Towards Inclusive Mental Health Care: EFPA attends European Psychiatric Association's Forum in Budapest




April 2024 — EFPA was delighted to attend the European Psychiatric Association's Forum in Budapest (1). The 10th EPA Forum, titled “Towards Inclusive Mental Health Care: Multiple Perspectives,” took place on Saturday 6 April 2024, preceding the opening of the 32nd European Congress of Psychiatry organised under the auspices of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

This year's theme of inclusion was of particular relevance: EFPA's 7 points of mental health advocacy (2) map out ways that inclusion can be considered and practically implemented across a number of contexts including the policy level, crisis response, community-oriented services, the workplace, in response to climate change, in training and in relation to the role of digitalisation.

The various sessions drew from the immense lived and professional experience of a diverse range of speakers. EFPA Board Member and Liaison for Mental Health Dr John Francis Leader attended and spoke in two panel sessions:

The first, a roundtable on the challenges faced by the mental health workforce was moderated by Julian Beezhold (Secretary General, EPA) and included Andrea Fiorillo (President Elect, EPA), Nina Kilkku (President, HORATIO) and Elena Moro (President Elect, EAN). Consideration was given to some of the more 'traditional' challenges in the mental health workforce, such as access to training, inclusion, standards and professional mobility, as well as newer challenges. These included responses to digitalisation, and discussion about what it means in practice to take a more psychosocial approach to mental health as recommended by the European Commission's Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health (3) and the United Nation's Resolution on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (4).

The subsequent session featured a discussion between clinicians, experts, and policymakers to explore solutions towards more inclusive healthcare systems was moderated by Joan Marsh (Editor-in-Chief, Lancet Psychiatry) and included Geert Dom (President, EPA), Doron Wijker (Health Policy Analyst, OECD), Ledia Lazeri (Regional Adviser for Mental Health, WHO Europe) and Cyrus Engerer (Member of the EU Parliament, S&D). Themes that emerged included a strong emphasis on co-creation, from policy through to research and practice, as well as the importance of being able to address mental health and its determinants more broadly while still being able to recognise specific needs and provided specialist support.

The event can be watched back here



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