Mental health

Promotion of Mental Health and Well-being of Children and Young People– Making it happen

 
 

Conference

Much information about Mental Health and Youth can be found under the Mental Health Compass

 
Thematic Conference Mental health in Youth and Education Organised by European Commission and Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs under the auspices of the Swedish Presidency

Stockholm, 29th - 30th September 2009
Hotel Hilton, Stockholm, Slussen



Provisional conference agenda can be found here

Conference report and conclusions can be found here

This is to be the first in a series of invitation-only events covering mental health throughout the lifespan, in line with the priority areas of the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being.

Objective of the conference:

1) Raise visibility about the importance of promoting mental health and well-being and of preventing mental disorders in children and young people
2) Enable an exchange at EU-level on policy activities, good practices by stakeholders and research projects in Member States, supported by a Commission database;
3) Endorse an implementation framework for the Mental Health Pact in the field of mental health in youth and education.

Main themes of the conference:

The conference is structured around five sub-themes:
 

  • Session I: Parents, family and the early years
    Focus: Promotion in early years, protective factors, good parenting style, population-based promotion and universal prevention programmes as well as selective prevention programmes

     

    Research results from the past few years have increasingly emphasised the importance of pregnancy and the earliest years of childhood for well-being, health and success in later life. Mental health and parenting are inextricably linked. However, not all parents are sufficiently well- equipped for their parenting role and there is a need to look into the specific needs of vulnerable groups, such as teenage parents and parents with mental health problems. Aspects which could be considered include: Group based parent- training programmes, children from socially disadvantage groups, targeted approaches to parenting support for families at high risk.

  • Session 2: The role of health services in promotion and prevention
    Focus: Call for an enlarged scope of health services, which should also encompass a role in the promotion of mental health and well-being and in the prevention of mental disorders

     

    Traditionally health services focus on their role of diagnosing and treating disorders. However, treatment alone can only achieve a limited reduction of the burden of mental disorders, and increasingly non-health actors are interested in mental health outcomes. Both arguments call for an enlarged scope of health services, which should also encompass a role in the promotion of mental health and well-being and in the prevention of mental disorders.

  • Session 3: The community environment
    Focus: Community organisation, promotion intervention programmes, i.e. community actors, empowerment, urban planning, green spaces, youth centres and delinquency, promotion and prevention

     

    The community environment in which children and adolescent grow up influences their well-being and their social behaviour via a number of moderating factors. Deprived neighbourhoods with little social cohesion and high levels of unemployment and crime present risks for the mental health and well-being of the children and young people growing up in them. Multi sectoral intervention is needed to promote child and adolescent well-being in the community.

  • Session 4: The role of media, internet and electronic games
    Focus: Using media and new technologies for good mental health. Potential risks posed by the content of media and electronic games and communication through new technologies.

     

    Media are omnipresent in the life of today's children and adolescents. The time spent watching television, on the internet, playing electronic games and using mobile phones has increased significantly in recent decades and, along with this, cyber bullying and exposure to potentially harmful content have become common. Given their importance for children and adolescent, there is a need to maximise the benefits and minimise the risks of media consumption for the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents.

  • Session 5: Educational settings and learning
    Focus: Positive mental health promotion and universal prevention, whole school approaches, socio-emotional learning, social-skill programmes as well as programmes preventing alcohol, drug use/abuse, violence and bullying.


    Children and young people spend a large proportion of their days in educational settings, making them one of the key environments for mental health promotion and mental disorder prevention. On the one hand, schools and colleges are sites which could allow implementers to reach almost the entire population in this age group. At the same time, aligning the climate and practices in educational settings with children’s mental health needs has been shown to improve academic achievement and social behaviour.


For each sub theme of the youth and education priority area, a group of scientific advisors are preparing a brief background document. This will include a statement on key messages and actions. The background document and key messages are being sent for consultation to all Member States, key stakeholders and NGOs.

Newsletter on the implementation of the Pact dedicated to the conference.

Presentations

Opening Session

video message (.mpg)
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Health

Plenary Session: Setting the Scene

Building an EU-Framework for promoting mental health and well-being of children and young people
Andrzej Rys , Director for Public Health and Risk Assessment, Directorate General for Health and Consumers, European Commission

Session 1: Parents, family and early years

Parents, family and early years- key messages and framework for action
Sarah Stewart Brown

Reactions and presentations of policies and initiatives

Marjaana Pelkonen

Vincent Magos

Vibeke Bing

Geoff Lindsay

Joy Ladurner

Session 2: The role of health services in promoting mental health and preventing mental disorders

Health services as actor and setting for promoting mental health and preventing mental disorders in children and young people

Tytti Solantaus

Reactions and presentations of policies and initiatives

Lars Hellgren

Jan De Maeseneer

Christa Kuyper

Stanislas Filliol

Anthia Zammit

Plenary Session: Reporting Back from Focus Sessions 1-2

Parents, family and early years

Geoff Huggins

Health services in promoting mental health and preventing mental disorders

Dainus Puras

Plenary Session: Key Note Adresses

Setting the scene - the importance of the community dimension, internet/media and promotion of mental health at school settings
Gregor Henderson

Mental health and well-being in children and young people in the EU
Ulrike Ravens-Siberer

Prevalence of mental health and disorders in children and young people in the EU
Viviane Kovess-Masféty

Session 3: The role of the Community environment

The role of the Community environment in promotion of mental health and prevention of mental disorders in children and young people - key messages and framework for action
Håkan Stattin

Reactions and presentations of policies and initiatives

John Svensson

Anne marie Le Claire

Håkan Leifman

Jana Hainsworth

Kristiina Lepa

Session 4: The role of new media technologies and the internet

The role of new media technologies and the Internet: Coping with risks, maximizing opportunities and promoting mental health and well-being
Ingunn Hagen

Reactions and presentations of policies and initiatives

Uwe Schaefer

Leon Clowes

Pia Lang

Maria Soares Lindberg

Session 5: Educational Settings and Learning

Key messages and framework for action for addressing mental health of children and young people in educational settings and learning

Peter Paulus

Reactions and presentations of policies and initiatives

Roberta Povilaitis

Cor J.W. Meijer

Chris Harrison

Anders Bjurström

Ana Aguiar

Plenary Session: Reporting Back from Focus Sessions 3-5

Community Environment
Ville Lethinen

New media technologies and the Internet
Mari Fresu

Educational Settings and Learning
Goof Buijs

List of participants

List of participants