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MENTAL HEALTH EUROPE NEWSLETTER  |  ISSUE N° 8   |   SEPTEMBER 2022  
A long-awaited initiative on mental health announced at the State of the European Union address

At the European Parliament in Strasburg, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated to have heard citizens’ voices and announced a new initiative on mental health that would offer appropriate, accessible and affordable support. MHE, who has been relentlessly advocating for the European Commission to take action, welcomed such a comprehensive approach on mental health, which promises to make a difference especially for the youth. 

Read MHE’s statement
 
  More from Mental Health Europe
World Mental Health Day 'Migrants, Refugees & Mental Health' | Registration open

We are delighted to announce that Commissioner Stella Kyriakides will be opening MHE’s World Mental Health Day event, which will be co-hosted by MEP Tilly Metz (Greens/EFA) and MEP Estrella Durá Ferrandis (S&D).

This year’s event will bring together diverse stakeholders (policymakers, service providers, and non-governmental organisations) active in the field of migration and mental health to discuss good practices, challenges and how to ensure adequate mental health support in the context of increased migration across Europe.

Browse the agenda and register to join us
MHE's latest podcast | Interview with Dr Mark Horowitz on the chemical imbalance theory

Published in Nature’s Molecular Psychiatry (July 2022), this “umbrella” paper reviewed high-level studies in six major areas of research spanning 56 years that together involved tens of thousands of people.  The review found no support for the hypothesis that depression is caused by lowered serotonin activity, which resulted in an international media frenzy and stirring controversy.

MHE’s podcast aims to make the paper's findings understandable to the general public.

Listen to the podcast
World Suicide Prevention Day | MHE held Twitter Space event with Pieta

Beverly Cummins (Lead Therapist at Pieta) explained how to spot signs of suicidal thoughts, how to communicate and/or recognise them, and how to find help.  The conversation also touched upon common myths regarding suicide, which often prevent people from asking for help or approaching a close one showing possible signs of suicidal thoughts.
 
Twitter Space recording (starts at 3:43)
EUHPP Webinar 'COVID-19 & mental health: Taking forward the lessons learned' 

Diverse stakeholders joined the EUHPP webinar on 21 September to exchange and share knowledge on the lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic. Speakers from the European Commission, WHO Europe, UNICEF, Trimbos Instituut, Thrive, Afya, and others gave enriching talks sharing many practices to apply when dealing with health emergencies. 

Watch the webinar
  
 Updates from institutions and partners
EDF's released report: ‘Forced sterilisation of persons with disabilities in the EU’

EDF calls on the EU to end forced sterilisation, which is widespread across Europe. At least 14 EU countries still authorise forced sterilisation - a gross violation of fundamental rights. Only 9 EU countries explicitly criminalise it. Forced sterilisation can amount to torture and leads to life-long trauma.  The capacity of people with disabilities to have children is often forcibly removed, behind closed doors, and with the consent of the state.  

Read the report

UN CRPD Guidelines Article 19: De-institutionalization, also in emergencies

These guidelines complement the Committee’s general comment No. 5 (2017) and its guidelines on the right to liberty and security of persons with disabilities (art. 14). The guidelines draw on the experiences of persons with disabilities before and during the coronavirus pandemic, which uncovered widespread institutionalisation thus highlighting the harmful impact of institutionalisation on the rights and lives of persons with disabilities. 

Read the guidelines

WHO’s new framework puts persons with disabilities at the center of healthcare
 
The WHO’s Committee for Europe adopted a framework on health for persons with disabilities. This framework was developed in consultations with representative organisations and represents a major advance.  WHO’s new framework puts persons with disabilities at the center of healthcare.

Read more
Enosh | R UOK? DAY

RU OK is a social enterprise that was established in Australia in 2009 and is now coming to Israel. The purpose of the project is to make a social change that will help in raising awareness about mental well-being, dealing with crises and extreme cases as well as preventing suicide.

Learn more
New WHO  documentary about people living with non-communicable diseases and mental ill-health  

The documentary series ‘Nothing for Us, Without Us: listening and learning from people with lived experience’ sheds light on the experiences of people living with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and mental ill-health around the world. The first-hand insights of people with lived experience can help shape policies, create better health programmes, and inspire others to contribute.

Learn more
Call to include Operating Grants for health NGOs in the EC's 2023 Work Programme

Operating Grants are crucial for health NGOs to continue playing their essential role in EU policymaking processes. While Operating Grants were re-instated and their value recognised within the EU4Health Work Programme 2022, there is no formal commitment to continue this vital source of funding beyond 2022. This lack of visibility leaves health NGOs with serious concerns for their long-term sustainability and effectiveness. Some are even concerned over their survival.

Read the joint statement
Save the Children Report 'Wherever we go, Someone does us Harm: Violence against refugee and migrant children arriving in Europe through the Balkans'

This report presents in-depth research into the level and types of violence that children experience while attempting to reach Western Europe via the Balkans route, the circumstances of that violence, and the policies and practices that exist to support children. They also make recommendations for governments, NGOs and other stakeholders to strengthen the protection and support available to these children.

Read the report
WHO published new guide for the integration of perinatal mental health

The guide outlines an evidence-informed approach describing how program managers, health service administrators and policy-makers responsible for planning and managing maternal and child health services can develop and sustain high-quality, integrated mental health services for women during the perinatal period. The report brings together the best available evidence to support maternal and child health providers in promoting good mental health. 

Read the guide
WHO academics met to align action on mental health in the European region

Leading academics from WHO collaborating centres in the European Region met on 23 August in Copenhagen to drive collective action on mental health as part of the Pan-European Mental Health Coalition. They discussed the roles and capacities their institutions have in overcoming the many challenges that mental health systems face in the European region especially within the context of the Covid pandemic.  

Learn more
 
Nordic and Baltic countries call for mental health promotion in COVID-19 recovery

WHO/Europe is urging governments to keep mental health at the top of the health and political agendas in the recovery phase as the pandemic is now slowly coming under control.  Advocates and experts from the Nordic and Baltic regions met in Copenhagen on 19 September to share ideas and experiences on how to maintain and improve mental health services for the nearly 35 million people living in the region. 

Read more

United Nations General comment on Article 27: The right of persons with disabilities to work and employment

The aim of the present general comment is to clarify the obligations of States parties regarding the right to work and employment as enshrined in article 27 of the Convention. The Convention sets out the principles and standards of the right of people with disabilities to work and employment - providing the basis for States parties to meet their commitments under the SDGs. Meaningful work and employment are essential to a person’s economic security, physical and mental health, personal well-being and sense of identity.

Read it here

 In case you missed it   
Politico Europe
Brussels prescribes visits to Manneken Pis and museums for mental health >>

Wired
What Do We Really Know About Mental Illness?   >>

The Guardian
The big idea: should we drop the distinction between mental and physical health?  >>

Washington Post
8 ways to feel less anxious about things beyond your control   >>

CNBC
49% of workers fear repercussions for being open about their mental health at work  >>

The Guardian

Study finds link between poor mental health and long Covid   >>

The Conversation
Migrants’ mental health can depend on the way they spend money - new research   >>

Mad in America

Top 10 Myths About the Critics of Psychiatry   >>

The Guardian
The link between mental health and social conditions  >>

Mad in America
The Culture Is the Poison: Why Psychedelics Are Dangerous Medicine in a Neoliberal Society   >>

DutchNews.nl
Girls’ mental health has plummeted over the past four years  >>

The New York Times
Mental Health is Political   >>

Mad in America
Why We Urgently Need New Approaches to Mental Health  >> 

The Guardian
‘This should not be normalised’: Why musicians are cancelling tours to protect their mental health  >> 

NL Times
Sharp increase in people calling in sick with mental health problems  >> 

BBC News
Youth mental health services have weak governance, report finds  >> 

The Guardian
Rising costs, therapist shortages: Gen Z struggles to afford mental health care   >>

Euractiv
Growing awareness of healthcare workers’ mental health in EU  >>

 Calls, events & opportunities  
 On Social Media 
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— Mental Health Europe
September 2022
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— Mental Health Europe  
September 2022
 Wellbeing Tip of the Month 
Our #MentalHealth tip

Culture and arts for mental well-being

The coronavirus and the lockdowns reminded us that culture is essential for mental health. As the season changes and for those looking for indoor activities, remember to visit museums. Your mental health will benefit. 
More on: www.mhe-sme.org
 
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