A recently conducted Flash Eurobarometer survey by the European Commission offers critical insights into the perspectives of EU citizens on mental health. The survey encompassed a representative sample of individuals aged 15 and over from each of the 27 EU Member States. The findings underscore the urgent need for concerted efforts in mental health awareness and education.
- Prevalence of Emotional and Psychosocial Issues
Nearly half of the respondents (46%) indicated that they had experienced an emotional or psychosocial problem in the past 12 months. This statistic serves as a stark reminder of the widespread nature of mental health issues in the EU.
- Societal Judgement
A significant 77% of respondents believe that individuals with mental health conditions are judged differently by society at large. This viewpoint was shared by a majority in every Member State, ranging from 60% in Estonia to a striking 86% in Greece.
- Medical Professionals’ Perspective
Contrastingly, the survey revealed that in 14 Member States, most respondents do not think that medical professionals judge mental health patients differently from other patients.
- Importance of Mental Health Promotion
An overwhelming 89% of respondents either ‘totally agree’ or ‘tend to agree’ that promoting mental health is as crucial as promoting physical health.
- Equality in Healthcare
However, only one-third (33%) agree that people with mental health issues receive the same level of care as those with physical conditions.
- Discrimination in Opportunities
About 76% of respondents feel that individuals with mental health issues face fewer opportunities in employment, housing, and social activities.
- Early Detection and Access
Half of the respondents (50%) believe that mental health problems can be detected at an early stage in primary and community care settings. However, long waiting lists and delays in diagnosis or treatment are significant barriers, especially in Germany (81%) and Spain (87%).
- Preferred Solutions
43% of respondents consider counselling and therapy as the most effective solutions for tackling mental health issues, followed by physical activity and social interactions.
A Call to Action
The results of this survey reiterate the importance of raising awareness and educating as large an audience as possible on mental health issues. It is a call to action for policymakers, medical professionals, and advocacy groups to address the challenges and stigmas associated with mental health.
For more details, dive into the full report here.