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Public Health (13-01-2006)

Commission hosts first meeting on "Promotion and prevention of mental health"

On 16-17 January 2006, the European Commission will host a meeting with MemberStates and stakeholders to discuss how a suitable and effective strategy for the promotion of mental well-being and the prevention of mental ill-health can be created in the EU. This meeting follows on from the publication of the Commission’s Green Paper on Mental Health last October, which highlighted the high level of mental ill health in the EU, and the significant economic, social and personal costs linked to it. The Commission is seeking to encourage a broad debate on how the EU deals with the problem of mental illness and on what can be done to improve the situation.
Two groups (Member States’ Group and the EU-Platform on Mental Health) will hold parallel sessions over the two days, to look at issues such as the relevance of mental health for the EU’s strategic policy objectives, whether the development of an EU-strategy on mental health be of added value to actions already taken or planned, and whether initiatives outlined in the Green Paper are appropriate to promote better mental health and support Member State cooperation in this area. The groups will also be invited to consider where the focus of an EU strategy on mental health should lie. The meeting will assess how MemberStates, stakeholders and the research community identify challenges and priorities in mental health, how they tackle them through promotion and prevention activities, and ways in which the EU could support action in this field.
Attendees and speakers will include representatives from Member States, from health, social, educational end industrial organisations plus academic experts.. The Commission has scheduled further meetings on mental health for 16-17 March (Vienna) and 18-19 May (Luxembourg).
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