I have been asked, “What is it like at the meetings?” My initial response is that it is a unique experience that I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to attend. Having been engaged in national and regional UN meetings in sub-Saharan Africa some time ago, I can say that the environment and energy is different here.
The process has been intensive with a pre-registration and selection process for each event, multi-step ticketing pick up while in New York and security check points for any event within UNHQ. The streets are often blocked off for security, while motorcades for heads of state and other officials travel to the meetings. Among the champions of mental health the urgency is clear, there is no chance to achieve the SDG without its inclusion. Inside, and particularly at smaller-scale meetings, high level officials embrace speaking to champions of UHC. Together we hope to overcome the general lack of focus on behavioral health in order to influence and strengthen the inclusion of mental health and behavioral health services in UHC. #GA4UHC