On 7 April 2023—World Health Day—the European Federation of Psychologists' Associations (EFPA) joins many around the world today in marking 75 years since the establishment of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and recognising its important work in promoting public health.

Quite a lot has happened in that space of time—not least in mental health. As understanding has progressed, mental health has come to be understood as something much broader than mental illness, as something relevant to us all not something affecting a few who are somehow different.  Over that time institutionalised treatment has given way to support to be offered on the psychological, social and environmental levels.

EFPA has been engaging as an active participant in mental health advocacy throughout Europe and alongside our collaborators internationally.

Following European Commission President von der Leyen's announcement of a European commitment to mental health[1], EFPA has contributed to the call for evidence by the European Commission as part of its 'Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health[2]', along with meetings with members of the European Parliament and other important stakeholder organisations to identify practical ways of creating meaningful change on the ground.

EFPA's response[3] makes the case for seven points for mental health:
1. To feature in all policies 2. Be part of crisis responses 3. For more community-oriented services 4. For wellbeing at work 5. To recognise the link with climate change and especially support young people 6.  For training resourcing and regulation of professionals 7. For equal access to services and stakeholder engagement.

In marking World Health Day, EFPA calls for a recognition of the importance of mental health, a normalisation of its discussion and for policy and practice at all times to consider it as a factor. In particular, WHO’s call for more community-orientated mental health services is advocated for as an important element in achieving Mental Health For All, reflecting how much things have changed over the last 75 years. 

#HealthForAll  #WHO75  #MentalHealth  #MentalHealthForAll

WHO Health April 7 2023







[1] European Commission. State of the Union addresses. State of the Union 2022. https://state-of-the-union.ec.europa.eu/state-union-2022_en

[2] European Commission. A comprehensive approach to mental health. https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/13676-A-comprehensive-approach-to-mental-health_en

[3] European Federation of Psychologists' Associations. EFPA replies to European Commission call for evidence 'a comprehensive approach to mental health'. https://www.efpa.eu/efpa-replies-european-commission-call-evidence-comprehensive-approach-mental-health