Brussels, 3 April 2021
In a statement sent today, 40 MEPs and over a 120 concerned individuals and organisations call on the European Commission to designate 2023 as the European Year for Mental Health, in order to ‘Make Mental Health Everybody’s Business’.
The document, prepared by the MEP Alliance for Mental Health and GAMIAN-Europe, underlines the need for such a Year, as this could make a huge contribution towards raising awareness of the importance of all aspects of mental health. These range from prevention, to diagnosis, treatment, care and cure; a Year could also help prepare the ground for much needed political EU and national level action on mental health.
The COVID-19 pandemic, one of the worst global crises in modern history, with many repercussions on health and health systems, personal and family well-being, as well as on jobs, livelihoods and the economy, has also truly put the spotlight on the crucial importance of mental health. Rates of anxiety and depression, already increasing as a consequence of the pandemic and related measures taken, will only increase further as a result of the predicted economic uncertainty. Moreover, the pandemic has revealed systemic problems in the way society treats mental health, as services have not been able to keep up with growing demand.
A dedicated European Year would help address the need for a better and wider understanding of the importance and impact of mental health, inspire effective policy and practice in this area and support the improvement of individual well-being while ultimately saving resources.
Maria Walsh MEP, co-chair of the MEP Alliance for Mental Health, already briefly raised the need for and potential of such a European Year in October 2019. This idea was further elaborated in stakeholder meetings held in November and March, in which it was unanimously agreed that now would be the right time to launch an active campaign in order to turn this idea into reality.
The Year would raise awareness of the importance of good mental health for all as well as focus on the needs and situation of those that are at risk and those that are currently living with mental ill-health.
MEPs and concerned stakeholders are planning to continue their joint efforts in campaigning for the Year.
For the statement: