Interest Group on mental health, well being and brain disorders

the European Parliament Interest Group on Mental Health, Well-being and Brain Disorders

In order to put and keep mental health on the EU agenda, strong links with the EU institutions are needed.
The European Parliament is a strong ally for organisations like GAMIAN-Europe, as it can  

  • produce Own Initiative reports
  • amend Commission proposals
  • put critical questions to Commission 

This is why GAMIAN-Europe has worked with MEPs since 2009, when the Interest Group on Mental health, Well-being and Brain Disorders was launched.

What is an Interest Group?

Interest Groups are informal cross-party, cross-country groups, providing a forum for debate and initiating policy action. It brings together MEPs with a common interest in a specific issue/policy field (in our case: mental health) to discuss European policy development and take initiatives that can lead to or influence policy initiatives.
Interest Groups are usually composed of MEPs representing the various political factions and nationalities. They are lead by a panel of Co-Presidents of different nationalities and political factions
and meets on a regular basis. The Groups are usually coordinated by an outside organisation, and in this case, it is GAMIAN-Europe that is responsible for the coordination of the Interest Group on Mental health, Well-being and Brain Disorders.

The Interest Group in the previous Parliament

In the previous Parliament, the Interest Group on Mental health, Well-being and Brain Disorders
was co- chaired by 5 MEPs:

•    Marian Harkin (ALDE-IRL)
•    Jean Lambert (Greens – UK)
•    Antonyia Parvanova (ALDE – BUL)
•    Nessa Childers (Independent – IRL)
•    Francoise Grossetete (PPE – FR)

Some 15 meetings were held on a variety of different topics, including:
•    Depression
•    Mental health at work (with Hughes initiative)
•    Community care (with IG on carers)
•    Schizophrenia
•    Link between physical and mental health
•    Adherence
•    Mental health and alcohol
•    Mental health in children and adolescents
•    WHO Mental Health Action Plan
•    Mental health and Brain Disorders (with EBC)

Reports can be found on this website

The Interest Group on Mental health, Well-being and Brain Disorders in the current Parliament

Interest Group has been re-established and a first meeting, addressing ‘mental health and societal integration’ was held in November.

Three of the former five Co-chairs have recommitted to support the Group, i.e. MEPs Nessa Childers, Jean Lambert and Marian Harkin. Critian Silviu Busoi MEP has agreed to join the panel of Co-chairs.  

Working methods

The aim has always been to involve other relevant stakeholders. Also, the Group always seeks to link its meetings to relevant and current policy files, to ensure relevance and actuality.
The Interest Group meets 3 to 4 times a year, and aims to have tangible outcomes, such as Parliamentary Questions.
The future of the Group on Mental health, Well-being and Brain Disorders

GAMIAN-Europe is now working to re-establish the Group in the new European Parliament and it is hoped that the first formal meeting will take place in October.

Suggested meeting topics for the short term:

•    Mental health at work
•    Mental health in children and adolescents
•    Joint Action: progress
•    Depression
•    Schizophrenia
•    Community and family care provision