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EU-Compass for Action on Mental Health and Well-being

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The EU-Compass for Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing is a web-based mechanism used to collect, exchange and analyse information on policy and stakeholder activities in mental health. Between 2015-2018 the Compass will communicate information on the European Framework for Action on Mental Health and Well-being. It will monitor the mental health and wellbeing policies and activities of EU countries and non-governmental stakeholders through:

  • the identification and dissemination of European good practices in mental health
  • the collection of data on stakeholders’ and national activities in mental health through three annual surveys
  • the organisation of three annual reports and forum events
  • holding mental health workshops in each EU country and in Iceland and Norway

In addition, the EU Compass will collaborate with the EU-Group of Governmental Experts on Mental Health and Wellbeing and non-governmental stakeholders in the preparation of four scientific papers. 


Outcomes of the EU Compass such as identified good practices, annual reports and consensus papers can be accessed in:

EU-Compass Focus

The EU-Compass focuses on 7 priority areas:

  • preventing depression & promoting resilience (priority for 2016)
  • better access to mental health services (priority for 2016)
  • mental health at work  (priority for 2017)
  • mental health in schools (priority for 2017)
  • preventing suicide (priority for 2017)
  • providing community-based mental health services (priority for 2018)
  • developing integrated governance approaches (priority for 2018)

Policy & good practice – collecting information

The EU-Compass collects examples of good practices from EU countries and stakeholders on an ongoing basis. These examples are evaluated using quality criteria agreed with EU countries and the Commission.

According to the priority areas of a given year ,the EU-Compass produces annual activity report (summary - full report) which summarise and analyse key developments in mental health promotion by EU countries and stakeholders. The first activity report, published in 2016, was focused on prevention of depression and access to mental health care.

EU country involvement

The European Commission, in cooperation with the Group of Governmental Experts on Mental Health and Well-being, supervises the development and implementation of the EU-Compass. Various national and regional mental health promotion activities are underway in EU countries.

From scientific reports to consensus papers

The four scientific reports produced by EU-Compass feature specific themes identified by the Group of Governmental Experts on Mental health. Each paper explores the issues surrounding each theme, the current situation in Europe, a summary of relevant activities at the EU level and in EU countries, best practices identified, and principles and recommendations for action.

The scientific reports are produced by experts in their field, and once reviewed and approved by the Group of national experts and relevant non-governmental stakeholders they become consensus documents.

Following discussions with national experts, the two topics focused on in 2016  were prevention of depression and strengthening resilience  and access to mental health care in Europe.

The 2017 focus will be on "mental health at work" followed by "community-based mental health services" in 2018.

Stakeholders – mental health & well-being

In addition to governments, businesses, educational institutions and civil society organisations are also active in implementing positive mental health initiatives.

To find out more, see the list of list of mental health and well-being stakeholders and check the EU Health Policy Platform.

EU Mental Health Forum

The Compass holds three mental health forums as leadership events. Their aim is to share the results from the annual surveys and to facilitate high-level discussion on progress made in implementing the European Framework for Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing. A key part of this will be communicating the case for, and examples of, public ownership and action on mental health and wellbeing through policy and non-governmental stakeholder action.

Find activities for 2016, 2017, 2018 on the EU Mental Health Compass Forum.