A workshop on "Public Mental Health Research – Bridging the Gap between Evidence and Policy" was organised jointly by DG Research and Innovation, DG Health and Consumers and DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology.
The Global Burden of Disease 2010 revealed that mental and substance use disorders were the leading global cause of all non-fatal burden of disease (YLDs). In the EU 38.2% of the population suffers from a mental disorder each year. Mental and brain disorders contribute 26.6% of the total burden of disease. Depression is among the top three causes of the disease burden in all EU-Member States.
Under various research framework programmes, the European Commission has supported research in the area of brain research and mental health to promote further advancement in this field of high socio-economic relevance. However knowledge creation, distillation, and dissemination are not usually sufficient on their own to ensure appropriate knowledge use in decision making. It is clear that there is a gap between the creation of research evidence and its uptake in policy and practice by various stakeholders including health care providers, patients, managers and policy makers.
Therefore, a policy making framework is required to integrate the roles of knowledge creation and knowledge application, to increase synergy and sustainability to promote mental health and prevent mental disorders, through engaged interactions between knowledge developers and knowledge users.
The purpose of this one day workshop was to give an opportunity to researchers who participate in projects funded by the European Commission in the area of mental health to share the outcomes of their projects with other researchers and stakeholders. Moreover, the meeting facilitated dialogue between stakeholders with the aim to build a network between the different players. It is one of the priorities of the Commission to create opportunities for knowledge translation, in order to ensure that evidence generated from research is taken up by the relevant stakeholders such as policy makers, practitioners, civil society, patients and carers, at both European and national levels. This includes identifying strategies, with overcoming barriers, in which the best evidence can move into action in practice, through inter-sectoral and multi-stakeholder collaboration.