The signatories of this EU HPP Mental Health in all Policies (MHiaP) Thematic Network Joint Statement consider mental health an integral part of health and believe that everyone has the right to good mental health. The vision of this network is that of a Europe where everyone’s mental health can flourish across their entire life course and everyone can have timely, appropriate and affordable access to support, when needed.
Unfortunately, this vision is far from reality. The COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the climate crisis and the rising cost of living among others all have a devastating impact on the mental health of the children, youth and adults in Europe, which was already an issue of concern well before the polycrisis, especially for people living in vulnerable situations.
The case for urgent action is clear. The EU and European countries must implement a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach to mental health, strengthening systems and mobilising different stakeholders to implement integrated mental health promotion, prevention and support at local, regional, national and European levels.
It is well recognised that the promotion of good mental health in sectors other than health create win-win solutions, with positive outcomes both in health and in non-health policy areas. Furthermore, although the promotion of mental health is first and foremost a human rights imperative, it also makes economic sense.
The signatories to this Joint Statement call for a Mental Health in All Policies(MHiaP) approach, i.e., for public policies across sectors to promote population mental health and wellbeing by initiating and facilitating action within different non-health public policy areas. The MHiAP approach emphasises the impacts of public policies on mental health determinants, strives to reduce mental health inequities, aims to highlight the opportunities offered by mental health to different policy areas, and reinforces the accountability of policymakers for mental health impacts.