Message from the President

WFMH President Ahmed El Azayem

Happy new century, happy new year to you all. In these days the century is born with new hope after the end of a century full of ambivalence. A century that saw the worst crimes against humanity and the rise of the human rights movement. A century that saw the start of a conflict resolution movement and suddenly moved away from it. A century that fragmented some countries because of war, reunited them, and then saw other established countries start to fragment. A century that showed a change towards democracy, and the rise of ethnic cleansing parallel to it.

World mental health should be high on the agenda. It has won support and has been recognized by the international community as essential.

No Health Without Mental Health.

This idea has become the flag we are presenting to health authorities all over the world. Look at the wide range of our World Mental Health Day campaigns – childrens mental health, womens mental health, human rights, ageing. Other major activities have included the two conferences sponsored by the WFMH International Committee of Women Leaders, the work of the NGO Committee at UN Headquarters in New York, the Joint Program for Conflict Resolution, the activities of the Committee on Refugees and Other Migrants, and the work of the Committee on the Combat of Substance Abuse. I would particularly like to mention the development of our first regional body for the primary prevention of substance abuse in the Arab world through the efforts of WFMH Past President Gamal Abou El Azayem, who died early in December (peace be upon his soul).

There have been major improvements in the development of WFMH Regional Councils in Africa, Europe, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean and South America. The Eastern Mediterranean Council has also made an impressive contribution to the overall functioning of the Federation. The Internet web sites are developing quickly, especially for users/survivors. The new century needs more communication from all of us to support global outreach. The Federations mental health consortium project (the Consortium Center for Mental Health in Maastricht, The Netherlands) can be a driver for such an effort.

With the new century we must remember millions living in undeserved poverty, neglected or abused. We should not forget the mental health needs of those living in war zones like Chechnya and the suffering of displaced persons all over the world.

We can all pray in our different ways for a new peaceful century that can fulfill our dreams for a better future for ourselves, our children and the generation after them. Let us all work hand in hand for better world mental health.

Happy New Century.

Ahmed El Azayem's Signature

Ahmed El Azayem

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