From the Field

I-CIRCLE joins forces with citiesRISE to mobilize city action in support of young peoples’ mental health

Two leading platforms transforming mental health in cities – I-CIRCLE and citiesRISE – are creating a strategic partnership to develop a global cities alliance that will support a unified vision for the Mental Health Friendly Cities movement. Starting with local collective action in the first five citiesRISE cities of Chennai, Nairobi, Bogota, Sacramento, and Seattle, the Mental Health Friendly Cities (MHFC) movement will scale systemic mental health solutions by leveraging the energy and creativity of youth, the speed and reach of technology, and the power of cross-sectoral collective action.

The International CIties and Urban Regional CoLlaborativE (I-CIRCLE) is a groundbreaking initiative supported by the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL), which involves cities and urban regions within nine countries working together to problem-solve and spread innovations. I-CIRCLE brings together city leaders engaged in promoting and protecting the mental health of the people in their cities and has been a global convening platform for leaders from cities including Philadelphia, New York, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Toronto, London, Bristol, West Midlands England, Glasgow, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Sydney and Christchurch, New Zealand. The city and mental health leaders in these communities share a principle-based public health approach to the mental health of the populations they serve, focusing on fostering recovery, resilience, self-determination and mutual aid.  I-CIRCLE leaders support cities in promoting and protecting their greatest assets – the health, mental health and wellbeing of their residents.

citiesRISE is a global platform that was created to build a shared vision for young people’s mental health across high, low, and middle-income countries. It has built an innovative operational platform to enable multiple stakeholders from across the world to work collaboratively towards shared goals for young people’s mental health through a global network of cities. citiesRISE aims to transform mental health globally in close collaboration with cities by championing the involvement of youth as key stakeholders of this strategy so that it embodies their lived experience, keeps their developmental needs at heart, and engages their vital, innovative force in solutions. The platform has energized and received widespread support from a global network of partners including global philanthropists, youth leaders, and the world’s leading experts and practitioners in mental health.

Fran Silvestri, President and CEO of IIMHL, which launched I-CIRCLE, said: “I-CIRCLE promotes population and public health principles in its collaborative work and helps cities across the globe to incorporate them into their own approach to mental health and well-being, while building a growing network of cities and encouraging more to join our network.  I-CIRCLE’s efforts complement the work of others by supporting city and regional engagement in mental health. We are thrilled that I-CIRCLE is entering a new strategic partnership with citiesRISE to expand on our city efforts by promoting the shared framework that Moitreyee and the citiesRISE team have built collaboratively with youth leaders and partners across sectors from the ground up. We are inspired by their work to pioneer how cities can become Mental Health Friendly Cities for young people, and look forward to continued collaboration.”

Moitreyee Sinha, CEO of citiesRISE commented, “This moment presents an opportunity to shift the paradigm and transform global mental health by uniting action across all sectors and generations for young people. The Mental Health Friendly Cities movement gives cities a clear framework for action that grounds their solutions locally while sharing a collective journey with other cities globally. Fran and I-CIRCLE bring to this movement tremendous experience convening city and mental health leaders from across the world. We hope the collaboration with citiesRISE will amplify those efforts to engage all levels of people in these cities with a unique commitment to young people.”

Together, I-CIRCLE and citiesRISE bring their strengths as global city platforms to the Mental Health Friendly Cities movement. With I-CIRCLE becoming a core partner to the citiesRISE platform, the network of over 20 cities from nine countries which are part of the I-CIRCLE convening platform will bring their insights and assets to build out the Mental Health Friendly Cities framework with the first five cities of the citiesRISE platform. I-CIRCLE and citiesRISE invite other city initiatives and partners to join this pioneering movement and global network towards shared goals and a paradigm shift in mental health.

Learn more about citiesRISE and I-CIRCLE.