This online roundtable took place on 29th May 2020 live on social media. Speakers included among others Dr. Katarina Barley, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Dr. Dan Chisholm, Regional Advisor for Mental Health in Europe at WHO, Andrea Euenheim, CHRO at Metro AG and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, World Forum for Ethics in Business.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the pandemic has impacted the mental health of people around the world. Isolation, fear, insecurity, economic turmoil, loss of loved ones and a feeling of powerlessness have determined the lives of citizens globally. Levels of stress and anxiety have risen substantially, including amongst children, young people and healthcare workers. Substance and alcohol dependency are expected to rise, while self-harm and suicide rates among at risk individuals are also expected to increase.

The United Nations warns of a sharp rise in mental illness as a result of the pandemic. The WHO urges that governments should put the issue at the center of their crisis management efforts and calls for increased investment in psychological support and emergency programs, such as therapies via video conference.
Leading experts warn that if we do not address it properly, a mental health crisis could be the next pandemic.

Never before has the importance of mental health been in such forefront of the discussion and experienced a de-stigmatization as with the current pandemic. With mental health experts distributing their advises through social media livestreams, newspapers around the world sharing tips on how to cope with the psychological implications of Covid-19, or with virtual mindfulness and meditation sessions that sees people around the world turning to find inner peace and resilience – mental health has clearly reached the mainstream in unprecedented ways.

In the current crisis, what needs to be the paradigm shift in mental health support, both from a micro and macro perspective? What are the chances and challenges arising from the pandemic, and what needs to be the roadmap?

This online discussion forum, hosted by WFEB founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, invited leading experts to put into perspective the current implications and consequences of the pandemic on mental health, discussed best practices, and called for urgent changes required in an inevitable scale-up of mental health efforts around the world.

The recording of the event can now be watched here:

Speakers included:
– Host: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, World Forum for Ethics in Business and Founder, The Art
of Living Foundation
– Dr. Katarina Barley, Vice-President, European Parliament
Dr. Dan Chisholm, Regional Advisor for Mental Health for the WHO – European Region
Andrea Euenheim, Chief Human Resources Officer, Metro AG
Prof. Bjarne Hansen, Head of the Bergen 4-day Treatment Clinic, Haukeland University
Hospital; Professor at The Center for Crisis Psychology, University of Bergen: Co-Director, Bergen
Center for Brain Plasticity
Rajita Kulkarni, President, World Forum for Ethics in Business
– Jo Leinen, Former Member of European Parliament and Board Member, WFEB
Dr. med Peter Liese, Member of European Parliament; Health spokesperson for the largest
political group in the European Parliament
Moderator: Christoph Glaser, Managing Director, World Forum for Ethics in Business




This online event was the fifth in the series of dedicated discussions organized by the World Forum for Ethics in Business on the impact of Covid-19. Earlier editions featured a focus on the overall ethical dimensions, on domestic violence, on the environmental impact of the current pandemic and on re-imagining sports in Covid-19 times..