Tackling Stigma, Mobilizing Hope


Our leadership team has had to make the very difficult decision to cancel the conference as a preventive measure to reduce risk related to the COVID-19 virus. We’re extremely disappointed that we won’t be able to hold this important event this year. We are considering rescheduling the conference in 2021.

Dear Colleagues,

It is our pleasure to invite you to an international conference co-sponsored by the World Dignity Project, University of San Diego, and University of California San Diego, which will take place in San Diego, California USA from Thursday 11th June to Saturday 13th June 2020.

The conference is entitled ‘Tackling Stigma, Mobilizing Hope: Opening Doors to Quality Mental Health Care for All.’

The World Dignity Project has a mission to advocate for mental health and well-being for all, with equality of treatment and dignity in experience as a basic human right.

We aim to mobilize the public to ensure dignity in mental health is a reality by improving mental health and health literacy, changing the public mindset about mental health, encouraging people to talk about mental health and providing hope for people with mental illness.

Why San Diego?

The eighth-largest city in the United States, San Diego has a culturally diverse population, the nation's largest military community, and is home to the busiest land border crossing in the world, through which approximately 70,000 cars and 20,000 pedestrians travel each day.  The diversity of the population includes refugees and asylum seekers from around the world who are commonly coping with trauma and have limited access to mental health services.  San Diego is an ideal location to discuss equality, dignity, and hope.

Tackling stigma, mobilizing hope. Opening doors to quality mental health care for all. June 11 through June 15 2020. University of San Diego. 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110. Featuring Vikram Patel, James Griffith, Celia Jaes Falicov. Brandon Kohrt, and Dristy Gurung. Co-sponsored by University of San Diego and World Dignity Project.

Why Mental Health Stigma Matters 

The United Nations has reaffirmed the right of every human to pursue the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health without distinction to race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition, and to all resources that support well-being. 

Mental health stigma and discrimination continue to be a barrier to good health for many people with mental health conditions who do not have access to effective, evidence-based health care. Public attitudes toward people with mental health conditions are often negative. This affects how people engage with health care services and contributes to poor outcomes resulting from poor engagement with physical and mental health care interventions, delayed physical and mental health diagnosis and poor ongoing engagement with longer term treatment interventions.

This congress builds on the success of the 2015 International Congress in Lille ‘Mental Health for All – Connecting People and Sharing Experience’ and the 2018 International Congress in Malta ‘Universal Health and Mental Health For All – Connecting People and Sharing Perspectives’. It will bring together stakeholders with an interest in health, mental health, wellbeing and social care.

We look forward to welcoming you to San Diego!

Yours sincerely,

Photo of Gabriel Ivbijaro. Professor Gabriel Ivbijaro MBBS MMedSci MA PhD

Conference Co-Chair

President The World Dignity Project

Photo of Todd Edwards. Professor Todd Edwards PhD LMFT

Conference Co-Chair

Marital & Family Therapy Program University of San Diego

Professor Douglas Ziedonis Professor Douglas Ziedonis MD MPH

Conference Co-Chair

Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Department of Psychiatry

University of California San Diego