Press release – Be-cause health International Conference Mental Health Voices from Africa

Press release – Be-cause health – 09 June 2021 – for immediate publication (aussi disponible en français, ook beschikbaar in het Nederlands)

Mental Health Voices from Africa

An international conference on mental health and psychosocial support needs and practices in Francophone Africa.

On 14 and 15 June 2021, the Working Group on Mental health from Be-cause health will organise a virtual international conference “Mental Health voices from Africa” on the practices and the challenges faced in the Francophone countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.

During two half days, people involved in the field of mental health, user associations and people responsible for the organization of health care in sub-Saharan African countries will make contributions in different sessions.

With this conference, the Mental Health Working Group Be-cause health wants to create a space in which people working in this field of intervention can exchange their experiences and reflect on common issues. As a result, the conference will not be a series of purely scientific presentations, but rather a collection of fascinating field experiences.

The organization of the virtual conference creates an unique opportunity to bring people from different countries together around this theme. Participating countries include Benin, Burundi, Guinea, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Rwanda and Chad. Concrete rather than conceptual presentations, knowledge and experience exchanges and roundtable discussions will emphasise the practices that the stakeholders themselves carry out and experience in the field.

Clinical practices, but also the organization of care and preventive activities, as close as possible to the communities involved, are on the table. Each presentation will give rise to discussions on the challenges and lessons to be learned. It is not only about the therapeutic effectiveness of the interventions carried out, but also about the way in which policies are designed and the involvement of users in care and the exercise of their rights, or the decentralization of mental health care embedded in the local community.

Her Majesty the Queen of the Belgians will open the conference. In addition to her role as UN ambassador for Sustainable Development Goals, the Queen is devoting great attention to the issue of mental health and psychosocial support needs and practices.

Be-cause health has been created in 2004 as an informal and pluralistic platform. Be-cause health connects institutional and individual members from the following categories: Belgian academic institutes, services, schools for public health, Belgian medical (and related) development organisations, NGOs and study bureaus and government services involved in medical development cooperation and international healthcare, organisations and associations for whom development cooperation is not necessarily a priority, but whose mandates overlap with international healthcare and partner organisations in the South.


Magalie Schotte –

Note to the editors:

This is a joint press release from Be-cause health and the members of the Mental Health Working Group. For more information, please contact Magalie Schotte, coordinator of Be-cause health at