Mental health

Mental health and Well-being

 
 

 

Support Statements

European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being addresses Member States' governments, regional and local authorities, non governmental actors and civil society organisations whose decisions might have an impact on mental health policies. Send us the support statement.

To see the support statements, click on the relevant category:

Governments


England

The Department of Health in England is very happy to support the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being. The Pact's key themes, and its focus on an approach that goes beyond the conventional boundaries of the health and social care sectors, correspond closely with emerging policy in England. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the Commission and with colleagues in Member States to help make the Pact a success, and we believe the Pact has the potential to help us promote good mental health and well-being in England and across Europe.

On 23 July 2009 the Department of Health published "New Horizons: towards a shared vision for mental health". This is a consultation document, setting out our high level vision for improving mental health services and building a cross-government alliance to tackle the root causes of mental illness. The document can be seen and downloaded at:

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Consultations/Liveconsultations/DH_103144

Jim Fowles
Deputy Director, Mental Health
Department of Health
Wellington House
135 - 155 Waterloo Road
London
SE1 8UG

Germany

Die Bundesregierung begrüßt, dass die EU-Kommission das Thema "Psychische Gesundheit" durch den im Rahmen einer Hochrangigen Konferenz zur psychischen Gesundheit am 13. Juni 2008 in Brüssel ausgelobten Europäischen Pakt "Zusammen für psychische Gesundheit und Wohlbefinden" sichtbar auf der politischen Agenda der Europäischen Union verankert hat. Denn es ist richtig und notwendig, die Problematik der Zunahme psychischer Erkrankungen im Diagnose- und Krankheitsspektrum in den EU-Mitgliedstaaten noch stärker in den gesundheits-, sozial- und wirtschaftspolitischen Blickpunkt zu rücken und die Zusammenarbeit und den Erfahrungsaustausch zwischen den Mitgliedstaaten zu intensivieren. Die in dem Europäischen Pakt hervorgehobenen Schwerpunktthemen
  • Prävention von Depression und Suizidalität
  • Psychische Gesundheit bei Kindern und Jugendlichen
  • Psychische Gesundheit am Arbeitsplatz
  • Psychische Gesundheit alter Menschen
  • Kampf gegen Stigmatisierung und soziale Ausgrenzung

zielen dabei in die richtige Richtung. Sie entsprechen den Themenfeldern, in denen auch aus deutscher Sicht ein Bedarf an Weiterentwicklung besteht.

Daher wird sich Deutschland weiterhin an der Implementierung des Europäischen Paktes beteiligen. Dies betrifft zum einen die Unterstützung des internationalen Erfahrungs- und Wissensaustausches sowie die Mitwirkung an internationalen Projekten, die im Rahmen der Aktionsprogramme der Gemeinschaft im Bereich Gesundheit sowie den Forschungsrahmen-programmen der EU durchgeführt werden.

Die europäischen Diskussionen werden auch weiterhin Eingang finden in die Konzeptentwicklung nationaler Maßnahmen zur Förderung der psychischen Gesundheit, insbesondere zu den im Europäischen Pakt benannten Handlungsfeldern. Der an die Regierungen, die relevanten Akteure aus allen Sektoren (z.B. Schule/ Bildung, Arbeitswelt) und an die Zivilgesellschaft der Mitgliedstaaten gerichtete Aufruf des Europäischen Pakts beschreibt die Förderung psychischer Gesundheit zurecht als eine politikbereichsübergreifende Querschnittsaufgabe. Um die notwendigen Kooperationen der Akteure in den Bereichen Gesundheitsförderung, Prävention und Bekämpfung von Stigmatisierung und sozialer Ausgrenzung psychisch Kranker Menschen auf Bundesebene herzustellen, wurde unter der Schirmherrschaft von Frau Bundesgesundheitsministerin Schmidt das "Aktionsbündnis für Seelische Gesundheit" ins Leben gerufen.

Siehe Annex 1

Der Europäische Pakt betont zu Recht die Einbeziehung der Betroffenen- und der Angehörigen-Selbsthilfe in die Gestaltung von Konzepten und Maßnahmen in den Bereichen Prävention, Gesundheitsförderung und Versorgung psychisch Kranker sowie den Stellenwert gemeindepsychiatrisch tätiger Vereine.

Dazu bestehen in Deutschland projektbezogene Kooperationen mit bundesweit tätigen Verbänden, z.B.

Bundesverband Familien-Selbsthilfe Psychiatrie / Bundesverband der Angehörigen psychisch Kranker e.V.

siehe Annex 2

Dachverband Gemeindepsychiatrie

siehe Annex 3

Key Data on mental Health an mental disorders in Germany

siehe Annex 4

Organisations



 ADHD-Europe

ADHD-Europe is a European umbrella organization comprising 27 AD/HD self-support organizations in 19 European countries. Our aim is to promote awareness about Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (more commonly known now as AD/HD) to combat the stigma surrounding this condition and the resulting discrimination that exists throughout Europe, which negatively affects the number of children, adolescents and adults who are being diagnosed and treated for AD/HD and/or coexisting psychiatric disorders.

We want to target policymakers in the European institutions and in the National governments so that people who are affected by this lifelong mental health disorder are given their basic human rights. We advocate for children and adolescents especially because the prognosis is much better for those who are diagnosed and treated at a young age.

We are therefore pleased to be given the opportunity to make a written contribution in the form of a Statement to the DG SANCO Mental Health policymakers. We have gathered together a body of evidence-based background information about Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) for your review, as well as relevant excerpts from a number of Human Rights Declarations that have been made over the years.

Dr. Joanne Norris
ADHD-Europe Executive Board

The whole document can be downloaded here


 Advocacy Group for the Mentally Ill (A.G.M.I.)’s

We, Advocacy Group for the Mentally Ill (A.G.M.I.)’s as European non-governmental organisation and member of Mental Health Europe (M.H.E.) sharing the same values and objectives, devoted to the promotion of positive mental health and the prevention of mental distress, welcome and fully support the European Pact for Mental Health and Wellbeing.

We commit ourselves to contribute to its actual implementation.

Since the early stages, Advocacy Group for the Mentally Ill have been engaged in key activities and events around the Pact’s thematic priorities:
  • Youth, Education and Mental Health;
  • Prevention of Depression and Suicide;
  • Mental Health and Older People;
  • Mental Health in Workplace Settings; and
  • Combating Stigma and Social Exclusion

(A.G.M.I.) calls for actions at all levels to promote mental health and well-being and to raise awareness on the Pact’s priorities. In order to keep mental health and well-being high on the EU and national political agendas.

By gathering examples of action and good practices; by raising awareness of the Pact at the EU, national and local level; by assisting with building capacity for all the actors involved and mobilising support for the Pact.

(A.G.M.I.) vision is of a Europe where mental health and well-being is given high priority in the political spectrum and on the European health and social agenda, where (ex)users of mental health services live as full citizens with access to appropriate services and support when needed, and where meaningful participation is guaranteed at all levels of decision-making and administration.

(A.G.M.I.)’s mission is to promote mental health and well-being of all citizens, for all minority groups and the whole of Europe. (A.G.M.I.) s values are based on dignity and respect, equal opportunities, freedom of choice, anti-discrimination, social inclusion, democracy and participation. (A.G.M.I.) believes that much more can be done in the promotion of mental health and well-being and the prevention of mental disorders if we address civil society, those suffering from mental illness, their carers and families.

On behalf of Advocacy Group for the Mentally Ill
Elise Torossian president
Phidiou 12,
Larnaca 6011
Cyprus
Tel 00-357-99-648850
fax 00-357-24-621472
Email agftmi@cytanet.com.cy



 Bodywhys – the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland

Bodywhys - the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland, as the national voluntary organisation dedicated to supporting the 200,000 people in Ireland affected by eating disorders, welcome and fully support the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being.

Bodywhys will commit to encouraging the implementation of the Pact through our association with other agencies, organisations and individuals within the mental health field, in order to keep mental health and well-being on the EU and national political agendas.

Since its foundation in 1995, Bodywhys has been engaged in key activities which supports the Pact's priorities, through the provision of support, information and education. On-going public awareness activities aim to challenge and combat discrimination and stigma while the development of youth specific information and support is a priority. As an organisation with expertise in the area, Bodywhys provides strategic advice on broad mental health issues and specifically in relation to eating disorders. Bodywhys advocates for quality and equity in mental health policy, research and formal and informal care provision as well as meaningful participation at all levels of decision-making.

Jacinta Hastings,
Chief Executive Officer,
Bodywhys - the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland.


 British Psychological Society

The British Psychological Society (“the Society”) is the learned and professional body, incorporated by Royal Charter, for psychologists in the United Kingdom. The Society is a registered charity with a total membership of almost 50,000. Under its Royal Charter, the objective of the Society is "to promote the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of psychology pure and applied and especially to promote the efficiency and usefulness of members by setting up a high standard of professional education and knowledge". The Society is committed to providing and disseminating evidence-based expertise and advice, engaging with policy and decision makers, and promoting the highest standards in learning and teaching, professional practice and research. The Society is an examining body granting certificates and diplomas in specialist areas of professional applied psychology.

The Society very strongly welcomes the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being. Mental ill-health is one of the major challenges facing society today – and we welcome the Pact’s recognition both of the scale of the problem and the importance of coherent policies to address this. As psychologists, we understand how biological factors, social factors and life-events can affect people’s psychological processes to lead to mental health problems. This means that we understand how metal health problems are multi-factorial in nature, and require multi-agency solutions. We strongly welcome the Pact’s focus on the five key priority areas: prevention of depression and suicide, mental health in youth and employment, mental health in workplace settings, mental health of older people and combating stigma and exclusion. We feel that these priority areas, together, form a welcome basis for future positive action. As psychologists, we believe in promoting positive psychological well-being across the age-range and in all sectors of society. We echo strongly the key messages that psychological well-being is a universal right, that mental health is more than the absences of illness, that this means a focus on developing the potential and maximising the contribution of all members of society and that this, in turn, is likely to yield a strengthened and empowered civil society. We therefore strongly welcome the Pact’s focus on well-being, and on the potential that enhanced psychological well-being has to enable citizens to enjoy enhanced quality of life, learning, working and participation in civil society. In short, we believe that promotion of mental health will yield a healthier society.

The British Psychological Society further welcomes the detailed policy suggestions to take forward these key priorities. The skills and expertise of clinical and other applied psychologists are, we believe, key to delivering the strategies and services needed to make these aspirations a reality. In the UK, the ‘New Horizons’ policy initiative – designed to set the mental health policy objectives for mental health care in England and Wales – clearly integrates well with the European Pact. We therefore believe that it is entirely possible to realise the Pact’s aspiration to implement the Pact’s recommendations. For ourselves, the British Psychological Society is committed to work with National Governments, the European Commission and colleague organisations across Europe to develop these hugely positive proposals for promoting mental health and well-being. The Society is a member of Mental Health Europe (MHE) and shares its values. Professor Peter Kinderman Chair, Standing Committee for Psychologists in Health and Social Care The British Psychological Society 48 Princess Road East, Leicester LE1 7DR Tel: 0116 254 9568 Fax: 0116 227 1314 E-mail: mail@bps.org.uk www.bps.org.u


 European Central Council of Homeopaths (ECCH)

The European Central Council of Homeopaths (ECCH) is the professional platform for the homeopathy profession across Europe, made up of 27 professional associations from 23 countries. ECCH enthusiastically welcomes the creation of the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being and its five priority areas. Giving a higher priority to mental health is long overdue.

As homeopaths we understand each patient as an integrated whole of mind, body and spirit and their mental health problems within that context. The mind influences body and vice versa. In our holistic approach to patient care we take into account the impact of the external social and physical environment on mental well-being and through consultation and homeopathic treatment, work with patients to help restore them to a healthy state mentally and physically.

We welcome the Commission's support for creating common areas for partnership and collaborative action for the benefit of all EU citizens. We offer our holistic approach to care and treatment as an additional approach to understanding and caring for people with mental health problems across Europe.

Stephen Gordon MCH RSHom FSHom
General Secretary
European Central Council of Homeopaths
International Council for Homeopathy
School House, Market Place
Kenninghall, Norfolk NR16 2AH
United Kingdom
Tel/Fax: 0044 (0) 1953 888163
Mobile: 0044 (0) 7767360944
Email: ecch@gn.apc.org
Web-site: www.homeopathy-ecch.eu
Web-site: www.homeopathy-ich.org


 European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA)

The European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA) represents the academic discipline and profession of psychology in Europe. It has member associations in 35 European countries, including 26 countries of the European Union, with a total membership of more than 250,000 psychologists.

EFPA is committed to the continuing development of psychological research, teaching and practice in Europe. Through EuroPsy, the European Certificate in Psychology, it sets a standard for competence and ethics in psychological practice throughout Europe. EFPA endorses the principle of responsible expertise, that is, it seeks responsibility for all matters on which psychology holds knowledge and professional competence. Through a broad range of activities it contributes to the promotion of human health, wellbeing, creative and productive performance, and social participation.

EFPA emphasizes that health promotion should be based on the insight that health is tightly intertwined with these other dimensions of human life. Health, including mental health, is a continuously changing state produced in a path-dependent way by the interplay of genetics, exposure to environmental conditions, and human activity. This activity, individual and social, influences health in many ways: it can damage, strain, or exhaust, but also protect, strengthen, and recuperate the person. Psychological expertise is indispensible for understanding the role of human activity in health, including its mental and physical aspects and their interrelationships. It enables psychology to make an important contribution in shaping effective health policies.

Given the foregoing, EFPA has eagerly welcomed the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being. It considers the aims of the Pact to be very valuable and its methods well chosen. The aims of the Pact fit very well in EFPA’s view of a future Europe, as laid down in its comments on EU 2020 (www.efpa.eu/news/efpa-comments-on-eu-2020). EFPA expresses the full support of Europe’s psychologists to the implementation of the Pact for Mental health and Well-being. It offers its help in the realization of the Pact, amongst others by providing input into the thematic conferences on mental health and well-being, sharing information on best practices, disseminating recommendations through its member associations, and supporting member associations in initiatives on mental health and well-being within EU Member States.

Prof. dr. Robert A. Roe
President of EFPA


 EPAPSY- Scientific Association for Regional Development and Mental Health

On behalf the Board of Directors of WAPR I’d like to express our strong commitment and contribution to the implementation of the European Part for Mental Health and Well-being. As you know we were actively involved in the elaboration of this Pact and we believe that only with join and continuous efforts of our organizations our common ethical values will be established in the mental health field and the gap between declarations and the reality of mental health services of EU will be reduced.
Warm Regards,

On behalf of WAPR
Stelios Stylianidis
Ass. Professor of Social Psychiatry
Panteion University
Scientific Director of EPAPSY
Member of WAPR Board
Greece


 ESN- European Social Network

European Social Network (ESN) supports the European Pact for Mental Health and Wellbeing and is committed to contribute to its implementation. ESN, as a network for local public social services, welcomes the opportunity to be involved in the Pact recognising that mental health is not only an issue for health but also for social services.

Mental health has been a cross cutting issue in other policy work carried out by ESN and the organisation has previously worked in the area of mental health through the seminar “Building partnerships in mental health for economic and social integration” (Madrid, 2009). In 2010, ESN launched a new working group on Mental Health as part of ESN policy and practice programme 2010/11.

The Group is composed of directors of local health and social services, policy makers, and researchers from 8 different European countries (Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the UK).

The aim of the Group is to enhance mutual learning around the implementation of policy and practice to improve people’s wellbeing, feed this learning into the activities that the European Commission is organising in the framework of the Pact, and contribute to the improvement of the quality of mental health services and the dissemination of good practice. Re-evaluating social services in the promotion of mental health in light of the 5 areas defined by the Pact, the ESN working group has identified the following issues as cross-cutting:

1. Translating rights and values in mental health into action

2. Promoting the voice of people and families who have experience of using mental health services

3. Building strategic planning and strengthening cooperation amongst sectors and services including health, social, education, employment and housing

4. Ensuring professional assessment of needs of users

5. Developing personalized care and support through a range of community based services

6. Promoting training and education activities/campaigns to raise awareness and educate people working in services across sectors (health, social, etc.)

7. Building the economic case for investment in mental health and monitoring of outcomes of particular actions

8. The need of a shared vision of mental health across the EU.

Local social and health services have a vital role for people with mental health problems to provide support and empowerment.

In most countries, health and social services have the legal duty to protect people with mental health problems and to provide appropriate care, upholding values of respect, professionalism and responsibility. However, the division between health and social services can sometimes be a barrier to the effective provision of care for people with mental health conditions.

ESN believes that local health and social services together have a wider impact on people’s well being and they improve life chances of those suffering from mental health conditions.



John Halloran
Chief Executive
 


 EUREGHA Working Group on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

The European Regional and Local Health Authorities platform (EUREGHA) Working Group on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention welcomes and supports the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-Being. The Working Group was established in April 2009 as a platform for regions to share experiences in the fields of policy development, implementation of preventive initiatives and research on issues of relevance for suicide prevention.

The EUREGHA Working Group on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention and Suicide Prevention The working group was set up by regional and local authorities who identified the prevention of suicide as a major concern. The European Commission Consensus Paper of June 2008 and the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-Being raised awareness amongst the regional and local level on the importance of having this discussion on a trans-regional level and of involving the EU dimension and initiatives in their cooperation. The working group contributed to the Mental Health Pact conference "Prevention of Depression and Suicide- Making it Happen" held in Budapest 10-11 December 2009, with a presentation by our Flemish member. The Flemish Agency for Care and Health provided a presentation about actions to prevent suicide at local/regional level in the parallel session 2: determinants and risk factors of suicide.

Challenges for the prevention of suicide in European regions

The regions of The EUREGHA Working Group on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention particularly welcome the call of the Pact for policy makers and stakeholders to take action on the prevention of suicide in all areas outlined in the text.
Furthermore, the regions believe that, in view of the role played by a wide range of sectors (not only health) in promoting mental wellbeing, a key challenge is to convey the importance of mental well-being to national, regional and local policy makers, stakeholders and the general public.

This challenge has to be met on several fronts:

1. Education and awareness-raising of the general public to counter the lack of understanding and the stigma and discrimination which continue to surround mental health;
2. Mainstreaming mental health as an important component of public health as well as all other relevant policy areas (social policy, employment, education etc.). The effectiveness of many health promotion interventions hinges on addressing the psychosocial aspects of health-related behaviour;
3. Developing concepts and terminology for mental health that are culturally appropriate, sensitive and meaningful to different sectors;
4. Influencing national, regional and local policy makers and decision makers to explain the relevance and importance of mental health to health, social and economic policies, including the need for mental health promotion within the workplace. Raising awareness of the economic impact mental health problems have in these areas and of the need for action to de-stigmatise mental disorders;
5. Raising awareness among public institutions and service provider organisations of their role in contributing both to the mental well-being of the population and to the social inclusion and to the safeguarding of the human rights of people with mental health problems;
6. Fostering supportive environments by promoting mental health during the lifecycle, including mental health promotion actions in schools, work place and nursing homes;
7. Fostering support to bereaved families, colleagues and friends.

The regions have also identified some additional important challenges to be tackled:
  • Shortage of Data and Registry: Although good quality data on suicide are available from Eurostat and in WHO databases and from the numerous European and national projects, allowing comparisons between different member states, age groups and genders and the monitoring of change over time, there is still a lack of clear comparable data between regions in Europe. In this regard, it is important to highlight the need of data collection at regional level given the existing discrepancies in suicide rates between regions within the same Member State, e.g. in Italy suicide rates are significantly higher in the North than in the South.1 Furthermore, the under-reporting of suicide as a result of the misallocation of suicides to other causes of deaths, could be considered another interesting aspect to be addressed.
  • The media role: Certain kinds of media reports on suicides can lead to subsequent suicidal actions due to imitation. Suicidal people are often intensively preoccupied with the issue of self-inflicted death. In this state, a related television or press report can have a significant influence on their decision.3 Therefore is therefore a strong need for cooperation and networking with journalists and editors to share consensus guidelines for the reporting of suicides.
  • In Europe, nearly 60 per cent of the population use the internet in Europe.4 The internet eliminates physical and geographical barriers, providing anonymity and access to information 24 hours per day5 and represents therefore a suitable channel to convey preventative measures through chats, help-lines, emails, and asynchronous online support groups. These minimise the hurdle of time and distance and guarantee anonymity, which reduces the psychological barriers to seek help. The advent of the internet and social networking has also strongly influenced communications among young people. The relationship between the internet and suicide is complex: on the one hand it can encourage the vulnerable to act, and on the other it provides an opportunity for complementary preventative measures by offering support groups through chat rooms, emails, or self help groups run by mental health providers.
     

European Projects –EUREGENAS and OSPI-Europe

Following the identification of the above mentioned challenges, a number of regions and other organisations active in the working group submitted in March 2010 a joint project proposal to the Public Health Programme in the field of mental health promotion and suicide prevention. The “EUropean REGions ENforcing Actions against Suicide” – EUREGENAS project aims to involve a large number of local and regional authorities with the intent to create capacity within the field of mental health promotion and suicide prevention and foster better community-based systems of early detection, support and referral so as to reach the most vulnerable groups and reduce suicide rates. Stemming from an already established partnership, the project aims to create and multiply positive spin-offs between and within the regional and local authorities so as to boost the community-based early detection and referral systems of suicidal behaviour.

In line with EU Health Strategy, the project undertakes a holistic approach to public health by availing of new technology and communication and management models in order to make health services more accessible to people who deliberately avoid seeking help via the traditional channels. The creation of sustainable networks, the implementation of cluster management plans and piloting actions targeting survivors are strategic means to encourage greater responsiveness and support within communities to enable mental health-enhancing behaviour.

The project is complementary to existing European and international projects and research and findings, including the European Alliance Against Depression’s (EAAD) 4-level approach that has already been implemented in different regions in 17 European countries.7 The EAAD’s OSPI-Europe collaborative research project funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme aimed to provide EU members with an evidence based prevention concept for suicidality.

The EUREGHA Working Group on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention welcomes the opportunity offered to regions and other stakeholders by the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-Being to actively contribute to the debate on the promotion of mental health and well-being. We will look to continue contributing to this debate providing the best practices of actions targeting the regional and local level and the views of our regional experts.

At EU level, we feel it is of crucial importance to link efforts to promote mental health and well-being to inherent initiatives promoting the well being of the population.

The pilot partnership on active and healthy ageing that was launched on 6 October 2010 as one of the key elements of the "Innovation Union". We believe that the goal of the partnership to enable citizens to live longer independently in good health by increasing the average number of healthy life years is closely related to the aims of the Mental Health Pact and of the ones of The EUREGHA Working Group on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention and one that will only be achieved through collaboration between all stakeholders, including regional and local authorities. In the field of e-mental health the Commission is currently financing 6 projects for a total of € 19 million. The regions of EUREGHA call for the promotion of regional and local initiatives to develop internet self help tools as a complement to traditional services.

In its flagship initiative ‘Agenda for New Skills for New Jobs,’ the Commission has outlined how it will work with Member States to meet the EU 2020 target of increasing the employment rate for women and men to 75 %. One of the 13 accompanying measures foreseen is to work with Member States to develop action plans in order to fill the shortage of health workers, with special emphasis on assisting vulnerable groups. The Communication also highlights the importance of workers’ mental health in reaching the Union’s goals. The EUREGHA Working Group on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention welcomes the initiative’s aim to efficiently include vulnerable groups into the labour market such as people with mental health problems and recommends high skilled jobs and tailored training programmes are promoted in the care sector in order to create a skilled workforce that can meet the demands of an ageing Europe and of shortages in the health workforce and resources.

The regions of EUREGHA recommend that research initiatives continue to fund research in the field of mental health promotion under the Health theme of the Cooperation Programme of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

The regions of EUREGHA also invite the Commission to take on board the recommendations outlined in the Committee of the Regions’ own-initiative opinion of Adam Banaszak (PL/EA) “The Role of Local and Regional Authorities in the Implementation of the Health Strategy 2008-2013”9. The opinion stresses the need to change the way in which the strategy is implemented in order to take full account of the interests and experience of local and regional authorities and calls for health indicators and objectives to be included in the Europe 2020 strategy, notes the many possibilities for improving the way in which the strategy operates, especially as regards European funds, mechanisms and structures for implementing the strategy, regional health indicators and objectives as well as adapting healthcare systems to meet new challenges; Considering the mid-term review of the Public Health Programme we would be keen to see a move towards the topics of Mental Health as part of the last two years of the Public Health Programme with project grants which have been very useful for the development and implementation of actions at local and regional level.

The EUREGHA Working Group on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention would also like to promote the launch of a Joint Action on mental health and wellbeing under the EU Public Health Programme 2008-2013 providing a platform for exchange of views, cooperation and coordination for Member States and local and regional authorities. The joint action should capitalise on the results and platforms created by past and current European projects, as well as national, regional and local initiatives tackling issues such as suicide prevention at a population level, mental health at work, actions targeting the elderly and children and adolescents looking to identify and analyse evidence- based best practices and policy approaches as well as building innovative partnerships between the health and other sectors for the promotion of mental health and wellbeing at local and regional level across the EU. Also special attention should be granted to innovative models of multi-level governance structures.

References

Adekolao et al (2006) “Cybersuicide: Review of the Role of the Internet on Suicide," CyberPsychology and Behavior, 2006

Burns, J.M., et al. (2009). Mental Health of Young People in the United States: What Role Can the Internet Play in Reducing Stigma and Promoting Help Seeking? Journal of Adolescent Health 45, 95–97.

Committee of the Regions (2010) “The Role of Local and Regional Authorities in the Implementation of the Health Strategy 2008-2013”
http://www.cor.europa.eu/pages/DetailTemplate.aspx?view=detail&id=31882821-f636-408c-8ade-e8182885f3e3

EAAD http://www.eaad.net/enu/3699.php

Gilat & Shahar (2007) “Emotional aid in a suicidal crisis: Comparison of telephone and the internet” Psychiatry: Interpersonal & Biological Processes, 70, pp. 12-18

Internet World Stats http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats4.htm

Phillips and Ruth (1993) “Adequacy of Official Suicide Statistics for Scientific Research and Public Policy” Suicide and Life-threatening behaviour, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 307-319

Scocco P, de Girolamo G, Vilagut G, Alonso J: Prevalence of suicide ideation, plans, and attempts and related risk factors in Italy. Results from the European Study on the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders-World Mental Health study. Comprehensive Psychiatry. 49(1):13-21, 2008
 



 Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology (IPiN)

The Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology (IPiN) as a governmental institution and a member of the Mental Health Europe sharing the values and objectives of positive mental health promotion and prevention of mental disorders, welcomes and fully supports the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being.

Within the framework of its mission, the scope of its activities and networking, the Institute is committed to the Pact implementation. The Institute contribution to the task will consist in promoting the implementation of the National Mental Health Programme in Poland, with the focus on the thematic priorities of the Pact:
  • Prevention of Depression and Suicide;
  • Mental Health and Youth;
  • Mental Health and Older People;
  • Mental Health in Workplace Settings;
  • Combating Stigma and Social Exclusion.

The main aims of the National Mental Health Programme include mental health promotion, especially at school and workplace, and prevention of mental disorders, particularly depression, suicide, family and school violence, as well as disorders related to psychoactive substance use. The necessary support for persons with mental disorders is defined in the Programme in terms of widespread, multilevel health care and other kinds of assistance essential for their living in the community. Moreover, the need for conducting research and development of adequate information systems in the area of mental health is highlighted. The Programme aims to improve availability, accessibility, quality and organisation of mental health services and treatment at all levels. Strong emphasis is put on the development of community-based psychiatry, on intersectoral coordination of mental health care and social assistance services, on the provision of social and occupational rehabilitation as well as employment for people with mental health problems.

The IPiN will contribute to the implementation of the Pact striving to accomplish the following specific objectives:

  • initiate and assist in organizing both campaigns related to mental health and well-being and these targeting specific mental disorders and mental health problems (e.g. suicide, depression, schizophrenia, stress, Alzheimer’s disease, substance abuse);
  • assist governmental agencies (national and local) in formulating polices and programmes on relevant mental health issues;
  • monitor mental health policies, programmes and legislations;
  • provide training on different aspects of mental health (e.g. promotion, user/carer empowerment) and prevention of substance abuse among youth;
  • conduct research projects on treatment of mental disorders and mental health problems;
  • produce, gather and disseminate examples of good practices;
  • organise thematic conferences, facilitate exchange of experience and research findings.

IPN’s mission is to improve health care in the field of psychiatry and neurology and to conduct research in these and allied fields. IPN’s values are based on dignity and respect, equal opportunities, freedom of choice, anti-discrimination, social inclusion, democracy and participation. IPN believes that much more can be done in the promotion of mental health and well-being and the prevention of mental disorders if we address civil society, those suffering from mental illness, their carers and families.

In the area of Mental Health of older people we contribute to the early diagnosis, administration of drugs, help and support of the patients so that they satisfy their daily needs.

On behalf of the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology
Prof. Danuta Ryglewicz, M.D., Director

Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology
Sobieskiego 9
02-957 Warsaw, Poland
tel. (48 22) 4582 706 fax. (48 22) 651 93 01
e-mail: czabala@ipin.edu.pl
 



 Mental and Physical Health Platform (MPHP)

As a new partnership gathering advocacy groups and experts across disease areas and countries (see below for the member organisations undersigning this statement), the Mental and Physical Health Platform (MPHP) provides a forum for dialogue on the close and complex interactions between mental and physical health and seeks to make the case for action to address the personal, social and economic burden of combined mental health and physical health problems.

The European Pact for Mental Health and Well-Being adopted in June 2008 represents a significant step forward in promoting a more universal understanding of mental health as an essential objective for policy action at both European and national level. In recognition of this, the Mental and Physical Health Platform welcomes the Pact, commits to support its implementation, and encourages partners at all levels to deliver concrete change in coming years.

The Mental and Physical Health Platform calls for the inclusion of the links between mental and physical health as a horizontal theme across all priority areas of the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-Being. Improving the physical health of people living with mental health problems represents an essential and complementary objective that should be reflected in the Pact. In line with the European Parliament's Resolution on Mental Health (adopted in February 2009) which recognises the interaction between mental and physical health, we hope that the Pact will address this important issue in its forthcoming recommendations for action.

In this respect, we are convinced that the Mental and Physical Health Charter, developed by the Mental and Physical Health Platform and launched in October 2009, will continue to broaden the dialogue and to engage stakeholders across Europe to improve mental and physical health and well-being. On behalf of the Mental and Physical Health Platform:
 

The European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness (EUFAMI)

The International Obesity Taskforce (IOTF)

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) - European Region

World Organisation of Family Doctors Working Party on Mental Health

HEART EU - The European Cholesterol Patient Foundation

Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks - Europe (GAMIAN-Europe)

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS)

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Europe Ltd.



About the Mental and Physical Health Platform:

People with enduring mental health problems are more likely to have physical health problems than the general population. Conversely, poor physical health can have a negative effect on mental health. These challenges have a huge impact on the length and quality of people's lives and lead to enormous costs for society.

The Mental and Physical Health Platform was established in April 2008 with the two-fold aim of raising greater awareness of the interplay between mental health and physical health, and changing mindsets to address its consequences.

Chaired first by John Bowis OBE, former Member of the European Parliament, and later by Antonyia Parvanova MD, Member of the European Parliament, the Platform brings together associations and individuals from across Europe with an interest in mental health and in physical health. The Platform is moderated by David McDaid of the London School of Economics and Political Science, who is also the author of the Platform's key deliverables. The initiative is supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals.



 Mental Health Europe (MHE)

We, Mental Health Europe (MHE), as European non-governmental organisation devoted to the promotion of positive mental health and the prevention of mental distress, welcome and fully support the European Pact for Mental Health and Wellbeing. We commit ourselves to contribute to its actual implementation, also through our member organisations.

Since the early stages, Mental Health Europe and its members have been engaged in key activities and events around the Pact’s thematic priorities:
  • Youth, Education and Mental Health;
  • Prevention of Depression and Suicide;
  • Mental Health and Older People;
  • Mental Health in Workplace Settings; and
  • Combating Stigma and Social Exclusion

MHE calls for actions at all levels to promote mental health and well-being and to raise awareness on the Pact’s priorities. In order to keep mental health and well-being high on the EU and national political agendas, MHE actively contributes to the Pact implementation by providing strategic advice on relevant mental health issues; by gathering examples of action and good practices; by raising awareness of the Pact at the EU, national and local level; by assisting with building capacity for all the actors involved and mobilising support for the Pact.

MHE vision is of a Europe where mental health and well-being is given high priority in the political spectrum and on the European health and social agenda, where (ex)users of mental health services live as full citizens with access to appropriate services and support when needed, and where meaningful participation is guaranteed at all levels of decision-making and administration.

MHE’s mission is to promote mental health and well-being of all citizens, for all minority groups and the whole of Europe. MHE’s values are based on dignity and respect, equal opportunities, freedom of choice, anti-discrimination, social inclusion, democracy and participation. MHE believes that much more can be done in the promotion of mental health and well-being and the prevention of mental disorders if we address civil society, those suffering from mental illness, their carers and families.

On behalf of Mental Health Europe
Mary Van Dievel, Director



 Mental Health Mobile Unit of Lassithi-Crete

We, the Mental Health Mobile Unit of Lassithi-Crete- as a non-profit organization working under the spirit of social community psychiatry and psychiatric reform and devoted to the prevention, therapy and rehabilitation of the persons suffering from psychiatric disorders within their social context, welcome and fully support the European Pact for Mental Health and Well Being. We actively contribute to the Pact Implementation through the following ways.

In the area of preventing of Depression and Suicide by:
  • crisis intervention
  • home-based care
  • regular psychiatric evaluation and patient counselling.
  • adult psychotherapy.
  • implementing primary prevention such as seminars, workshops, open discussions.
  • educational training of selected target groups such as healthcare professionals, educators, parents associations, local associations.
  • organizing self-help groups and patient groups.

In the area of Education and Youth by providing service to children and teenagers suffering from mental disorders and/or psychosocial problems, or they belong to groups at high risk for the development of mental disorders.

Specifically we offer :

  • regular evaluation by child psychiatrist.
  • family counselling
  • parent school
  • educator training

In the workplace we implement actions so that mental disordered patients retain their jobs and we provide them with vocational as well as educational opportunities.

In the area of Mental Health of older people we contribute to the early diagnosis, administration of drugs, help and support of the patients so that they satisfy their daily needs.

In conclusion with regard to Stigma and Social Exclusion we contribute to the Pact implementation by being a mental health service that is well adjusted in the community and that functions according to the principle of transferring care from the disease to the person and its environment. Furthermore, we contribute to the Pact implementation by taking measures aiming at the formation of a positive public attitude towards the mentally ill and their families. Such measures include seminars, open talks, discussions with educators. local associations, employees, executive officers. We have continuous and consistent collaboration with the church, the municipality, the police and every person that can contribute in a positive way to the help of others.
The Mental Health Mobile Unit acts according to the principle of equality in health and care. As a result individuals can access our service despite their age group, sex, origin, and socio-economical background.

The scientific responsible
Dr. Kanavakis Emmanouil



 EU-Project Monitoring Mental Health Environments (MMHE)

MMHE aimed to collect, process, analyse and evaluate, objective, reliable and comparable available information and data in 17 European regions, to effectively formulate and monitor appropriate strategies, policies and tools on the field of promoting positive Mental Health at regional level. The project is making a specific contribution to the Pact by delivering recommendations for actions for progress in addressing one of its priority themes: implementation of Mental Health Policies in European regions. The objectives of MMHE are/were:
  • To collect and analyse in 17 European regions available data of an already tested and agreed set of 31 structural indicators of social and environmental factors that have proved impact in positive Mental Health.
  • To make explicit the impact of certain environmental factors on positive mental health through the elaboration of a didactic manual which reviews the main research done in the field in the last decades, and develop new key concepts.
  • To conduct a comparative mental health promotion policy analysis. Personal interviews were made with key public health stakeholders in several European regions in order to analyse mental health promotion policies, comparing the different regional indicators.
  • To organise as a final project conference a Policy Forum for Monitoring Mental Health Environments (September 2009) where the results of the entire project will be presented and a policy agenda proposed to implement the recommendations and the wide use of the elaborated template in all the European regions.

Mental Health Promotion is clearly related to the Lisbon agenda, as is stated in the Pact. A mentally healthy working force is the key factor of the knowledge based production system. For that, social capital, social cohesion, tolerance, community resilience among other issues related with positive mental health, are crucial conditions. The main purpose of MMHE is therefore to offer stakeholders a template to help planning Mental Health Policies in the European regions. The key question is to analyse how causes of action (individuals and ideas) interact with constrains of action (socio-economic environment, interest groups, networks) at different times and places. The Pact – and this is the chance – brings together at regional level in Europe stakeholders from the Mental Health Policy sector with relevant researchers to support and promote mental health and well-being: MMHE welcomes insistent the Pact as an initiative of the European Commission strengthening Mental Health Policies in European regions.

Partners working in this project are

  • North West Strategic Health Authority (United Kingdom) www.northwest.nhs.uk
  • Regional Public Health Institute Maribor (Slovenia) www.zzv-mb.si
  • Brücke Rendsburg-Eckernförde e.V. (Germany) www.bruecke.org
  • University of Lisboa - National School for Public Health (Portugal) www.ensp.unl.pt
  • Mental Health Matters (United Kingdom) www.mentalhealthmatters.com
  • National Institute for Health and Welfare - WHO Collaborating Centre for Mental Health Promotion, Prevention and Policies (Finland) www.thl.fi
  • Deusto University of Bilbao and Basque Health Department (Spain) www.deusto.es

Fore more information visit MMHE website www.mmhe.eu (e.g. registration Policy Forum 14 – 16 September 2009, didactic manual “Building Up Good Mental Health”)



 PGEU

With regard to the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being, and taking into account PGEU’s policy statement on ‘Improving mental health of the population: community pharmacists’ contribution towards a strategy on mental health for the European Union’1, we would like to express our commitment in terms of what we can do as a stakeholder to contribute to the implementation of the Pact. Therefore, these are the following concrete areas where, within the spirit of our mission and scope of our activity, constituency and networking, we could add value to the implementation of the Pact:

1. Raise awareness about the pact amongst PGEU members and promote action in the three priority areas where pharmacists’ contribution can add value:
  • Prevention of Depression and Suicide;
  • Mental Health in Youth and Education;
  • Mental Health of Older People.

This can be done through the following activities:

  • Encourage PGEU members to establish national contacts with competent authorities in order to develop multi-disciplinary partnerships leading to training activities for pharmacists with regards aspects of mental health (raising awareness of the topic; providing specific training on treatment options, communication skill aspects, how to deal with gender, age and socio-economic specificities, etc);
  • Encourage PGEU members to establish national contacts with competent authorities in order to participate in na tional mental health awareness raising campaigns (community pharmacies are an excellent place to pass public health messages to the population), both in relation to mental health and well being and to campaigns targeting specific mental disorders and mental health problems (e.g. depression, stress, Alzheimer);
  • Encourage a dialogue between PGEU members and competent authorities in order to discuss aspects related with access to potential means for suicide (medicines-related), as well as aspects related with the pharmacological treatment of mental health disorders and problems such as medicines which therapeutic effect and/or side effects can impact on states of mood disorder, including depression and stress, medicines which potential side effects may include suicidal attempts, medicines used to treat mental health disorders/problems which may interact with other medicines used for treating common chronic diseases, misuse and abuse of ansiolitics, antipsychotics and antidepressants, etc – this could lead to other specific actions, including those linked to rational use and adherence pharmacy-based programmes and to pharmacy computer systems associated with decision support and report and learning systems.

2. Actively engage in an EU Mental Health Platform by nominating a PGEU representative who could bring to the platform the experiences and examples of good practices in Community Pharmacy and the results of the above mentioned actions as well as to promote to PGEU members the platform initiatives.

3. Actively engage in the consultation process leading to the thematic conferences background documents and propose speakers for the thematic conferences.



 Slovak League for Mental Health

We, Slovak League for Mental Health (LDZ) is national non-governmental organisation with the targets to reduce stigma of mental disorder in the society, to help to eliminate the discrimination of people with mental health problems, to minimalize physical and mental solicitude and to active support mental health. We are also a member of MHE and we share its values. We wisth fully support the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being. We commit ourselves to contribute to its actual implementation. We, in recent years, have been engaged in key activities of Pact's thematic priorities.

Therefore, these are the following concrete areas where we could contribute to the implementation of the Pact:

1.to raise awareness on the Pact's priorities at national and local level:
  • Youth, Education and Mental Health;
  • Prevention of Depression and Suicide;
  • Mental Health and Older People;
  • Mental Health in Workplace Settings;
  • Combating Stigma and Social Exclusion

This can be done through the following activities:
We will inform, promote best practice and encourage actions by stakeholders and help address common challenges and tackle health inequalities.
We will continue to organize media campaigns. For the World Mental Health Day we organize a special Mental Health Week campaign with activities in more then 53 towns in Slovakia. The aim of the campaign is to raise public awareness on value of mental health prevention and importance of social inclusion of people with mental health problems.

Our ambition is on one hand to strengthen stakeholder's awareness on problems of social exlusion of people with mental health problems and on other hand help to establish various forms of available community care.

2. We commit ourselves to contribute to Pact's actual implementation.

This could be done by means of an analyses of the current situation of social exclusion of people with mental health problems in Slovak republic. We were looking for the best way how to rise awareness on this issue in Slovak republic and in the same time how to support a need for the good practices that are helping. We wish to focus on existing situation in Slovakia in the field of the Pact priority areas.

LDZ is carring out a national Project "Mental health at the high schools". The basic objective of the project is to familiarize the students with the problems of mental health and mental diseases (discussion and interactive methods). The secondary observed objectives are to reduce preconception opinions, stereotypes and stigmatization associated with mental diseases and their treatment. League for Mental Health in SR (LDZ) is national platform which associate regional patients' organizations and relatives. For this target group LDZ administers a program "Education of the leaders of the patients organizations and relatives". The mission of this program is to improve activities of the organizations and so increase their influence to ameliorate the situation in the field of mental health in regions, to raise their efficiency to advance their rights and to impact regional and national policy.

LDZ welcomes the Pact as an initiative of the European Commission strengthening Mental Health Policies in European regions.

On behalf of Slovak League for Mental Health (LDZ)
Alexandra Fischerova, Director



 Society of Social Psychiatry & Mental Health

We, the Society of Social Psychiatry and Mental Health (SSP&MH) as a non-profit, scientific society, working under the spirit of social-community psychiatry and devoted to the promotion of positive mental health and the prevention of mental distress, welcome and fully support the European Pact for Mental Health and Wellbeing. We commit ourselves to contribute to its actual implementation.

We are also an active member of Mental Health Europe and we work towards the same aim and share the same view.

Since 1981 the SSP&MH has been engaged in key activities and events around the Pact's thematic priorities:
  • Youth, Education and Mental Health;
  • Prevention of Depression and Suicide;
  • Mental Health and Older People;
  • Mental Health in Workplace Settings; and
  • Combating Stigma and Social Exclusion

The SSP&MH actively participates to the Psychiatric Reform, being realized in Greece. This is focused on the prevention of psychiatric disorders, early interventions and the social and work rehabilitation of individuals with chronic psychosocial difficulties. The SSP&MH provides its services to children, adolescents, adults and elderly people with simple or more severe mental health and disability problems.

The SSP&MH's main targets are the following:

  • Definition of sectorization
  • Development of "Sensitizing the Community" activities. We also work with local communities: schools, police, church and local authorities
  • Emphasis to the out-hospital attendance and the link between the community, the users and the services
  • Child guidance units in cooperation with the Institute of Mental Health for Children and Adults
  • Follow-up of users of mental health services and cooperation with the family
  • Function of Day Centers in order to provide services to adults
  • Function of residential houses for individuals with psychosocial problems from the psychiatric hospital of Leros as well as other ones
  • Social and work rehabilitation
  • Realization of programs for persons with psychological and psychosocial problems
  • Emphasizing and respecting the person's rights and social inclusion
  • Believing that every person in need has the same rights as all citizens:
    - the right to live a normal life in the community
    - the right to work
    - the right to delight the social activities, and a social network
    - the right to education and training
    - the right to have personal treatment, according to his needs, at home or in the community.

As an active member of MHE, we call for actions at all levels to promote mental health and well-being and to raise awareness on the Pact's priorities. We also undersign the MHE's statement.

In order to keep mental health and well-being high on the EU and national political agendas, SSP&MH actively contributes to the Pact implementation by providing high quality psychiatric and psychological support services in order to ensure the population's mental health and well being. The Society undertakes community sensitisation activities and promotes the prevention of mental health problems, the early intervention, the social inclusion and employment of people with mental health problems, advancing their human rights and equal opportunities. Also the SSP&MH promotes dignity and respect, equal opportunities, freedom of choice, anti-discrimination, social inclusion, democracy and participation for all citizens, as it works with minority groups (different religion and national groups in Evros and Fokida) .

The SSP&MH promotes the active participation of (ex)users of mental health services at all levels of decision-making. The SSP&MH also collaborates with relevant stakeholders in order to promote the function of a network of mental health services and facilitate the equal access in quality services for all citizens.

For the SSP&MH
The Scientific Responsible
P. Sakellaropoulos
Professor of Psychiatry - Child Psychiatry

Society of Social Psychiatry
& Mental Health
22 Meletiou Piga Str.
116 36 Athens
GREECE
Tel. (+30) 210 92 21 739 /(+30) 210 92 27 611
Fax. (+30) 210 92 31 210
Email: ekpsath@otenet.gr



 Trimbos Institute

The Trimbos Institute (Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction) is firmly in support of the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being.

The Institute is an independent not-for-profit institute, and partner of the Netherlands Public Health Federation. The Institute's mission is to develop, evaluate and disseminate interventions that help to promote good health, prevent disorder onset, and provide treatment and after-care in the field of mental and substance use disorders. We have a dedicated staff of 250 people, mainly researchers. Within the framework of the Institute's mission, activities and partnerships we are committed
  • to develop, evaluate and disseminate web-based and face-to-face health interventions which assist in promoting well-being, preventing onset of mental disorders, and providing treatment for the various manifestations and sequelae of mental disorder across the life span,
  • to conduct epidemiological and health economic research in the field of prevention and treatment of the common mental disorders (e.g. to identify high-risk groups, and to ascertain the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of preventive and curative mental health interventions),
  • to assist national and local governments and health services with research and advice on the promotion of well-being and the prevention of mental disorders and suicide.

Dr. Jan Walburg, CEO

Trimbos Institute
(Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction)
PO Box. 725, 3500 AS, Utrecht, The Netherlands



 Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, MEP

Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, MEP , EPP Group´s Vice-President in the European Parliament wholeheartedly supports the European Pact for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Forewords of Consensus Papers



Foreword by Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Health

Increasingly, we are discovering the value of mental health and well-being in the population as a key resource for health, learning, productivity and social inclusion. We are also realising the pressing challenges which exist: This includes the need to tackle the rising levels of diagnosed mental health problems, to better enable and empower people experiencing mental ill-health to enjoy a meaningful life, to overcome stigma and to ensure fundamental rights.

Action on mental health is foremost a responsibility of Member State Governments and Regional authorities, together with the relevant actors in sectors such as health, youth, education, employment and civil society. At the same time, mental health issues are closely linked to European values and have an impact on the ability of the EU to achieve its policy objectives.

On 13 June 2008, the EU high-level conference "Together for Mental Health and Well-being" established the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being. This Pact is a symbol of the determination of conference participants to build on the EU-level’s potential to exchange and work together on mental health opportunities and challenges.

In order to the launch of the Pact, four consensus papers and a research paper were prepared on the priority themes of the Pact:
  • Prevention of Depression and Suicide;
  • Mental health in Youth and Education;
  • Mental health in Workplace Settings;
  • Mental health of Older People;
  • Combating stigma and social exclusion.

For each of these themes, the papers highlight figures and trends, discuss key aspects and identify first examples of evidence-based actions. Much of the value of the consensus papers lies in their broad ownership. Their preparation involved hundreds of experts from across Europe, with their specific perspective and expertise as researchers, policymakers, practitioners in relevant sectors, civil society actors, users and carers. The consensus papers create a solid foundation for the implementation of the Pact over the coming years, which shall include a mapping of activities in Member States, more collection of good practices, the development of shared recommendations and action commitments.

I am grateful to everybody who contributed to the preparation of the papers, and look forward to their wide use.

Foreword by Chris Harrison, President ESHA (European School Heads Association)


European School Heads Association (ESHA) recognise that mental health and well-being are key components of a ‘Healthy School’ environment where children do their best and can meet success through a broad range of opportunities and where they can meet the opportunity to build individual and collective confidence through their achievements each day.

ESHA fully supports the Commission’s focus on investment in the mental health of our youth and endorse the commitment to promoting both the physical and emotional health and well-being of children. Encouraging opportunities for pupils to develop the necessary skills and attitudes to be able to make reasoned and informed decisions about their health, their environment and their lifestyle reflects the professional recognition that raising levels of pupil achievement and academic standards requires schools to be both a physical and social environment which is conducive to meeting success for all learners.

In addition, ESHA endorses the view that the mental health and well-being of the school workforce is also a key priority which needs to be promoted at all levels through the recognition, exchange and sharing of good practice across European schools.

Foreword by Bettina Schwarzmayr, President European Youth Forum

Mental health lies at the heart of a young person’s social, professional and personal development yet youth is particularly vulnerable to mental health problems. Education plays a paramount role in building the foundation of the mental health and well being of youth. I was therefore very pleased that the high level Conference considered young people and education a priority and that the YFJ was involved in the preparations of the consensus paper as well as to present the view of European youth organizations during the conference. It was a timely progress that youth organisations were recognised as key players as the main providers of non formal education, and hence contribute to the empowerment of youth and their mental health. The Consensus paper on mental health in youth and education and the European Pact on Mental Health, put forward a holistic and pioneering approach which takes into account and addresses different factors and adopts a multi-sectoral approach, involving different stakeholders. It constitutes a significant sign of the recognition of the relevance of the issue of mental health of young people and a crucial step towards the improvement of young people’s mental health across Europe. The European Youth Forum fully endorses the initiative and commits to help implement the recommendations outlined in the consensus paper, hoping that all stakeholders will get involved and coordinate their efforts to help enhance the mental health of young people and that the EU will take the lead on such an issue and encourages Member States to make it a priority.


Foreword by Michael Wilks, President. Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME)

On behalf of European doctors, CPME congratulates the European Commission on giving high priority to the problems caused by mental ill-health. The impact of psychiatric disease spreads beyond the patient to his/her family, work colleagues and social life, causing further suffering and distress.

In June 2008 the Commission organised a conference whose focus was four key action areas:
  • prevention of suicide,
  • mental health in youth and education,
  • mental health in workplace environments,
  • elderly people

All these are of key importance, but perhaps the greatest impact of mental illness is in its most devastating consequence – suicide. Suicide is primarily an outcome of untreated depressive illness, but is also associated with alcohol and drug misuse. The devastation and loss that suicide brings to the families who experience it is profound. Worse, it can establish a cycle of depression within family members in which such an event can recur.

The role of doctors in addressing this threat is clear, and must be based on good training, clinical skills and the availability of responsive mental health services. The Commission’s "Green Paper on Mental Health" (2005), its publication "Together for Health: a Strategic Approach for the EU 2008-13", and the republication of this Consensus Paper all demonstrate both the importance of this issue as well as the welcome emphasis being placed on the fact that suicide is a preventable outcome of mental illness.

Clinicians and health providers are in the front line in providing effective detection, evidence-based treatment and support for those suffering from depression. Additionally, family members, work colleagues and friends all have a role in raising awareness of suicide risk. This paper highlights that inequalities and social exclusion are also significant factors in this area, and the national and local programmes mentioned illustrate the need to address these just as much as deploying good treatment services. It also stresses the need for more research into the link between these factors and depressive illness, so that preventive measures can be better targeted.

We all need to recognise that the stigma attached to mental illness is the chief factor that prevents our patients seeking help. We all need to work hard to remove what is a pernicious and damaging influence in European society. CPME welcomes the republication of this important paper, and is proud to be associated with it.



Foreword by Anne-Sophie Parent, Director, AGE-the European Older People s Platform

AGE welcomes the EU initiative to tackle the challenging issue of mental age in old age. With the rapid ageing of our population, the promotion and protection of good mental health in old age are becoming a major societal concern in all EU member states. It will be easier for Member States to respond to this chal- lenge if they coordinate their efforts and exchange research outcomes and good practice on how to detect and treat old age demantia, how to prevent adverse effect of overmedication and polypharmacy, how to better prepare older workers to move from full employment to retirement, how to prevent suicide among the very elderly, how to treat alcohol and drug abuse among older people, how to fight social isolation and elder abuse, and how to address properly the gender dimension of old age mental health. The scope of the EU demographic challenge makes it all the most urgent for Member States to adopt a holistic approach to healthy ageing, including the promotion of good mental health in old age. The European Union can help them better meet the needs of their ageing population by using the existing EU policy and funding instruments to promote active ageing and increase the number of Healthy Life Years. This is why AGE welcomes this Consensus Paper on Mental Health in Old Age as a comprehensive analysis of what the European Union can do to promote good mental health among its older citizens to ensure that the demographic challenge Europe is facing will be turned into greater opportunities, access and solidarity in the 21st century.


Foreword by Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Health and Vladimír Špidla, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities

The key resource for the EU’s success as a knowledge economy is the healthy minds of its workforce. In Europe, people nowadays work more with their heads and less with their hands. In order to do this in the best possible way, they need to enjoy good mental health and well-being.

Indeed, the knowledge economy offers great potential for more fulfilling jobs, which strengthen mental health and well-being. But at the same time, it also brings with it an increase of certain risk factors for well-being and mental heath: for instance, jobs are becoming ever more demanding and stressful, but at the same time less secure.

Linked to these work-related and other work-external developments, mental health problems are on the rise. The consequences for workplaces are considerable: mental health problems reduce performance at work, lead to work absenteeism and in some Member States they are already responsible for more than a third of cases of work incapacity.

Employers increasingly recognise the relevance of mental health problems as a cost factor, and the potential of well-being for building workplace success and reputation as an employer.

However, people experiencing mental health still face a proportionally high risk to lose their job, and people with severe mental disorders are one of the population groups which are furthest away from employment markets.

In order to promote the development of responses to these challenges, and to give visibility to existing good practices, we have launched the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being. It will allow Governments, employers, businesses, trade unions and scientific experts to exchange policies, practices and the evidence from research.

We welcome that major actors such as CSR Europe and ETUC have already declared their support of the Pact, and invite others to follow.

Work under the Pact shall contribute to the emergence of a workplace culture in the EU, which reconciles health and wealth: only healthy workplaces can sustain high levels of productivity, innovation and competitiveness, in particular in a knowledge economy. Health creates wealth.


Foreword by John Monks, General Secretary European Trade Union Confederation

When one tries to describe the context of mental health, one realises that it is not a minor issue. As mentioned in the proposed document, a quarter of European citizens are confronted with a mental health problem during their life.
And within the framework of their work, they are found in conditions having a direct link with mental health (jobs that do not match expectations in terms of career progression, constant work rhythms, deadlines that are too tight or even a lack of support on the part of the manager). The advanced figures on this subject show it explicitly.

For the ETUC, a key point of the approach, and mentioned in the document, remains the preventive aspect, which is unfortunately too often discredited. The social partners moreover have shown this wish to move towards more prevention if you look at their agreement on harassment and violence more closely.
The workplace should be able to provide a healthy environment of health and safety that is psychologically and socially helpful for all workers. It is fundamental to avoid anything that, from a health point of view, could be harmful, and to avoid exposure to risk factors. For us, it is not a question so much of promoting mental well-being at work but rather of creating the conditions for mental well-being at work.

In addition, in the proposed text, the issue of financial advantages and of the interest of the companies is very present. It seems important to balance this approach and to develop the positive aspect for the workers. Similarly, when you measure the costs for the companies, it is fundamental to also stress the costs for the «victims».
What do we know of the career interruptions of depressed persons, not only in monetary terms (loss of wages, of prospects, of social benefits, pharmaceutical costs, needs for assitance… ) but also in psychopathological (suffering) and social terms (relations with family, friends, social network)?

Lastly, we think that it is important to underline the necessary engagement of the stakeholders in relation to this subject, a genuine guarantee of success of the actions taken on. Working with the health and safety institutions is fundamental but not the only thing. We appreciate the reference to both agreements - stress and violence - in the introduction of the consensus document.

In conclusion, even if certain elements of the pact have still to be specified, for us the most essential thing remains the concrete actions that will follow, as well as the definition of the role of the various actors.


Foreword by Paul Stoffels, Company Group Chairman, Pharmaceuticals Johnson and Johnson and Étienne Davignon, Minister of State, President, CSR Europe

Mental Health and wellbeing are central to the lives of individuals and employment plays a significant role in guaranteeing a positive mental and physical state. For the most part, being an employed individual in today’s society is beneficial to a person’s wellbeing. In turn, wellbeing at work is a mandatory component to ensure productivity, innovation and efficiency of businesses, organizations and the European Union as a whole. In this sense, wellbeing in the workplace is crucial in promoting a positive physical and mental state amongst European citizens and a plays a significant role in meeting the European Employment Strategy on Growth and Jobs. In a nutshell, good health is good business.

CSR Europe’s Wellbeing in the Workplace Laboratory was created as part of the European Alliance for CSR, under the leadership of Johnson & Johnson, to bring companies and stakeholders around the table and identify key areas related to wellbeing issues in the workplace in order to mainstream the issue across companies and further build a business case for Wellbeing at work. For 18 months, members of the Laboratory have worked on addressing wellbeing at work from its most practical angle, and have produced a ‘Wellbeing at Work Guide’ to support companies and stakeholders in understanding the importance of the subject, provide tips for implementation, highlighting existing gaps, and present a wide range of best practice examples.
CSR Europe’s Wellbeing in the Workplace Laboratory welcomes the European Commission’s consensus paper and EU Pact on Mental Health. Both are much needed policy initiatives to strengthen the focus of individuals and organizations towards mental health and wellbeing, to promote data and information collection on the subject and its causes and to raise awareness on its devastating effects and preventive measures. Most importantly, it sets out action points and recognizes that attaining good mental health and wellbeing for all, in Europe, requires a holistic approach which must involve all relevant players; policy makers, stakeholders from numerous backgrounds, businesses and civil society organizations. We, therefore, welcome the initiative of the European Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing- a topic that will certainly be defining for our generation and which will impact the lives of all the generations to come. We would like to thank Mr. Spidla and Ms. Vassiliou for their contribution to the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being.