Shaping a future EU Mental Health Strategy: priorities and activities
Organised by GAMIAN-Europe and Mental Health Europe
18 February 2020
Between 15:00 and 17:30
European Parliament, Brussels
On behalf of the Coalition for Mental Health and Wellbeing (coordinated by Mental Health Europe) and the MEP Alliance on Mental Health (coordinated by GAMIAN-Europe) we would like to warmly invite you to our joint meeting in the European Parliament, addressing the urgent need to put in place a comprehensive and proactive EU Mental Health Strategy.
As you are of course aware, in previous years, the Commission paid explicit attention to mental health by means of activities such as the 2005 Mental Health Green Paper, the 2008 European Mental Health Pact and the 2013 Joint Action on Mental Health, resulting in a EU Framework for Action on Mental Health; this was adopted in 2016. However, since 2018, the Commission has opted to address mental health as part of its overall activities in the field of chronic disease.
This current lack of specific attention is disappointing, as given its (increasing) prevalence, burden and impact -at individual/family, societal and economic levels- mental ill health needs to be addressed in all its aspects. In addition, mental health needs to be actively promoted.
However, three recent developments provide opportunities to change this:
1. The Finnish Presidency Council Conclusions, issued on 24 October, invite the Commission to propose a Mental Health Strategy, taking into account the cross-sectoral impacts of different policies on mental health.
2. The December EPSCO Council agreed on the need to develop and implement an EU Mental Health Strategy.
3. Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, during her hearing in the European Parliament, underlined her intention to ensure that mental health would get back on the EU agenda, working across the various departments to ensure a consistent and comprehensive approach.
The MEP Alliance on Mental Health as well as the Coalition for Mental Health and Wellbeing are both convinced of the need for a comprehensive EU Mental Health Strategy, and the current policy environment provides a useful opportunity to achieve this. This is why both groups are pleased to join forces on this occasion, in order to create the strongest possible advocacy platform within the European Parliament.
In line with the above, the meeting has the following objectives:
– Raise awareness of the need for a comprehensive EU Mental Health Strategy
– Raise awareness of the current policy opportunity to develop and implement such a Strategy and widen the MEP support base;
– Bring together all relevant stakeholders involved to explore and discuss the potential content of an EU Mental Health Strategy;
– Identify and agree the most effective advocacy activities moving forward.
Now is the time to ensure that Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides acts on her welcome commitment to become ‘the voice for mental health across the Commission’.
Have a look at the event Agenda here.