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Feb 15, 2023

EFPA welcomes a recognition of the importance of ensuring that EU and national policies proactively promote good mental health, as well as work to prevent, mitigate and respond to mental health challenges. 

EFPA appreciates the opportunity offered by the Commission to help develop this comprehensive approach. Specifically, the seven priorities outlined below are offered as concrete ways to ensure sustained and meaningful EU-level action. Ideally these priorities would become workstreams of a coherent strategy, which could be launched and effectively bound together in the form of an EU Year for Mental Health.

1—Mental health should feature in all EU policies, be properly funded (e.g., through EU4Health), and be properly resourced with dedicated unit staff at the European Commission. An EU Year for Mental Health could support a wider public knowledge of the impact of various policies on mental health and be part and parcel of any future initiative.

2—Mental health should be a core part of any policy response to current and future societal crises.





3—EFPA supports WHO’s call for more community-orientated mental health services and urges the Commission to ensure that a future initiative stimulates EU Member States to exchange ideas and good practice, to learn from each other on how to adapt their mental health service delivery.

4—Given the central place of work in the lives of European citizens and the importance of economic wellbeing to social wellbeing, mental health in the workplace should be a focus of the future initiative and should be enshrined in health and safety regulations to ensure robust implementation at the national level.

5—Mental health is indivisible from the challenge of climate change and support programmes for children and young people especially should be introduced.

6—The training of mental health practitioners should be based on a recognised standard, properly funded to ensure enough practitioners to meet citizens’ needs, and their practice properly regulated with requirements to keep up to date through continuing professional development.

7—European citizens should have equal access to the appropriate mental healthcare and healthcare professionals and should be engaged as partners and stakeholders in how mental health and wellbeing is assured.

The 7 points selected—relating to: mental health commitment, societal crises, community-oriented services, the workplace, climate change, standards and equality of access—can be read in more detail in the document below.

Ideally we would love to see a commitment to them and an overall identity in the form of an EU Year for Mental Health.