MEP Maria Walsh (Co-Chair of MHE’s Coalition for Mental Health and Wellbeing) calls for the need to update current EU legislation to respond to the new realities
On Tuesday 5 July, MEP Maria Walsh’s initiative report Mental Health in the Digital World of Work was voted through overwhelmingly (501 out of 633 MEPs) at the European Parliament. MHE also congratulates MEP Maria Walsh for championing the campaign to make 2023 the European Year of Mental Health and for her very hard work to move the needle in addressing mental health issues at EU level.
The overwhelming backing of an initiative focusing on mental health by our elected decision-makers is a sign that things are moving in the right direction. Their strong support shows that we cannot continue to ignore mental health. The outcome of this vote is a reassuring signal that policymakers understand the importance of good mental health for every citizen as this is the foundation for a healthy life as well as prosperity for all throughout the EU.
Against the backdrop of deteriorating mental health across Europe, especially considering how our young people have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, such strong support brings hope that all stakeholders will now start working together to tackle the challenge of ensuring good mental health for everyone.
During the debate, MEP Maria Walsh spoke about UNICEF’s latest report showing that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young Europeans and that 9 million are living with poor mental health. These statistics cannot be put aside anymore, and policymakers must now be the voice for every citizen. MEP Walsh also alerted her fellow MEPs about how our citizens are dying in silence. The time has come to bring about real and meaningful change for this and future generations.
MEP Maria Walsh: “There has never been a more fitting time to put mental health on the agenda. We so desperately need to ensure that collective EU mental health policies are put in place. We have experienced the impact of working together in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the sharing of best practices between member states. We have the blueprint to get this right and it is essential now that we use this information collectively at EU level. By supporting this report, you will join our call to the Commission to adopt an EU Mental Health Strategy and deliver a European year dedicated to mental health next year in 2023.”
MHE fully supports MEP Maria Walsh’s call for mental health to be urgently tackled by cross-sectional and integrated policies, as part of a comprehensive EU Mental Health Strategy and a European Year dedicated to Mental Health in 2023.
The concluding remarks “that there can be no debate or policy discussion on health, on care, on the future of our European Union, without the mental health of our citizens at its very core” gives us hope that MEPs are making progress towards an EU Mental Health Strategy. The outcome of this debate is a promising first step that in order to deliver better mental health services, policymakers are learning to communicate and work together.
Sign the petition by MEP Maria Walsh now to make 2023 the European Year of Mental Health.
MHE’s Coalition for Mental Health and Wellbeing
The Coalition for Mental Health and Wellbeing in the European Parliament is a real change-maker and a platform for like-minded MEPs amplifying the voices of people with mental health problems and advocating for a coordinated response to address the most pressing determinants of mental health.
Established in 2012 by Mental Health Europe, the Coalition brings together MEPs from most of political groups working towards the inclusion and mainstreaming of positive mental health in all policies.
Learn more: https://mental-health-coalition.com