Expert Group Proposes Action Points on Mental Well-being, Disabilities and Disaster Risk Reduction

  • 2014•12•04     Tokyo

    On 27–28 November a UN Expert Group Meeting on Mental Well-being, Disabilities and Disaster Risk Reduction was held at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. The group comprised 11 invited global experts representing stakeholders including the UN, World Health Organization, academia and NGOs, in close collaboration with UN DESA and the National Institute for Mental Health, Japan.

    The meeting provided a forum for exchange of knowledge and experience relating to norms and standards, institutional arrangements, governance, and practice related to mental well-being after disasters. Special attention was directed to mental well-being as a key indicator of recovery and development after crises — a neglected yet essential issue in achieving internationally-agreed development goals and commitments.

    The meeting served as preparation for a UNU-IIGH facilitated programme at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan in 2015. The invited experts developed new perspectives, knowledge and action points for disaster risk reduction to inform WCDRR. Final meeting recommedations included:

    1. Recognize mental well-being and disability as a priority in DRR;
    2. Include mental well-being to optimize resilience in the Hyogo Framework for Action 2;
    3. Include mental or intellectual disabilities in all disability-inclusive DRR;
    4. Develop global guidelines on mental well-being and disability in DRR; and
    5. Establish a multi-stakeholder focus group on mental well-being and disability in the UN system

    The meeting was followed by the public forum Disasters, Mental Well-being and Disability – Promoting Resilience for All on 28 November 2014.