On 7 June, the European Commission published the Communication on a comprehensive approach to mental health. In the months leading to the publication of the initiative, Mental Health Europe (MHE) took part in the consultation process and put together recommendations, which could be grouped into six key points:
- Develop an initiative on mental health with a clear timeline, adequate budget, objectives, as well as indicators to monitor progress.
- Adopt a psychosocial model of understanding mental health to address social determinants, structural barriers and provide tailored support.
- Promote and protect the rights of people with mental health problems and psychosocial disabilities.
- Mainstream mental health in all policies at EU level.
- Co-create the initiative with people with lived experience and key stakeholders
- Break stigma and end discrimination.
The analysis is an evaluation of the Communication on the basis of Mental Health Europe’s main recommendations and provides advice on next steps.
Considering the limited time that the European Commission had to develop this initiative, expecting the publication of a comprehensive European strategy would have fallen short of reality and risked producing an unambitious result. Yet, the European Union will still be in need of a long-term and structured action plan to mental health, which should still be developed in the years to come.
Overall, Mental Health Europe views the Communication on a comprehensive approach to mental health as an essential initial step, laying the foundation for a more robust commitment to mental health in the future.