20 January 2020

Event Invitation | 18 February 2020 | EU Parliament, Brussels

On 18 February 2020, Coalition for Mental Health and Wellbeing (coordinated by Mental Health Europe) and the MEP Alliance on Mental Health (coordinated by GAMIAN-Europe) are organising joint meeting to address the urgent need to put in place a comprehensive and proactive EU Mental Health Strategy.  The event will take place in the European Parliament in Brussels and will be hosted by Alex Agius Saliba MEP (S&D, Malta).

The event will provide an opportunity to discuss:

  • the need for a comprehensive EU Mental Health Strategy
  • the current policy opportunity to develop and implement such a Strategy and to widen the MEP support base
  • the potential content of an EU Mental Health Strategy
  • the most effective advocacy activities moving forward.

Please note that the number of places is limited, registration will be on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis.

Background information 

The European Commission has previously paid explicit attention to mental health by such activities 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.

At the same time, three recent developments provide an opportunity 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 and 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.

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’.

We look forward to your participation in the event!

For any inquiries, practical information or more details, please contact Marcin Rodzinka, Advocacy and Policy Officer, Mental Health Europe, marcin.rodzinka@mhe.purpleplanet.website, +32 2 227 27 08.

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