WUN: Mental health initiative launched
Dr. John Bell of UAlberta presents the Mental Health Initiative at the Opening Plenary of the WUN AGM.
The Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Public Health Global Challenge Steering Group (PHGC) launched the Mental Health Initiative via an online workshop on 12 May. Drawing some 70 participants from across the network, the workshop fostered dialogues and encouraged collaborations around the mental health challenges brought on by events and crises of the era, including COVID-19 and climate change. While these challenges are global, they take on unique cultural and local characteristics, such as the effects on diverse vulnerable populations and indigenous peoples. It is therefore vital to approach these problems from a network perspective by leveraging the complementary expertise and resources of the members. The participants were particularly interested in the mental health of vulnerable population, particularly children, as well as issues that impact people in vulnerable situations, such as migration, poverty, and climate change.
WUN is an exclusive network of 26 research universities across six continents. It fosters research in four key areas known as the Global Challenges, including Public Health. Prof. David Olson of the University of Alberta (UAlberta) and Prof. Roger Chung of CUHK serve as Chair and Vice Chair of PHGC, respectively. Together with UAlberta, the Office of Academic Links has been supporting the group in developing collaborative initiatives over the past two years. At the recent WUN Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lausanne, a report on the initiative was made.
Prof. Sylvia He’s presentation on her low-carbon transport project draws much interest.
Also presenting at the WUN AGM was Prof. Sylvia He of the Department of Geography and Resource Management at CUHK who shared her WUN Research Development Fund project on low-carbon transport and made recommendations for policymakers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change.
The AGM this year was the first in-person event of WUN since 2019. It attracted 75 participants from 21 member universities and nine external organisations, plus many more who joined the 3-day event virtually.