Mental health affects us all, in every aspect of our lives: our relationships with the people around us, how we work, where we live, and even our basic human rights. Mental health friendly policies across all sectors, therefore, have a key role in the well-being of millions of Europeans. That is why Mental Health Europe calls on all policy makers in Europe to recognise that mental health matters and bring it at the heart of European policies.

[Therefore, the upcoming European Parliament should:]

What we need is a long-term commitment from European leaders to build a society which does not stigmatise people living with mental ill health, supports the promotion of good mental health, and provides services for people of all ages.

Although health is not an EU competency, there are many existing European and international initiatives that represent invaluable opportunities to improve mental health policy in Europe. These include: the European Pillar of Social Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the European Disability Strategy 

Bring mental health at the heart of EU policy making

• Include mental health in all relevant policies, such as employment, migration, social affairs

• Address inequalities, education, early childhood development, housing, violence and poverty as determinants of mental health

• Set up a European wellbeing indicator in European budgeting

Support human rights compliant EU policies

  • Ensure the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the EU

• Encourage the autonomy of persons with psychosocial disabilities and mental health problems through EU policies

Raise awareness on mental health and tackling stigma

• Launch an EU wide campaign to raise awareness on mental health stigma and the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities as suggested by the CRPD Committee in collaboration with civil society organisations

• Foster dialogue and encourage the sharing of good practices on effective intervention strategies for the promotion of mental health and prevention of mental health problems, treatment, care and recovery

Support the transition from institutional to community-based care

• Ensure EU funds are adequately used and monitored to provide community- based care

• Promote mental health services that are accessible and affordable, available in the community according to need

Invest in mental health research and implementation, focusing on prevention and promotion across the lifespan

  • Promote investments in research on prevention, recovery, solutions to coercion and investment in non-coercive mental health services

• Disseminate advances in mental health promotion and prevention and facilitate networks for research collaboration with people with mental health problems

Ensure an EU coordinated mental health action

• Follow up on the implementation of the European Framework for Action on Mental Health and Well-Being

• Reinvigorate public and expert debate on mental health through structured dialogues

Ensure increased transparency in mental health care and access to unbiased information in relation to the benefits and harm of psychiatric drugs

• Participate/contribute to roundtables with all European stakeholders

• Promote a harmonised European approach on relations between health care professionals and the pharmaceutical industry as well as transparency in recording, making trial data available for reanalysis and ensuring publication of all clinical trials

Involve meaningfully independent mental health organisations and representatives of organisations of (ex)users of mental health services at all stages of EU policy-making

• Consult with and actively involve people with mental health problems and psychosocial disabilities, directly or through their representative organisations when designing, planning, implementing and evaluating policies, laws and services

• Ensure that organisations of persons with disabilities can actually receive and/or seek funding and other forms of resources from national and international sources

[Issue: Reports/Manifesto/Pledge (hyperlinks)]

Action on mental health requires an integrated approach, across sectors and countries. Please download MHE’s manifesto which lays out recommendations for a wide range of stakeholders including: MEPs and MEP candidates; policy makers in the European Commission, European Council and Member States; and civil society actors like mental health services, users organisations, medical associations, research institutions, employers and the general public.

please also watch our short video on the issue :

The On Our Watch project brings together Civil Society Organisations working on all kind of topics. As representatives of and in direct contact with citizens, organisations have a strong role to play in holding the European Parliament accountable to the public. By joining forces in the context of the #EUelections2019 (23-26 May), On Our Watch offers a comprehensive overview of the key issues that European citizens care about.

Want to join? Get in touch! Contact: christian.skriverik[@]  | Address: Place du Luxembourg 2, B-1050, Brussels | Phone: +32 2 508 30 83