Magazine article European Social Policy

Public Health : Mental Health May Get a European Strategy

Magazine article European Social Policy

Public Health : Mental Health May Get a European Strategy

Article excerpt

The results of the consultation on mental health back up the European Commission's objective: launching a European strategy' on the subject. This is the principal conclusion drawn by the EU executive from responses received between October 2005 and May 2006 in its report presented to the Health Council on 30 November and published on 5 December1 . The majority of respondents support the idea of a strategy and just one member state has questioned the need for such an approach, while supporting the notion of collaboration within the EU.

The Commission is pursuing four objectives: promoting mental health; preventing mental illness; improving the quality of life of individuals afflicted by mental ill health through social inclusion and protection of their rights and dignity; developing a system or platform for information, research and knowledge at the Community level.

Individuals questioned emphasised the importance of prevention and promoting mental health, as well as reducing stigma and discrimination. The EU is also invited to look beyond the health care sector by expanding its reflection to the employment and education sectors, to welfare, diet and alcohol. It is therefore important in drafting and implementing strategies to take greater account of the implications of policies in other sectors and to develop appropriate tools, according to the Commission, which also highlights a real need to improve health care and links between research and the drafting of policies. …

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