EPSCO Council conclusions in mental health

The thematic conferences under the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-Being have now come to an end. Looking at the future in the framework of the Europe 2020 Strategy, ESN recognises the importance of investing in mental health promotion and treatment to achieve 2020 targets.

On 7 June, Ministers of Health, Employment and Social Affairs meeting in the EPSCO Council of the EU sought to agree high-level conclusions on mental health. ESN, as one of the active stakeholders in the implementation of the European Pact, would like these conclusions to acknowledge, amongst others, the following:

First, ESN would like to highlight the specific role of local authorities across Europe – since people with a mental health problem and their families most often seek help and support from a local authority or other actors in their community. Local and regional authorities play a key role for mental health and well-being both as agents for improving mental well-being in their own right and by promoting cooperation with other stakeholders. Therefore, local authorities need sufficient autonomy to plan, commission and deliver various public services that benefit people with a mental health problem.

Second, ESN invites Member States to:

  • Integrate mental health and well-being into other areas of public policy, notably education, training, housing and employment.
  • Promote the development of community-based, socially inclusive treatment and care models;
  • Make best use of Structural Funds for the reform and further improvement of mental health systems to promote social inclusion & social cohesion

Finally, with regards to the work at European level, ESN invites the Commission to continue addressing mental health and well-being in partnership with EU health policy and other policy areas, both through the European Pact on Mental Health and Wellbeing and the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion.

In 2010, ESN launched a working group that has been working closely with the European Commission in the implementation of the European Pact for Mental Health and Wellbeing. The group has also been exchanging good practice about the way people with mental health problems are approached in various European countries. They have so far contributed to the debate about establishment of partnerships by sharing examples of cooperation between different stakeholders in their respective countries.