Mental health has always been on HOPE agenda and in 1999 HOPE started to organise annual seminars bringing together professionals, patients and institutions. The 2005 seminar in Dublin was dealing with “Quality and Choice in Mental Health”.
In 2005 the European Commission published a Green Paper on Mental Health. In June 2006 HOPE reacted by releasing a Position Paper on the Green Paper on Mental Health welcoming the Commission initiative on this topics.
HOPE was a partner in the Joint Action on Mental health and Well-being, which ran from 2013 to 2016. The objective of the Joint Action was to contribute to the promotion of mental health and wellbeing, the prevention of mental disorders and the improvement of care and social inclusion of people with mental disorders in Europe. Moreover, its main purpose was to build a framework for action in mental health policy at the European level. The final conference represented the opportunity set of policy recommendations, summarised in a report “European Framework for Action on Mental health and Wellbeing” which supports EU-countries to review their policies and share experiences in improving policy efficiency and effectiveness.
It aimed to:
- Develop mental health promotion and prevention and early intervention programmes
- Ensure the transition to comprehensive mental health treatment and quality care
- Strengthen knowledge, evidence and best practice sharing in mental health.
HOPE is closely following this issue by regularly attending events organised at the European Parliament by the MEP Alliance for Mental Health (established in 2009 as the European Parliament Interest Group on Mental Health, Wellbeing and Brain Disorders).
On 24 October 2019, the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) adopted the Council conclusions on the Economy of Well-being, stating the importance to make “greater efforts to promote good mental health and to advance […] prevention”.
The 2020 Health at a Glance Europe report mentioned the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental well-being of the Europeans, with higher rates of stress, anxiety and depression.
The EU4Health Programme for the period 2021-2027, which entered into force in March 2021, intends to support actions to improve mental health and to protect people suffering from mental illness.