Mental Health Europe
April 2016 Newsletter


Dear all,

The MHE General Assembly took place last week, and the informal feedback we received from our members was that it was an energising and positive event. It was great to meet members and to discuss what MHE can do for them, and what they can do for MHE to support our advocacy work.
One of our panellists, Pierre Baussand from the Social Platform, said that MHE had a strong platform and mandate to lobby at the highest level. I agree with him. For me, the General Assembly showed that if we pool together the vast expertise and networks within our membership, and focus on some core messages, we will have an increasingly powerful and effective voice within Europe.

Best wishes
MHE News and Policy Work
MHE launches "Each of Us" campaign against stigma and discrimination
MHE is delighted to launch its new anti-stigma and discrimination campaign "Each of Us". Each of us aims at raising awareness of mental health issues and seeks to show that mental health problems are more common than we think, and that Each of Us can be part of the solution in changing minds about mental health and ending stigma against people with mental health problems. Please visit the campaign's website to learn more about our objectives and see how you can support us! What can you do to help? Just click here to find out!

MEP Elzbieta Lukacijewska joins MHE Coalition for Mental health and well-being

We are pleased to announce that MEP Elżbieta Łukacijewska (EPP) becomes a new member of our Coalition for Mental Health and Well-being in the European Parliament! Ms Łukacijewska is currently member of TRAN and ENVI Committees in the European parliament.  She has previously been involved and committed to issues including the improvement of care and social inclusion as well as Alzheimer and Down Syndrome. Ms Łukacijewska is now supporting our cause, and we would like to thank her for joining our coalition, we are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration! The main objective of the Coalition is to ensure that mental health remains high on the EU agenda, find out more HERE.

Mental Health Europe General Assembly 

The MHE annual general assembly took place last week. We were delighted to welcome more than 45 representatives from different member organisations as well as individual members for two days in Brussels. We had a very busy programme and lots of discussions on the agenda including the language we use when talking about mental health problems, mental health and the refugees' crisis, deinstitutionalisation in Eastern and Western Europe as well as specific working groups on MHE's priorities for the year ahead. We would like to thank all the participants for their much appreciated presence and contribution. If you were not able to make it this time you can still have a look at speakers' presentations HERE.
Mental Health Europe publishes a guidance note on the Joint Action for Mental Health and Well-being 

The Joint Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing (JA) came to an end in January. The JA is the culmination of over ten years of work at EU level on mental health, and it has left us with two important parting gifts 1) The European Framework for Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing and 2) the re-launched EU Compass for Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing. The Framework can be a powerful policy tool to advocate for mental health at EU and national level as it provides a wide range of knowledge and expertise, but also convincing arguments for reforming mental health policies and services.Therefore, Mental Health Europe has put togethera guidance note and an infographic that you can download :
- The Guidance note on How to use the European Framework for Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing
- The Infographic on the Joint Action for Mental Health and Well-Being
We encourage all our members to spread the word and to use the Framework to push for change as well as to support their work and EU funding proposals. 

Shatter the stigma on World Health Day: MHE and ILGA joint press release

7th of April was World Health Day and we joined forces with ILGA EUROPE colleagues to call on policy makers and the health sector to ensure access to person-centred mental health services for LGBTI people (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual and Intersexed) across Europe. We also call for more LGBTI awareness training for healthcare professionals, to end the stigma many people still face within the healthcare system. Read our joint press release HERE.

MHE presenting at the European Health Parliament

On 20 April MHE Policy Manager Alva Finn, contributed to a panel discussion on the mental health of migrants during a meeting of the European Health Parliament (EHP), an initiative independent of the European Parliament made up of young working professionals interested in health. The European Health Parliament, which is funded by the EU 40, Google, Politico and Johnson and Johnson, is attempting to think of innovative ways to deal with the health challenges facing Europe. Alva presented initial information from our members on the mental health of migrants and spoke about the need for and right to integrated and cultural appropriate mental health as well as other supportive services for migrants who are often at a heightened risk of experiencing psychosocial problems.

MHE signs on a statement on affordable medicines

MHE has signed on to a Civil society joint statement to urge Member States to support the Dutch EU Presidency’s vision on access to affordable medicines. In light of the informal EU's Ministers of Health meeting in Amsterdam this week, MHE together with other organisations have released this statement on affordable medicines. The joint statement supports the Dutch European Union (EU) Presidency’s critique of the current over-protection and misuse of intellectual property and related rights for pharmaceuticals, and its goal to better balance the reward for innovation against the assurance of affordability of medicines.Please read the entire statement HERE.
Mental Health Europe runs the Brussels 20K!

On May 29, thousands of runners will participate in the traditional 20 km of Brussels. This year and for the first time Mental Health Europe will bring together a small team of runners who will proudly run for our organisation and for the promotion of mental health in Europe! Our team of runners will help us to raise funds to finance our new awareness raising campaign 'EACH OF US'. If you would like to know more about our fundraising event or if you would like to support us please visit the following page:
If you would like to join us as a runner and help us to raise funds please contact Ophelie.

News from EU institutions and other bodies

Impact of the financial crisis on rights in the EU: United Nation expert to visit Brussels

We have been informed through our membership of European Disability Forum (EDF) that the United Nations Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Mr. Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, will undertake a visit to Brussels end of May in order to analyse the impact of the financial crisis on the enjoyment of economic, social  and cultural rights in EU countries. The visit will ultimately result in an official report to the United Nations Human Rights Council.  EDF have asked members if they have direct examples to share of the impact of EU imposed austerity measures on the rights of persons with disabilities in your country. MHE is also part of an Alliance on Disability Cuts and we are interested in any updated information from members that go beyond our 2012 working document on the impact of austerity on health systems and disadvantaged groups. If you would like to contribute, please READ MORE HERE and contact our policy manager Alva Finn.

UNCRPD: EU countries going through review process

Earlier this month, 5 EU countries went to Geneva to explain to the UN Committee on the rights of persons with disabilities what they have done to implement the UN Convention.The List of Issues on Italy and the Concluding Observations on Portugal, Slovakia, Serbia and Lithuania have be adopted by the UN Committee on 21 April and should shortly be published. You can find them on the website of the UN Committee. In August 2016 durint the next session, the UN Committee will adopt the List of Issues for Cyprus and Bosnia Herzegovina and hold its constructive dialogue with the Italian state delegation.

EU-OSHA publishes new study on psychosocial risks at work

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has published a survey that finds that three-quarters of European establishments report the presence of at least one psychosocial risk. The surveys shows that worker's participation is vital in implementing safety and health measures at work — 85 % of establishments with formal employee representation carry out risk assessments, but this worryingly drops to only 64 % of establishments without such representation. It is also particularly important for workers to be involved in psychosocial risk management, as the very nature of these risks makes them difficult to talk about, making collaboration from all parties even more essential. Download full report HERE.

New study on investment in mental health

The Lancet Psychiatry has just released a new study on the substantial return on investment in mental health. Researchers have explored a scaled-up response to the public health and economic burden of that depression and anxiety may cause. Have a look at the study HERE.

Human Rights Watch new report on French prisons

Human Rights Watch released a 69-pages report documenting the lack of adequate mental health care and appropriate conditions for prisoners with psychosocial disabilities in France. Thousands of men and women with psychosocial disabilities in French prisons are at risk of suicide or harming themselves because of the neglect of their physical and mental health. Read the full report HERE.
News from MHE members
Mind publishes "Building on Change" strategy

Our UK member organisation MIND UK has just released their new strategy "Building on Change" that you can read HERE. Their main message? They won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both support and respect! We encourage other members to have a look at the document as it contains interesting figures and objectives.
New e-book on "Ways to resilience"
MHE German member Dachverband Gemeindepsychiatrie  just published a e-book on resilience. It is very informative and focuses on organisational resilience: corporate structures and strategies to cope with changes and crises. We invite you to read it by following this link.
Save the date: 8 November 2016, Gent (BE)
MHE Belgian member Hand in Hand will organise on the 8th of November in Gent an event titled "2017: The end of sheltered housing?". This European convention aims to inspire and innovate, bringing together residents, experts,visitors, family members, social workers and officials. Want to register? Find all the information HERE.
Would you like to contribute to this newsletter or share any remark ? Please contact us!
Would you like to contribute to this newsletter or share any remark ? Please contact us!
This publication is supported by the European Union Programme for Rights, Equality and Citizenship.
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