Mental health


Aside from the obvious benefits for individuals, good mental health is increasingly important for economic growth and social development in Europe. All of these are key EU policy goals.

EU Action on mental health

The European Commission's 2005 Green paper – Promoting the Mental Health of the Population. Towards a mental health strategy for the EUwas a first response to support implementation of the World Health Organisation's mental health declaration for Europe.

This was followed by the 2008 EU mental health conference which saw the launch of the European pact for mental health and well-being, a policy initiative aimed at promoting mental health and prevention of mental disorders. The Pact is implemented through a series of conferences on five priority areas.

The EU Commission works together with national authorities through a group of governmental experts on mental health and well-being to put the pact into effect.

European Framework for Action on Mental Health and Well-being

Following the pact, the Joint Action (on) Mental health and Well-being launched in 2013 resulted in the European Framework for Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing which supports EU-countries to review their policies and share experiences in improving policy efficiency and effectiveness.

The EU Compass for action on mental health and well-being was established to assist with its implementation by communicating the Joint Action's priorities. A multi-sectoral awareness-raising workshop is organised in each EU country, with a focus on investing in Europe’s mental capital.

Mental Health in all policies

Mental Health in All Policies (MHiAP) means promoting mental health and well-being in policy areas other than health.

The MHiAP approach:

  • Emphasises the impact of public policy on mental health determinants
  • Aims to reduce mental health inequalities
  • Highlights the benefits of promoting mental health in different policy areas, and
  • Makes policymakers more accountable for mental health impacts.