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Europe – Mental Health in the EU

Direct Link to Full 8-Page 2023 EP Briefing:


Mental health has become a major issue of public health, and economic and social concern across the whole of the EU. Collecting data is crucial for monitoring mental health, developing effective policies and addressing the growing mental health challenges. It is estimated that more than 84 million people in the EU are struggling with mental health problems.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis have placed a huge strain on everyone’s mental health. The restrictive measures taken by governments during the pandemic had a severe impact on people, with inequalities in mental health, both within the population and between social groups. Young people, the elderly and people in vulnerable situations suffered more than others.

Mental health is also an issue at work. Poor working environments, including excessive workloads, job insecurity, harassment and discrimination, pose a risk to the mental health of workers.

Policies and services addressing mental health are the individual EU Member States’ responsibility. The EU work on mental health, part of its activities on non-communicable diseases, aims to complement Member States’ policies, supporting real action on the ground and the exchange of best practice and knowledge. On 7 June 2023, addressing calls from the European Parliament and from citizens in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe, the European Commission adopted a communication on a new comprehensive approach to mental health, adding another pillar to the architecture of the European Health Union. EU action on mental health will focus on three guiding principles: access to adequate and effective prevention; access to high quality and affordable mental healthcare and treatment; and reintegration into society after recovery.

The European Parliament has always been a supporter of the promotion of good mental health and putting mental health at the heart of EU policymaking. Its Subcommittee on Public Health (SANT) is currently preparing an own-initiative report on mental health.

Извор: WUNRN – 15.08.2023

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