants from around the globe. While discussing impacts of the current pandemic and disasters on global mental health, the session highlighted that there is no health without mental health. Throughout the session, the speakers emphasised the need for innovation, networking and basic training - as well as better models of care using simple but effective paradigms - if countries are to provide better mental health services, especially in the current and post COVID-19 world.



WPA President, Dr Afzal Javed, was the moderator of the session with H.E Mohammad Sarwar, Governor Punjab, Pakistan, Dr Fahmy Hanna, Co-Chair of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies. Dr Hanna is WHO HQ focal point for MHPSS and COVID-19 & Prof. Muhammad Waqar Azeem, Chair of Psychiatry at Sidra Medicine and Weill Cornell Medicine Qatar as speakers.


This WPA session was just one in a broad conference program that provided state of art information, lectures, workshops and educational events highlighting a number of areas in health, education & social care.


WISH 2020, a biennial event, was the fifth edition of the summit series, which was held virtually this year. WISH is a global healthcare community dedicated to capturing and disseminating the best evidence-based ideas and practices and has regularly organized similar summit conferences.

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser

Her Highness (HH) Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, through this great initiative, has played a key role in supporting various programmes at the WISH Summits. HH Sheikha Moza is a major contributor to education, health and social reforms in her country and is also active on the international stage, spearheading projects to promote peace and human development throughout the world. She serves as Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), a private non-profit organisation founded in 1995. It was also through the vision of Her Highness that the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) was created. She aspired to create a forum that dealt with communicating innovative solutions to solve international health challenges. Due to her ongoing commitment and passion for healthcare and innovation, QF is positioned as a leading proponent of WISH.


Sultana N. Afdhal

Sultana N. Afdhal in her role as the Chief Executive Officer of WISH has put significant effort into the creation and implementation of innovative learning programs for WISH. She has been instrumental in creating fruitful new partnerships with a diverse range of organizations that have an interest in the health and wellbeing of societies. This includes the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Carter Center, an organization founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter to improve global health and to promote peace.



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The WPA is the global association representing 145 psychiatric societies in 121 countries, and bringing together more than 250,000 psychiatrists.  It promotes collaborative work in psychiatry through its 70+ scientific sections, education programs, publications and events. 
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