Working towards a European Year for Mental Health
The MEP Alliance for Mental Health, in cooperation with GAMIAN-Europe, is launching a campaign to ensure that the Commission will designate one of the coming years as the European Year for Mental Health.
What is a European Year?
European Years serve as EU-wide awareness campaigns to inform and educate European citizens and focus the attention of Member States’ governments and policy makers on a particular issue, in order to change attitudes, behaviours, policy and practice, both at EU as well as at national level. Since 1983, there have been many such European Years, each with a difference theme, e.g. People with Disabilities, Active Ageing and many more.
Why a European Year for Mental Health?
The urgent need for better and wider awareness and understanding of mental health and for effective action to prevent and address mental ill health has increasingly being recognised in recent years. The COVID19 pandemic has highlighted this crucial need.
A dedicated European Year of Mental Health would be a tangible and coordinated initiative to raise awareness of mental health and its importance, provide a platform for stakeholders to exchange and share experience and good practice, promote and facilitate discussion and contribute towards improving mental health across the board.
What would a European for Mental Health aim to do?
A European Year will help to:
– Raise awareness of the importance of good mental health for all
– Provide appropriate and accessible information and create opportunities for open discussion and exchange
– Facilitate cross-sector and cross-country sharing of experience and good practice and stimulate mutual learning, supporting the development of effective approaches
– Forge cooperation between various stakeholders, within as well as beyond the the area of mental health
– Contribute to a better visibility and understanding of the need for mental health in general, of the situation and needs of people living with mental ill-heallth as well as those of specific groups at risk of stigma (e.g., LGBTQ, disabled people…)
– Help create sustainable policy solutions and initiatives, such as a comprehensive EU Mental Health Strategy.
Commission’s Answer to a Written Question
Very disappointedly, in its answer to a WQ, the Commission has not expressed support for a European Year for Mental Health. Our intention is to keep on campaigning for a Year as this initiative is needed now, more than ever.
The next few months will be dedicated to continued campaigning towards the European Year for Mental Health. An overview of potential future actions is outlined in this document.