While many research institutions, care centres, non‐ governmental organisations, and governments within the EU conduct programmes and practices centred on mental health, it can be difficult to find information about them and to ensure their use and scale up in other settings. Good practices are a valuable resource contributing to sharing of knowledge and experience, and facilitating improvements in mental health by encouraging their adaptation and implementation.
The EU Compass for Action on Mental Health and Well‐being has been commissioned by the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (Chafea) to collect, exchange, and analyse information on policy and stakeholder activities in mental health.
To read the booklet in full on the Europa website go to: https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/mental_health/docs/2017_mh_work_schools_en.pdf
On World Mental Health Day, the EU-financed Compass Consortium launched a new brochure on Good Practices for Mental health at work, in schools, and prevention of depression and suicide. The brochure gathers best practices from across the EU for the benefit of organisations seeking to improve the care that they provide in mental health and well-being – be they schools, workplaces, community centres, counselling services or medical practices.
Examples of potentially useful practices in mental health and well-being, gathered and evaluated by the Consortium include:
- Mental health at work
- Mental health in schools
- Prevention of depression
- Prevention of suicide
To read the brochure in full go to: https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/mental_health/docs/2017_mh_work_schools_en.pdf
The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its fact sheet on suicide. Key facts include:
- Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year.
- For every suicide there are many more people who attempt suicide every year. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds.
- 78% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.
Ingestion of pesticide, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally.
Read more about this on the WHO website: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs398/en/
The Swedish government has introduced a new national mental health strategy for 2016-2020. It is based on five focus areas identified as the most important to strengthen mental health and prevent mental illness:
- Prevention and promotion efforts
- Accessible early interventions
- Focus on vulnerable groups
- Participation and rights
- Organization and leadership
Each focus area includes people of all ages – children, young people, adults, and the elderly. Just as the focus areas were developed in collaboration between many different stakeholders, the government emphasises that all development work in the field must be conducted simultaneously and collaboratively. The Public Health Agency of Sweden plays a leading role in this effort.
For more information about Sweden’s National Mental Health Strategy on the eurohealthnet-magazine.eu website
About half of all mental health problems in adulthood have their onset during or before adolescence. Improving resilience to mental illness among young people is very important, as poor mental health in adolescence is linked to unemployment, crime, increased rates of smoking, drug use, obesity and future mental ill health. Support and early interventions designed to promote well-being are key to building such resilience.
Feeling low from time to time can be normal for adolescents. However, regular and prolonged periods of low mood can progress to depression and negatively impact long-term health, well-being and development.
Being in good emotional and physical health enables young people to deal with the challenges of adolescence and eases their transition into adulthood. Positive mental well-being in childhood is associated with increased social competence and good coping strategies that lead to more positive outcomes in adulthood. Addressing low feelings among young people and teaching them coping mechanisms that promote resilience is vital to protecting and promoting their mental health.
For more information about adolescents and mental health on the euro.who.int website
Mental disorders place a tremendous burden on the well-being and health of European citizens. They are a leading contributor to the burden of disease in the European Union, and approximately 38.2% of EU citizens across all age groups are affected by a mental disorder each year.
Sharing information on good practices implemented in various settings can help stimulate investment in mental health, and collaborating efforts across EU in designing and implementing such activities in a more effective and
The WHO have updated their factsheet on depression which includes the following facts:
- Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, with more than 300 million sufferers of all ages, and it is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
- At its worst depression can lead to suicide, and nearly 800,000 people commit suicide every year. It is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.
- There are effective treatments for depression although fewer than half of sufferers receive any treatment at all.
For more information and to download the factsheet on depression on the who.int website
World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization and it provides a unique opportunity to mobilize action around a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world.
The theme of the 2017 World Health Day campaign is depression, which can affect people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. At worst, it can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds. The campaign is paying particular attention to three groups that are disproportionately affected:
- adolescents and young adults
- women of childbearing age (particularly following childbirth)
- adults over 60
Materials targeting these audiences are available in the campaign materials.
For more information about the campaign – Depression, let’s talk – on the who.int website
Psycho-oncological support has become increasingly recognised and used as part of breast cancer care services in recent years. According to a recent review of EU and EFTA member states’ national/regional cancer plans and certification schemes, the need for psycho-oncological services is widely recognised. However the concrete allocation of resources and personnel to provide these services has not been specifically addressed in most of them.
Scientists reviewed 25 national and 4 regional cancer plans/strategies among 32 researched countries. They found that while 28 recognise the need for organised psycho-oncological support only 10 have actually identified the criteria for good psychosocial care, including the resources required or educational needs.
Read more about Breast cancer care and psychological support on the ec.europa.eu website