Today, on the occasion of the Czech EU Presidency conference entitled ‘Resilient Mental Health in the EU’, GAMIAN-Europe – representing patients – has come forward with a blueprint for a future comprehensive EU Mental Health Strategy.
Speaking at the conference, GAMIAN-Europe President Peter Keri welcomed the current momentum in relation to EU mental health action. The Czech EU Presidency’s interest in mental health, along with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s commitment to developing a ‘comprehensive approach to mental health’ next year, and the recent European Parliament report on mental health have provided the required context and boost for stakeholder advocacy.
GAMIAN-Europe maintains that any future EU initiative should be developed, implemented, monitored and assessed with the full and meaningful involvement of mental health stakeholders – including patients.
‘As experts by experience, we are in a crucial position to define where the attention of EU action should go’, Peter Keri said. ‘There should be a cohesive EU-level Strategy, which would focus on mainstreaming mental health, funding and exchange of good practice projects and capacity building, robust data collection as well as research. It should help to raise awareness and break through stigma. Most importantly, there should be national action programmes. These would be tailored to the situation of the individual countries, but working towards the same goal – prevention of mental ill health, promotion of good mental health and appropriate services for those that need them and their families’.
GAMIAN-Europe developed the blueprint for a Strategy some 7 years ago and is delighted that the time now seems to be right for policymakers to listen and act. Over the coming months, the organisation and its members across the EU will seek cooperation with other relevant organisations to strengthen the voice of the mental health sector and ensure meaningful action to address mental health at EU and national levels.
Find the blueprint here.