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Public Health (10-12-2009)

Prevention of Depression and Suicide: High-level Conference in Budapest 10-11 December 2009

The key aim of this 2 day conference is to build political commitment and incorporate suicide and depression prevention strategies into all policies. The conference is jointly organised by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Hungary and the European Commission, with the support of the Swedish EU Presidency and in collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for Europe. Hungarian Health Minister Tamás Székely will open the event. The conference will look at risk factors for depression and suicide, and at measures to prevent a negative impact of the current economic crisis on them. It will show how to build regional alliances against depression and partnerships with other sectors. Day two of the conference will address issues such as access to mental health care, eHealth, internet and media and improving the knowledge base on depression and suicide.

Depression is a leading public health challenge in EU Member States. Suicide can be a consequence of depression. Suicide rates in some Member States are among the highest in the world. Prevention of depression and suicide is one of the five priority themes of the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being. The Pact was launched in June 2008 and aims to highlight key areas in mental health and well-being through a series of high level conferences. This is the second such conference. The first one, on the theme of Mental Health in Youth and Education, was held in Stockholm in September 2009. The remaining three thematic conferences are planned for 2010 as follows:

Mental Health in Older People - April 2010 (Madrid)

Combating Stigma and Social Exclusion - 2nd semester 2010 (Lisbon)

Mental Health in Workplace Settings - 1st semester 2011 (Berlin)

For more information:

http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph _determinants/life_style/mental/index_en.htm

http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_determinants/life_style/mental/mental_health_depression_en.htm