After last week’s good news from the Health Council of the European Union, the Parliament has set a new benchmark in mental health advocacy with its comprehensive resolution dated 12 December 2023. The Own Initiative Report, led by MEP Sara Cerdas, presents a holistic approach to mental health, affirming it as a fundamental human right and addressing its multifaceted nature across the EU.
- Emphasis on Mental Health as a Fundamental Right: The resolution underscores mental health as a universal human right, vital for individual and societal well-being. It advocates for parity between mental and physical health, highlighting the interconnectedness of the two.
- Focus on Vulnerable Groups: Special attention is given to the needs of vulnerable groups, including women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, adolescents, and the elderly. The resolution stresses the importance of tailored mental health support for these groups to ensure equitable care and prevention strategies.
- Digitalisation and Mental Health: The role of digital technologies in mental health care is acknowledged, emphasising both their potential benefits in improving accessibility and the risks they pose, such as contributing to social isolation and stress.
- Economic and Social Impact: Recognizing the significant economic and social repercussions of mental health conditions, the resolution calls for comprehensive policies that address these broader impacts, including early intervention and prevention strategies.
- Community-Based Care: The resolution advocates for a shift towards community-based care, emphasising the importance of patient-centred approaches and the inclusion of patients and their families in healthcare planning and decision-making.
This resolution by the European Parliament represents a significant step forward in mental health policy within the EU. It aligns with the mission of GAMIAN-Europe, highlighting the EU’s commitment to advancing mental health awareness and care across diverse social groups and life stages.
GAMIAN-Europe welcomes the dedicated action towards patient-centred approaches and the inclusion of patients in decision-making as well, parity of esteem (i.e. mental health should have the same importance as physical health) and the call for a European Year of Mental Health as a stepping stone towards an EU Strategy on Mental health. These are, among others, points that GAMIAN-Europe has been advocating towards and will continue to advocate for.