Advancing Global Mental Health through Local Initiatives (Middlesex Unit Event)

Wednesday, 19 May 2021 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM EDT

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Wednesday, 19 May 2021 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM EDT


This event is hosted by the Middlesex County Unit.

New to a Unit event? NASW-NJ has 12 volunteer-led, county-based Units that hold regional events around the state of New Jersey for members in that area. (However due to the public health emergency, Unit events will be held virtually until further notice!) These events are planned and coordinated by an appointed volunteer Chair and Co-Chair, as well as a Regional Representative from NASW-NJ’s Board of Directors. The Middlesex Unit Chairs are Tina Maschi ( and Vimmi Kaumil (, and the Central Regional Representative is Caelin McCallum, MSW (

Unit events are a fun, informative way to grow your network near your home or workplace. These events are one of the many benefits of NASW-NJ membership, but we do invite all mental health professional to join us at this meeting. Learn more about our Units here.

 Topic:Advancing  Global Mental Health through Local Initiatives

 Speaker: Dr. Rebecca Davis

Event Description:  The theme for the 2021 Mental Health Awareness Month celebrated in May is “You are not alone,” with a focus on healing through connection in safe ways (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2021). The theme for World Mental Health Day celebrated on October 10, 2021 is “Mental Health in an unequal world.” These parallel themes recognize the importance of equal connection and access to community supports and treatment, while addressing stigma, structural discrimination, and the lack of public and private investment in research and culturally relevant treatment approaches. In recent years, there has been increasing acknowledgement of the important role mental health plays in achieving global development goals, as illustrated by the inclusion of mental health in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (World Health Organization [WHO], 2021a). Depression is one of the leading causes of disability. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. People with severe mental health conditions die prematurely – as much as two decades early – due to preventable physical conditions (WHO, 2021b). The evidence shows that in low- and middle-income (LMIC) countries, 75%-95% of people with a mental or substance use disorder have access to treatment services, while access in high income countries is not much better (World Federation of Mental Health, 2021).

This presentation will highlight the parallel themes related to the treatment gap including racial inequities, shortage of trained mental health professional, high utilization of institutions over family and community-based treatment and prevention approaches, with special focus on how current practices specifically impact women and children (UN Women, 2019). Also key is the link between poverty, violence (Wainberg et al., 2017), and mental health risks with women and children who experience higher levels of stress and trauma, which has also been heightened during the COVID pandemic (Thibaut & van Wijngaarden-Cremers, 2020).  Evidence-based practices including treatment engagement of family, careers, reducing stigma, and strengthening the health and social service workforce using innovative and contextualized trauma-informed psychosocial support practices with a special emphasis on front-line social workers will be highlighted.





Cancellation policy

Please let us know if you cannot attend.


Unit Leaders - Tina Maschi ( and Vimmi Kaumil (

Contact the Organizer

Dr. Rebecca Davis
LCSW, Professor at Rutgers , School of Social Work

Dr. Davis's practice interests include case management practice globally, global social work education, child protection system strengthening in low and middle income countries, strengthening the link between global social work and social work with immigrants and refugees within the US, and online social work education. Dr. Davis's research interests include qualitative case study methods applied to the study of child welfare practice and systems, gender-based violence and equality in Sub Saharan Africa, and global social work education outcomes.

About Dr. Rebecca Davis

LCSW, Professor at Rutgers , School of Social Work