The final version of the report sends a strong message to the European Council about the need for adequate investment to address health challenges ahead. It shows a reinforced role of mental health in relation to any future public health efforts. The report calls for a financial envelope for the implementation with EUR 9.4 billion.
What is in there for mental health?
According to the adopted report, the EU4Health Programme should focus on reducing healthcare inequalities in rural and remote areas, including in the outermost regions, to achieve inclusive growth. It also reaffirms the Programme’s role in reaching the SDGs and addressing the social determinants of health. The report adds mental ill-health on to the list of non-communicable diseases causing the disability, ill-health, health-related retirement, and premature death in the EU. It also stresses that the Programme should support actions to integrate mental health into all areas, including workplace and schools, promote measures to combat depression and suicide and implement integrative mental health care. The Programme proposes establishing a new European Reference Network on complex mental health problems and an excellence network on mental health.
The amendments voted in the committee confirmed the importance of actions to address and manage the impact of the health crisis on Europe’s mental health. It stresses the role of Member States to ensure that safe and healthy urban, school and work environments include the promotion of mental health. According to the report, the EU4Health programme should cover digital and evidence-based national and European programmes to assist the Member States in improving health promotion, health literacy, and disease prevention.
The European Parliament will vote on the report at plenary level, which will then be followed by negotiations with the Member States. The programme should be adopted by the end of 2020 at the latest, as it is supposed to be implemented from 2021 onward.