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S&Ds press for a European Mental Health Strategy to cope with a silent pandemic


06 May 2022


Health & Consumers

An estimated billion people worldwide are suffering from a mental health disorder, of which an estimated 84 million are in Europe. It has a devastating impact on all aspects of a person’s life and may lead to death. When the situation significantly worsened with the Covid-19 pandemic, the mental health battle became a silent pandemic of our time.

As this bleak picture clearly illustrates the need for a determined response, the S&Ds call for an aspiring European Mental Health Strategy for everyone, to be discussed for the first time during the upcoming European mental health week. The main goal is to make mental health a vital part of the European Recovery Plan and to put it at the heart of the European project.

The S&D Group’s Position Paper: Towards a European Mental Health Strategy - the first of its kind in the European Parliament - outlines four main objectives: a truly comprehensive approach, a focus on the most vulnerable groups, a designated European year for mental health to raise awareness, and adequately funded national mental health strategies.

Heléne Fritzon, S&D vice-president responsible for health, said:

“The upcoming European mental health week is an excellent opportunity to tackle this very important topic, which can have a substantial effect on people’s lives and burden our societies and economies. 

The S&Ds have always put mental health at the forefront of our priorities and we have called for a truly comprehensive approach with a special focus on vulnerable groups. We call for the strengthening of preventive measures and guaranteeing the provision and quality of care for people with mental health problems, while ensuring that nobody is marginalised or stigmatised.

“To raise awareness, the European Union should designate 2023 or 2024 as the European year for mental health. We should encourage each member state to prepare an adequately funded national mental health strategy.”




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