Kathleen M. Pike, PhD

From ArpaNET to InterNET to WHO Global Clinical Practice NETwork

In the beginning, it was called Arpanet, it was funded by the United States military and it connected 4 university research lab computers. It was a very big deal. Such was the Internet of 1969. It was history in the making, and it went further and faster than anyone at the time could have imagined. Today, I am thrilled to share with you the launch of the World Health Organization Global Clinical Practice Network –GCP.Network – advancing mental health further and faster than we could have ever imagined previously.

Join me in celebrating the launch of the GCP.Network!

1. WHY? Mental illness is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Mental health is the strongest predictor of well-being. WHO’s mission is to promote the highest possible level of mental health for all people. GCP.Network answers WHO’s call to action to realize this goal and reduce the burden of mental and behavioral disorders around the world.

GCP.Network brings together global standards and local expertise in training, research and clinical care. Our Network is a meeting place for professionals from around the world with the ultimate mission of improving mental health care and services at the local level, which translates into a healthier population globally.

2. WHO? Like mental illness itself, the GCP.Network is not limited to just one kind of person or discipline. We are 12,713 mental health professionals from 151 countries – and growing every day! We are psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, mental health counselors and other clinicians – all of whom are connected by the passion and commitment to improve understanding of mental illness and expand mental health services to the many millions of people around the world in need.

3. WHAT? Like never before, the GCP.Network makes it possible to conduct research and share best practices in real time – crossing cultural, language, disciplinary and geographic barriers. GCP.Network links clinicians on the ground and around the globe, working to improve mental health systems and services. A central mission of the GCP.Network is to contribute to the research that is informing the new global diagnostic system of mental disorders that is part of the WHO International Classification of Diseases.

4. WHEN? Now is the time to join if you are a clinician; 2017 will be a year of ongoing research and training to finalize the proposed ICD-11 guidelines for mental and behavioral disorders; 2018 is when the ICD-11 will go to the World Health Assembly for final approval; 2019 will be the year we reach 33,333 clinicians at our current rate of growth. Based on the average number of patients our clinicians see daily, this means that our GCP.Network members will touch and care for a million individuals with mental illness per day.

5. WHERE? GCP.Network members are from 151 countries, and our goal is to have members from all 194 WHO member nations by 2017. GCP.Network operates in eight languages; 69% of GCP.Network members work in a language other than English; and 38% of GCP.Network members work in low- and middle-income countries.

Learn more: GCP.Network

Kathleen M. Pike, PhD

Kathleen M. Pike, PhD

Kathleen M. Pike, PhD is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Global Mental Health WHO Collaborating Centre at Columbia University.

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