Demand for an EU mental health strategy existed before the pandemic but has intensified since. This policy study explores the need for that strategy, given the increased prevalence of mental health conditions, and the corresponding demand for services and cross-national concerns about mental health in Europe.
This policy study examines mental health systems in France, Ireland and Poland, the scale of mental health issues that have arisen during the pandemic and the extent to which marginalised and at-risk groups receive targeted support. In the context of these findings, it considers the need for an EU-wide strategy for mental health systems to meet these challenges and build resilience in EU communities.
This policy brief analyses the current provision of mental health services in France, Ireland and Poland. In light of these findings, it considers the need for an EU-wide strategy for mental health.
Mental health is recognised both as an intrinsic human right and as an invaluable resource by the EU. The increased prevalence of mental health conditions is of concern across member states. However, this research finds that mental health sectors in all three countries lack resilience and do not have the capacity to respond to the subsequent rise in demand for services. They are characterised by underinvestment, a focus on hospital treatments with a lack of primary and community provision, workforce crises, and a range of barriers to access. All share a systemic failureto acknowledge the social determinants of mental health in policymaking and to address mental health inequalities.
To tackle these challenges, we endorse the calls for an EU mental health strategy: with a “whole of government” and “mental health in all policies” approach that addresses the social determinants of mental health; invests in community and primary sector provision; builds the knowledge and mental health literacy of employers across sectors; improves the working rights and conditions of staff in the mental health sector; and promotes the importance of investing in activities that expand social contact and build confidence and trust in order to mitigate the risk of further mental health inequalities.
“László Andor discussing at the Delphi Economic Forum about the importance of social inclusion and ways to strengthen it”
Research shows Ireland is too reliant on voluntary sector for mental health services
by RTÉ Radio 1 27/03/2023
RTÉ Radio 1 talks about our case studies 'Is an EU-wide approach to the mental health crisis necessary?', published in collaboration with Think-tank for Action on Social Change (TASC)
Irish mental health services ‘too hospital-centric’
by Irish Examiner 23/03/2023
Irish Examiner article on FEPS and TASC policy study "Is an EU-wide approach to the Mental Health Crisis necessary?"
Ireland lacks key mental health services, report finds
by RTÉ 23/03/2023
RTÉ article on FEPS and TASC policy study "Is an EU-wide approach to the Mental Health Crisis necessary?"
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