Voices from the field
Sir Mark Lowcock: ‘Too often we overlook our state of mind’
One of the honoured guests at the international MHPSS conference on 7-8 October in Amsterdam was Sir Mark Lowcock, the world’s chief humanitarian advocate.
Sir Mark Lowcock is United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). He is also the global Emergency Relief Coordinator. His leadership of a large and complex public organization has provided critical experience for his work as the world’s chief humanitarian advocate.
In his address to the conference attendees, Mr. Lowcock set out from the personal stories of people he meets everywhere he goes. He stressed the enormous importance of, and need for, mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in emergency situations all over the world. ‘Too often we overlook one of the most important aspects of what helps us as humans to survive. And that is our state of mind. […] [A]ll of us in our organizations must ensure that we do not ignore this silent crisis, because we know it can have devastating impacts […] for entire communities and countries for generations.’
Read Mr Lowcock’s address, and watch him being interviewed during the conference.