The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1752-4458-8-31) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors were members of the MGMH Secretariat when the survey was conceived, carried out and analysed. They wish to particularly state that the views expressed in the article are the views of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the views of the Movement for Global Mental Health.
HM conceived the study, AW and HM wrote the first draft and HM wrote the final draft of the manuscript. HM, AW and RK all contributed to the design of the survey, analysis of the data and to drafts of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
The Movement for Global Mental Health (MGMH), established in 2008, is in a period of transition, as is the field of global mental health. The transfer of Secretariat functions from the Centre for International Mental Health to the Public Health Foundation of India was a suitable time to reflect on the goals of MGMH and on the form of organisational structure that would best serve the organisation in its efforts to achieve its goals.
An online survey was sent to the 4,000 registered members of MGMH seeking the views of the membership on both the goals of MGMH and on the preferred form of organisational structure.
There was near unanimous (95%) agreement with the MGMH goals as stated at the time of the survey. The current form of organisation of MGMH, a loose network of individuals and organisations registered through the MGMH website, was the least preferred (29.9%) form of organisation for the future of MGMH. More than two thirds (70.1%) of respondents would prefer a formal legal structure, with 60% of this group favouring a Charitable Organisation structure and 40% preferring an international Association structure.
The response rate (7%) was too small and too skewed (predominantly academics and health professionals from high income countries) to allow any clear conclusions to be drawn from the survey. However, both the fact that responses were too few and skewed and the preferences expressed by respondents raise issues for careful consideration by the current MGMH Secretariat.
The global mental health field and MGMH are in a time of transition. The move to the new secretariat is an opportunity for systematic consideration of the organisational structure and governance arrangements that will best serve the goals of MGMH.
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