Community action in the field of mental health
Mental health problems have a social, economic and structural impact on the welfare of the population as a whole. It is therefore necessary to provide information on mental health, promote its importance and pre-empt mental disorders through appropriate measures at Community level and in the Member States.
Council conclusions of 3 June 2005 on a Community action in the field of mental health [Not published in the Official Journal]
These conclusions are a follow-up to the Ministerial Conference of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on mental health, entitled "Facing the Challenges, Building Solutions", held in Helsinki from 12 to 15 January 2005.
They are based on a series of measures linked directly or indirectly with mental health, including the following:
- the Council resolution of 18 November 1999 on the promotion of mental health [PDF ];
- the Council conclusions of 15 November 2001 on combating stress- and depression-related problems;
- the Council conclusions of 2 June 2003 on combating stigma and discrimination in relation to mental health;
- the programme of Community action in the field of public health (2003-2008), the aim of which is to help to ensure a high level of human health protection and remedy inequalities in the fields of health and mental health;
- the Council conclusions of 5 June 2001 on a Community strategy to reduce alcohol-related harm and those of 2 June 2004 on alcohol and young people.
The Ministerial Conference of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on mental health highlighted the need to implement, at Member State level, a plan of action in the area of mental health, focusing on improving the well-being and functioning of the people affected.
The Council underlines the need to accord greater importance to the social, economic and structural impact of mental health. To do this, synergies should be nurtured between the plan of action and the results of projects funded under the current and future Community programmes in the field of public health.
The general public's awareness of the importance of mental health issues and of the need to frame specific policies in this area should also be raised.
The Commission should be presenting, in the summer of 2005, a Green Paper on mental health, which will put forward information, promotion and prevention measures in this area.
Actions at Member State level
The Council calls on the Member States to:
- focus on implementing the declaration and the plan of action adopted by the European Ministerial Conference of the WHO on mental health, while planning to devise appropriate measures over the long term;
- take measures to collect reliable data on mental health and on the economic and social consequences of mental disorders;
- adopt measures to implement holistic, integrated and effective mental health systems covering promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, care and social reintegration;
- continue the development of monitoring and evaluation tools that facilitate comparisons of the status of mental health between the Member States and of promotion and prevention practices;
- make the best possible use of the relevant funding instruments, such as the Structural Funds and the PHARE programme, in order to meet specific needs in the area of mental health.
Actions at Commission level
The Commission is called upon to:
- support the implementation of the declaration and the plan of action adopted by the European Ministerial Conference of the World Health Organisation on mental health;
- ensure that the impact analysis of relevant future Community legislation takes mental health aspects on board;
- emphasise the close links between mental health and physical health, as well as the links between mental disorders and drug and alcohol abuse;
- pay special attention to people at vulnerable stages of life (children, young people and older people, in particular).