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Side Event in the UN CoSP 12

New York | June 11, 2019

9:45AM – 11:00AM CR- 12

Community-based Mental Health Services 

Ensuring access to community based mental health services for people with
psychosocial disabilities –
International standards and Innovative practices

General information and objectives:

In accordance with the CoSP 12 sub-theme of ‘Social inclusion and the right to the highest attainable standard of health,’ Enosh, The Israel Mental Health Association, together with the World Health Organization, the Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN, The Permanent Mission of India to the UN, Essl Foundation (Zero Project), the International Psychoanalytical Association and the International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation and the NGO Committee on Mental Health, will host this side event which will focus on international and regional efforts to promote community-based mental health services for people with psychosocial disabilities in accordance with the goals of the CRPD and specifically in line with article 25 to the CRPD on the right to highest standard of health.  


This event aims to bring together expert perspectives from the International level (WHO Quality Rights Initiative) and policymakers, governments, NGO’s promoting mental health services and people with disabilities whose lives have improved because of having access to these services.

Panelists will provide a comprehensive set of innovative approaches, tested good practices and policy guidance around community mental health service. They will discuss their successes as well as the challenges they face in providing quality services around the world. Examples will be provided by India, Israel, theUS, and other countries. We will begin with the global perspective of the WHOand Zero Project. We will hear from “users” who have benefitted from access to mental health services. And we will present throughout different examples of successful and innovative practices to promote better services for PWD with psychosocial disabilities around the world. 


Overview of key issues discussed:

  • Mental disorders are among the leading causes of all ill health and disability worldwide. 1in 4 people in the world are affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in time or in their life. Around 450 million people suffer from such conditions. Nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder will seek health from a health professional. We need to break this culture of silence in order to fulfill the promise of leaving no one behind.

  • There is no health without mental health. Mental health, therefore, must be a high priority given the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 3 on health and well-being and the U.N. General Assembly resolution on Universal Health Care Coverage.

  • The theme of access to mental health services has been a neglected treaty obligation, partly because of the history of abuse and forced institutionalization and medication, which overshadowed some of the good practices that are out there. In that respect, this side event is a significant milestone.

  • From an international perspective, The WHO is reforming mental health services and promoting the human rights of people with psychosocial disabilities around the world. Its objectives include: Improve quality of care and human rights in mental health services; Create community based and recovery-oriented services that respect and promote human rights; Promote human rights, recovery, and independent living in the community; Develop a movement of people with mental disabilities to provide mutual support, conduct advocacy and ‎influence policy-making processes and Reform national policies and legislation.‎ QR includes research, tools, guidelines, and E-training for governments, people with disabilities, and professionals in the mental health field.

  • Zero Project, which aims to promote a world without barriers for people with disabilities, is integrating psychosocial disabilities into its program curriculum. The presentation included examples of best practices from around the globe who awarded the zero project award (from Sweden, Colombia, Romania, and Israel) focusing on psychosocial disability.

  • Enosh presented its multi-sectoral model of work in Israel which address the WHO approach and focus on personal change based on supported decision making, recovery model approach. Work with the person in the community lead to changes in different contexts for such as family, community, and policy.

  • The Mental Health Action Trust India showed the shift in paradigm from the medical model to a more community-based model in a low and middle-income country with smaller numbers of professionals. A practice based on volunteers and technology (video calls) for monitoring mental health in rural areas was presented and showed significant results in promoting mental health care.

  • There is a significant strength in the personal success stories and testimonies to reduce stigma and promote the need for recovery and community-based services.

  • Examples were given for the importance of early intervention and addressing trauma in services in the community in the early stages.

  • Panelists emphasized the need for trauma-informed mental health approach and services. Over 70 percent of people with disabilities reported that they had been victims of abuse. More than 63 percent of family members said their loved one with a disability had been an abuse victim. Trauma-informed care embraces a perspective that highlights adaptation over symptoms and resilience over pathology.

Q&A session – provided insights of the audience on different aspects of the subject such as implementation in developed countries like Kenya; Global campaigns for mental health; Trauma-informed services; Paradigm shift in mental health services and suggestion for new approach; The intersection between different disabilities and mental health; Addressing mental health in the education and higher education systems and more

*The event is open to participants of the COSP 12, and persons who hold a UN pass. RSVP is not required.

Statement by Enosh the Israeli Mental Health Association during the 12th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD June 13, 2019, General DebateDelivered by Dr. Hilla Hadas, CEO

Speakers Bio:

Ms Sally Ross Bihari
Ms Sally Ross Bihari Director professional excellence, Enosh – The Israeli Mental Health Association
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Sally Ross Bihari, Director, professional excellence, Enosh – The Israeli Mental Health Association. Sally (MSW) is a professional mental health specialist with twenty-five years of experience in rehabilitation and recovery processes. In the past decade, Sally leads professional developments for mental health recovery teams. Sally responsible for professional development, supervision, and professional evaluation processes. She teaches groups facilitation at Haifa University and currently studying family therapy.
Mr. Thomas Butcher
Mr. Thomas ButcherUS Representative of the Zero Project
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Thoma Butcher has worked with the Zero Project since its very early days. Based in New York as US Representative of the Zero Project, Tom has, amongst other things, helped extend its reach internationally. Originally from England, Tom has spent much of his career working in the world of banking, investment, and finance, the last 27 of them in New York City.
Dr. Manoj Kumar
Dr. Manoj KumarClinical Director and a person with lived experience, Mental Health Action Trust India
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MHAT aims to demonstrate that comprehensive psychosocial care can be provided in resource-scarce settings by linking up with local partners in training volunteers and others in mental health care. MHAT provides long term care for more than 4000 economically backward patients in the community through 56 centres, developing in the process a unique model of delivery of comprehensive community psychiatric care. Dr Manoj Kumar’s worked for about 15 years in the UK before returning to India in 2008. He was selected for the “Volunteer Psychiatrist of the Year 2014” award by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (FRCPsych) in 2015. He was selected as an Ashoka Fellow in 2017 and thus joined the world's largest and most influential network of social entrepreneurs in recognition of his decade of visionary work in establishing the MHAT model and expanding its impact.
Ms. Noa Hagiladi
Ms. Noa HagiladiAn artist, coping with bipolar disorder, participants of Enosh community-based MH services in Israel
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born in 1978, Israel, and graduate of Bezalel art academy in Jeruslaem Noa is a multidisciplinary artist and a mental health activist, Coping with bipolar disorder for 12 years. In her art, Noa creates a dialog between her inner fracture and the geological one. Noa is Using photography, drawing and glass as a medium in her art. While Giving lectures about her journey with her bipolar disorder, Noa spreads hope, brings awareness and brakes stigmas concerning people who cope with psychosocial disability.
Adv. Liron David
Adv. Liron DavidDirector of international relations, Enosh - The Israeli Mental ‎Health Association ‎
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Liron David is an Israeli lawyer and social worker. She serves as the director of international relations & development in Enosh – The Israeli Mental Health Association. Previously Liron served as legal advisor to Enosh, where she established the policy advocacy and legislation department to promote the rights of people with psychosocial disabilities in Israel. Liron has served in the Israeli supreme court and the Israeli ministry of justice previous to her roles in Enosh. She holds a master’s degree in human rights law and is active in legal writing on access to social rights in Israel and her writing publishes in several legal journals in Israel.
Mr. Joshua Goldstein
Mr. Joshua GoldsteinGlobal Disability and Development Consultant, Retired Vice President for Disability Inclusion and Economic Citizenship, ACCION International, and a PTSD survivor
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Mr. Goldstein was part of the team that founded the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion in 2009. He was Vice President for the Center's "Financial Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities" Program till 2016. He served as the Center’s global advocate for disability inclusion around the world. Since 2015, he has focused on providing access to services for persons with psycho-social disabilities. Meeting their needs has been neglected under the CRPD. It is imperative that this changes!
Werner Obermeyer
Werner ObermeyerDeputy Executive Director of the World Health Organization (WHO)
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Werner Obermeyer is the Deputy Executive Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) office at UN Headquarters in New York. His portfolio includes the promotion of health in the General Assembly and other inter-governmental processes, the WHO’s relations with the UN system entities based in New York, as well as non-governmental organizations that focus on public health issues. He was responsible for the negotiations which culminated in adoption of the 2011, 2014 and 2018 Political Declarations on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases, the 2016 Political Declaration on Anti-Microbial Resistance and the 2018 Political Declaration on Tuberculosis. Currently he is managing preparations in New York for the 2019 high level meeting on Universal Health Coverage. He oversees initiatives of the office related to the SDGs, global health and foreign policy, universal health coverage, heath security and social protection, road safety, malaria, climate change and health, disabilities, narcotics and drugs, mental health and tobacco control. Prior to joining the World Health Organization he was the representative of the UN Environment Program (UNEP) in New York, responsible for environmental governance, health determinants and sustainable development. Before joining the United Nations he served in the South African Foreign Service, holding various senior diplomatic assignments.
Mr. Michael Baror
Mr. Michael BarorHead of human rights department permanent mission of Israel to the UN
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Michael Baror is a diplomat at the Foreign Service of Israel, serving at Israel’s Permanent Mission to the UN covering Human Rights and Social Affairs as the representative to the 3rd Committee of the General Assembly. Previously serving as Deputy Ambassador of Israel in Kenya, representing and advancing Israel's relationship with Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Seychelles in the fields of trade, development cooperation, culture and more, and Deputy Permanent Representative to UNEP and UN Habitat. Prior to joining the foreign service Michael worked in the field of educational tourism in Jerusalem, as a program manager in the City of David and in other tourism institutions in Jerusalem, and as a lecturer at Megalim – High Institute for Jerusalem Studies. Michael is also a licensed tour guide by the Ministry of Tourism of Israel, and hold a B.Des in Industrial Design from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.
Karen Hopenwasser, M.D.
Karen Hopenwasser, M.D. NGO Committee on Mental Health
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is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical and a psychiatrist in private practice treating adults with complex PTSD and dissociative disorders. Her publications address the neurobiology and neurophysics of dissociative states in the therapeutic process and the development of innovative and integrative techniques for healing from childhood trauma. Along with clinical practice she represents the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation as a member of the Executive Committee of the NGO Committee on Mental Health and is co-convener of the NGO Committee on Mental Health’s Trauma working group. Since 2015 she has been a voluntary faculty member at the Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights, where she participates regularly in psychological evaluations of individuals applying for asylum in the United States.
Vivian B. Pender, M.D
Vivian B. Pender, M.DChair, NGO Committee on mental health, International Psychoanalytical Association
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Vivian B. Pender, M.D. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Weill Cornell Medical College and a Training Psychoanalyst at Columbia University; Chair, the NGO Committee on Mental Health. At the United Nations she represents the International Psychoanalytical Association and the American Psychiatric Association. She serves as a Trustee of the American Psychiatric Association. She has honors and awards for her excellence teaching Medical students, residents and fellows. Until 2011, she chaired the NGO Committee on the Status of Women. She participated in the establishment of UN Women. She is a volunteer Asylum Evaluator for Physicians for Human Rights. In 2015, she founded Healthcare Against Trafficking, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting education and advocacy in the healthcare sector