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Understanding Mental Health

Mental Health Europe’s main mission is to ensure mental health remains on the European agenda and that people living with mental ill health and psychosocial disabilities can actively participate in and contribute to society.

 

This can only happen through a good understanding of mental health at European and international level. Mental health is not only about health but about the social issues and barriers we face, how we work, where we live, and our basic human rights: it cannot be addressed in silos.

 

That is why Mental Health Europe advocates for a psychosocial approach to mental health, which instead of defining mental ill-health as a ‘disease’ or ‘illness’ caused by purely biological factors, looks to a person’s life and social environment, treating these factors as equally important in understanding well-being and mental ill health. It appreciates the lived experience of people who have experienced mental distress and recognises them as experts in their own lives.

 

We all have mental health. Mental health is not only about disease or the absence of it. It is also about wellbeing and experiencing positive emotions: it is about us, our lives, work, relationships, physical health and social environment.

Related Content

Our News about Understanding Mental Health

19 September 2022

MHE Short Guide to Personal Recovery in Mental Health available in 9 new languages

MHE released the ‘Guide to Personal Recovery in Mental Health’ in Bulgarian, Spanish, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, French, German, Italian and Greek.

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19 September 2022

MHE Short Guide to Psychiatric Diagnosis available in 5 new languages

Now available in Bulgarian, Spanish, Hungarian, Polish and Romanian.

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19 September 2022

Short Guide Series

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14 June 2022

Rural Mental Health (RMH) Project Final Dissemination Event 21st of June 2022

Joint Statement on the suspension of adotion of the additional protocol of the Oviedo convention

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6 June 2022

MHE’s Co-Creation Workshop held on 2nd June in collaboration with Mental Health Ireland

The objective of this workshop was to introduce the concept of Co-Creation to MHE members and team, listen to case studies and learn the approach from different perspectives.

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16 July 2021

Trieste mental health system must remain a global beacon towards deinstitutionalisation and community mental health services, backed with political will

Mental Health Europe highlights the importance of introducing human rights into mental health services as pioneered by the mental health system in Trieste, Italy.

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3 June 2021

MHE launches a ‘Short Guide to ending coercion and restraint in mental health services’

A ‘Short Guide to ending coercion and restraint in mental health services’ is for people who come into contact with the mental health system, to be active participants rather than passive recipients of care.

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18 November 2020

MHE launches a ‘Short Guide to Psychiatric Drugs’

This guide is a new resource for people taking medication.

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10 August 2020

MHE quiz: 7 things you should know about young people’s mental health

Mental Health Europe (MHE) is delighted to announce the launch of a quiz series to mark International Youth Day on 12 August 2020.

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12 December 2019

MHE launches a ‘Guide to Personal Recovery in Mental Health’

This guide is a new resource for people experiencing mental health difficulties.

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6 May 2019

MHE Short Guide to Psychiatric Diagnosis available in 4 new languages

Now available in English, French, German and Italian.

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9 April 2019

MHE Short Guide to Psychiatric Diagnosis available in 3 new languages

Now available in English, French, German and Italian.

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19 December 2018

Infographic: Words Matter

What do you say when you talk about mental health?

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17 September 2018

MHE launches Short Guide to Psychiatric Diagnosis

The guide is for anyone seeking help from a doctor, psychiatrist or other health professional.

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8 March 2018

Infographic: 10 things you should know about mental health

10 Things You Should Know About Mental Health

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22 November 2017

What has the European Parliament done on mental health since the last 2014 European elections?

Who are the most supportive MEPs on mental health related policy?

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22 November 2017

17 European organisations calling for more action on mental health in Europe

joint statement signed by 17 European organisations calling for more action on mental health in Europe

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27 October 2017

Joint-statement on mental health for the EU Health Policy Platform

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27 October 2017

Open Letter

endorsing the Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health

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27 October 2017

Infographic: The joint action on mental health & well-being

Q & A The joint action on mental health and well-being

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9 October 2017

World Health Day 2017: Time to speak up about post-partum depression

World Health Day 2017: Time to speak up about post-partum depression.

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10 November 2015

Position Paper on the Revision of ICD 10

Mental Health Europe Position Paper on the ICD-10 Revision

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1 November 2015

Appel à l’action dans le cadre de la révision de la CIM 10 (multilingual)

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27 September 2014

Physical and mental health problems are interlinked and policies must acknowledge this Background

It has been long known that physical and mental health problems are interconnected.

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3 September 2014

Position Paper : Physical and mental health problems are interlinked and policies must acknowledge this

Find out about our recommendations to the EU Commission.

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13 January 2014

Mental Health Europe’s “Bucharest Manifesto” sets out programme for change

Mental Health Europe’s “Bucharest Manifesto” sets out programme for change.

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11 February 2013

Statement on DSM V

Position statement MHE approach to DSM V

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