Celebrate the Enterprise of Youth and Renew our Commitments

October 10th, 2018 – On this World Mental Health Day, I am writing to reflect on all we have achieved together and set the stage for furthering our collaborative efforts in the coming times.

Collectively we conceived citiesRISE in response to several intersecting demographic and social trends. As a culmination of our listening and learning journey across various countries and contexts to build a unifying vision and a collective commitment to practical action, citiesRISEtoday has developed into an exciting new model for effecting change. The initiative focuses on building networks of local and global stakeholder groups, leveraging the most innovative ideas from both public and private sectors, and enabling the scaling and dissemination of effective interventions. In addition, citiesRISE is driven by the conviction that the insight, energy, and creativity of young people can be harnessed to deliver the most impactful solutions to mental health challenges.

The creation of this global platform for collective action was possible only because of unprecedented levels of collaboration between large and small institutions, entrepreneurs and researchers, young leaders and professional experts, and a diverse set of global networks and mental health initiatives. Our bold approach is bringing together implementation at the local level while harmonizing knowledge and data across sites and countries. Several of the world’s most influential funders, advisors, mental health experts, and partner organizations have joined the platform which is a testament to the tremendous contributions from practitioners and experts who joined forces to build this platform.

We are delighted to share that citiesRISE is active in five cities as of date: Chennai, Nairobi, Seattle, Sacramento and Bogotá – and is in discussion with other cities to ensure adaptability across contexts. Together with our youth leaders and global partners, we release the first glimpse of what our collective efforts are creating across these cities.

Please take a minute to watch this video and share it with your networks to celebrate the leadership of young people and the partnership between countries and experts to drive a shared agenda and shape a new paradigm. As well, read in India’s leading newspaper (Times of India) about the work of citiesRISE in Chennai.

Many of you have been instrumental to the shaping of the approach and the operationalization of the platform in India, Kenya, United States and Colombia. Over the last many months, we have been diving directly into the trenches of local dynamics and urban systems across the world. We have found comfort with ambiguity and uncertainty, while maintaining the poise and determination so essential to addressing a challenge as great as mental health.

On this World Mental Health Day which is dedicated to young people and mental health in a changing world, I would like to remind each of us on the commitments we made to transform the state of mental health policy and practice to meet the mental health needs of young people. The vision of citiesRISE is a world in which cities enable young people to grow up, develop resilience, and lead productive lives through mainstreaming mental health across sectors.

On this day we would like to celebrate the enterprise of young people, the partnership across geographies and sectors to support young people and to renew our commitment to drive transformation. Our four-fold strategy:

  • Support local collective action, using innovative and structured approaches to cross-sector collaboration that brings local leaders together under a common operating framework, to reach as many people as possible
  • Harness youth leadership through inclusive structures for young people to drive impact on mental health in their communities and globally
  • Build an accelerator fund to support social entrepreneurs in taking their models to scale with path-to-market strategies, development of new business models, and integration with systems operating at scale for long-term sustainability
  • Create learning collaboratives as a foundational component that drive progress across research and evidence, shared learning and indicators, advocacy and mobilization
Through citiesRISE, we have worked to ensure those who are often left behind and excluded are present in these conversations and that practices commensurate with the challenges we face are being used to drive action across the world. Below are glimpses of this work as it unfolds on the ground.



Nairobi, Kenya

Chennai, India

Seattle, United States


The citiesRISE mission is being realized every day by the influences and insights each of you provide, together with local leadership across communities. You are all helping us bring this effort to life by defining the form it will take. Therefore, your contributions are critical at every step and we value your support.

As ambassadors and contributors to this shared cause, my sincere gratitude for your support and participation in this journey.

Moitreyee Sinha
CEO and Co-Founder, citiesRISE