Brussels, 10 October 2015
On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, the co-chairs of the European Parliament Interest Group on Mental Health, Wellbeing and Brain Disorders and GAMIAN-Europe call on governments, the Commission and the parliaments of the European Union to take account of and provide for the mental health needs of those citizens (and their families) that find themselves affected by mental health problems.
This year’s World Mental Health Day focuses on dignity as its main theme.
Dignity is at the core of the person-centred care, support and rehabilitation required by people with mental health problems. Respecting an individual’s identity and protecting their dignity will help to promote recovery; acts that violate dignity and fail to respect an individual will lead to further damage. In short, dignity is not only an ethical obligation but also the means to recovery.
Dignity includes addressing stigma related to mental health problems and ensuring that all service users are effectively involved and engaged, and their views made explicit within individual care planning processes. It also relates to promoting social inclusion, both in acute care settings and through strengthening links with the community. This is particularly relevant in relation to the current as well as to the future situation of asylum seekers as the worst mental health consequences may become apparent some time after the news coverage of their plight.
The Interest Group Co-Chairs and GAMIAN-Europe therefore call on the European Commission to ensure a concrete follow up to the Joint Action on Mental Health and put in place a comprehensive EU strategy to ensure appropriate attention for access to diagnose, treatment and support to people affected by mental health problems, while guaranteeing their dignity.
Notes for editors
• GAMIAN-Europe (Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks-Europe), a patient-driven pan-European organization, represents the interests of persons affected by mental illness and advocates for their rights. Its main objectives are: advocacy, information and education, anti-stigma and discrimination, patients’ rights, co-operation, partnerships and capacity building.
For more information: www.gamian.eu
• The European Parliament Interest Group on Mental Health, Wellbeing and Brain Disorders is chaired by MEPs Cristian Silviu Busoi, Nessa Childers, Marian Harkin and Jean Lambert. It provides a forum to advocate the development of sound EU policies which contribute to prevention of mental health problems and ensure good services, care and empowerment for those affected by mental health problems.
• Paul Arteel: Executive Director GAMIAN-Europe+ 32 494 52 79 80
• Christine Marking: Interest Group Coordinator + 32 475 921635