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Charlene Sunkel

Keynote Speaker
South Africa

Ms Sunkel is the Founder and CEO of the Global Mental Health Peer Network. She is a global voice for the rights of people with lived experiences of mental health conditions. She’s been working in the field of mental health, advocacy and human rights since 2003. She has published widely on issues related to mental health and human rights, stigma and the needs of people with mental illness in low-and middle-income countries. Ms Sunkel had been involved in several Lancet Commissions and currently co-leading (with Prof Sir Graham Thornicroft) the Lancet Commission on Stigma and Discrimination in Mental Health. Ms Sunkel had been involved in the review and drafting of various policies and legislation in South Africa and provided technical assistance to national and international mental health related documents. She serves on a number of international boards and committees, and previously been on the South African Presidential Working Group on Disability and Ministerial Advisory Committee on Mental Health. Ms Sunkel is the former Principal Coordinator for the Movement for Global Mental Health. She is a faculty member of the Indian Law College. She received a number of national and international awards for her work, with the latest being the Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health.