Mental Health Europe
November 2015 Newsletter


Dear readers,
The last couple of weeks have been intense for MHE, with a few highlights including the seminars aiming at establishing National Mental Health Platforms in the Slovak Republic and in Estonia. A big thank you to our Slovak and Estonian members for all their efforts to make these events a success! We hope that these seminars will be the starting point for increased collaboration between all actors in the mental health field in these countries.
Looking ahead, we are now approaching the MHE event in the European Parliament on the 10th of December on “The role of employment in the lives of persons with mental health problems”. Do not forget to register for this event! All information is available in this newsletter. The month of December will also offer possibilities for MHE’s members to meet and to attend MHE annual capacity-building seminar. Shortly after, a two-day empowerment seminar for users will take place in Brussels, jointly organised with the European Network of (ex)Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (ENUSP). We are very pleased about this important and successful collaboration!
Maria Nyman, MHE Director 
MHE News and Policy Work
MEP Miriam Dalli becomes the Chair of MHE Coalition for mental health and well being 

Mental Health Europe is delighted to announce that Miriam Dalli MEP (S&D) becomes the Chair of our MEP Coalition for Mental Health and Well-being. This informal Coalition was initially was launched in 2012 and aims at ensuring that mental health is high on the EU agenda. It is important to give new momentum to this Coalition, and we are very happy to count on MEP Miriam Dalli's  support. Please find further information on the Coalition for Mental Health and Well-being, its objectives and its Champions here:

MHE annual event in the European Parliament: have you registered yet?

Mental Health Europe will hold its annual event in the European Parliament on "The Role of employment in the lives of people with mental health problems" on the 10th of December 2015 from 09:30 to 12:00 (Room number to be confirmed) .The event will be kindly co-hosted by  MEP Liadh NÍ RIADA (GUE/NGL), MEP Richard HOWITT (S&D) and MEP Sirpa PIETIKÄINEN (EPP).

Key speakers from the European Parliament, the OECD, the European Commission as well as the Work Foundation will give presentations. Please find the programme here: 

If you wish to register please send your Name + Nationality + ID number + Birth date to Ophelie Martin before November 30! 

MHE position paper on ICD-10 Revision

MHE is pleased to share its position paper on the ongoing ICD-10 revision. According to the WHO, the ICD “is the standard diagnostic tool for epidemiology, health management and clinical purposes. This includes the analysis of the general health situation of population groups. It is used to monitor the incidence and prevalence of diseases and other health problems”. MHE calls for the cautious use of diagnostic manuals and recalls that the persons most deeply affected by diagnostics resulting from such manuals are those who use mental health services. The paper outlines the need for safeguards as well as more user involvement, transparency and regrets the reinforcement of the biomedical model. Please read the full position paper and MHE calls for actions HERE

MHE's position on the working document of the draft Additional Protocol to the Oviedo Convention 

MHE was invited to respond to the consultation on the working document of the draft Additional Protocol to the Oviedo Convention on human rights and biomedicine. In a position/response paper, MHE outlines its concerns that the Additional Protocol remains poorly timed and as a result could serve to undermine, rather than protect, the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities in Europe as well as contribute to a fragmentation of human rights law. While groundbreaking at its inception, the Oviedo Convention itself is now out-of-step with the paradigm shift required by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD); introducing a new Additional Protocol based on the Oviedo Convention therefore seems, to MHE and others, to be unwise. As noted repeatedly in several responses to last year’s questionnaire launched by the Council of Europe on the draft Additional Protocol, the UN CRPD requires a shift away from the medical approach to disability which unfortunately is not reflected in this draft. Please find the full response HERE. 

MHE featured in Adjacent Government Magazine

MHE is featured in Adjacent Government UK's november edition. The article adresses the link between physical and mental health, and the consequences it can have on the lives of people with mental health problems. MHE Communications Officer Ophelie Martin shared insights on the link between physical and mental health, illustrating facts with her own personal story. Read the full story HERE

The BBP Taskforce digital Library: new section on MHE website !

MHE "Beyond the Biomedical Paradigm Taskforce" (BBP Taskforce) has put into place a Quarterly Resource Update on articles and other media that inform the work of the BBP Taskforce. This Resource Update consists of brief descriptions of the contents of the resource organised around the issues outlined in the Bucharest Manifesto that the Taskforce is working on, together with weblinks or other means of getting hold of the resource. Read more...

MHE supports Mental Health National Platform in Bratislava, Slovakia

On 22 October, MHE supported a National Platform meeting organised by our Slovakian members the Slovak League for Mental Health and Open the Door, Open your Hearts. The workshop focused on the mental health of children and MHE Human Rights Officer Alva Finn and Jan Pfeiffer, our Senior Policy Advisor, presented on de-institutionalisation and a human rights-based approach to mental health along with national Slovakian experts who spoke about the mental health of children in Slovakia. The successful meeting served as an opportunity for key players in the field of mental health to meet and exchange their views and we hope it will lead to further collaboration in the future! 

A successful national platform seminar in Tallin, Estonia 

On November 13, our Estonian member organisation Estonian Mental Health Society organised a National Platform seminar in Tallinn. The seminar was supported by MHE, and its main objective was to strengthen cooperation between different partners, who stand for positive mental health and well-being in Estonia. About 28 people attended the event, including Svetlana Varjun and Cecilia Modig representing MHE. Participants included users, professionals, and decision makers. Representative from local municipalities , public sector organisations, NGOs, and local governments involved in mental health were invited to participate and share experiences. Morning discussions started with more general discussions on mental health at national and EU levels as well as best practices of different NGOs whilst afternoon talks focused on more personal stories including from users. The event was also the opportunity to give input and feedback on the upcoming strategy on integrated services  and prevention of children's mental health. The representative of the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs was very grateful for the ideas and insights shared by attendees. MHE was delighted to hear that the event was a real success and that the Estonian Mental Health Society received very positive feedback. 
MHE co-signs Joint letter to the European Council on migrant children

Mental Health Europe is co-signatory of the Joint open letter to the European Council on migrant children’s rights.  The Joint Open Letter, entitled "Time to act to ensure children's rights in the EU's migration policy" calls  on the EU and its member states to implement ten strategic actions,  including non discriminatory access for all children to  services such as health care, including mental health, and education, as well as adequate accommodation together with their family. Read More...

MHE at Council of Europe conference on the rights of persons with disabilities

On 5-6 November 2015, MHE was represented by Orla Barry CEO of Mental Health Ireland at the Council of Europe Conference organised in cooperation with the Department of Justice and Equality of Ireland  in Dublin. The Conference was  organised to take stock of the results achieved in the implementation of the Council of Europe's Disability Action Plan during 2006-2015. The Action Plan outlines specific actions in some policy areas which aim to promote the full participation of people with disabilities in society. Each action line sets out key objectives and specific actions to be implemented by member states. MHE regrets that persons with psychosocial disabilities  are not specifically mentioned in the list of actions although most of them are  of relevance for persons with mental health problems. 

MHE in Paris conference to present on legal capacity

MHE attended a conference on legal capacity and Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Paris last month. Collectif Contrast, a French inter-disciplinary research organisation specialised in sociology, law and philosophy, organised the event- the objective of which was to provide a platform for information and exchange on the impact of Article 12 and the ‘difficulties’ involved in full implementation.  MHE Human Rights Officer Alva Finn presented a European mental health NGO perspective on legal capacity during a workshop entitled: Enforcement of fundamental rights: the role of the judge, activists and the State. 

MHE at Mental Health Recovery in Action event

On 5 November, MHE attended an event in Dublin co-organised by the European Rehabilitation Platform. The event entitled ‘Mental Health Recovery in Action’ aimed to raise national awareness about recovery and involved international and Irish contributors who are active in the field of recovery. Our human rights officer Alva Finn gave a presentation on behalf of MHE relating to European mental health policy and human rights. The event was a great success and represented a diversity of views and approaches to recovery.  
Want to share your story? MHE video on recovery

Mental Health Europe is currently working on video on recovery from mental health problems. The video aims to explain what recovery is, both from professional and personal perspectives. If you feel comfortable with speaking on camera about your recovery process, please do get in touch with Ophelie. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

MHE's contribution to EU Commission consultation on access to health services

Mental Health Europe sent its contribution to the European Commission's  public consultation on the preliminary opinion on  ‘Access to health services in the European Union’. The contribution highlights the high costs of mental health care, the need to better adress the link between mental and physical health, terminologies' issues spotted in the preliminary opinion as well as social exclusion of people with mental health problems. To read the full response, please contact MHE Director maria.nyman[a]

MHE's response to Eurostat Consultation on European social statistics 

European social statistics cover a large range of data based on surveys, such as employment and unemployment, social situation, health , education, income etc. The system for collecting data is currently being reviewed and a public consultation was therefore launched by Eurostat/the European Commission. The objective of this consultation is first to collect the views of users of social statistics to better match the European production system for social statistics and the statistics produced with their needs. MHE responded to this consultation, highlighting in particular that:
  • Our measurement system should shift emphasis from measuring economic production to also measuring people’s well-being and quality of life. Well-being, including positive mental health, is an indispensable factor in achieving growth. For example the economic consequences of mental health problems are estimated at an average of 3-4% of EU’s gross national product. Mainstreaming well-being in EU policies majorly benefits society as a whole, and there can be no talk of growth without taking into consideration the wellbeing of Europe’s human capital.
  • Data needs to be broken down by disability group
  • There is a need to ensure that the full population is reflected in the data, including persons living in institutions/hospitals
To read the full response, please contact MHE Director maria.nyman[a]
News from EU institutions and other bodies

EU Commission releases Horizon 2020 Work programme

The European Commission's Horizon 2020 Work Programme for 2016-2017 came out on 13 October. You can find it HERE. The individual Work Programme for the Societal challenges 1 (SC1-PM-01-2016) heading on health, demographic change and well-being includes an interesting focus on mental health. 

Adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations recently adopted  the Sustainable Development Goals (known as SDGs). The 17 SDGs aim at ending poverty, hunger and inequality, take action on climate change and the environment, improve access to health and education, and build strong institutions and partnerships. Among all those important goals, Goal 3 is of particular interest to MHE as it aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being including the reduction by 1/3 of premature mortality from non communicable diseases through prevention, treatment and promotion of mental health and well-being as well as access to quality health care. Goal 8 promotes inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, including the achievement of full and equal work for persons with disabilities by 2030. 

OECD releases Health at a Glance report 2015

The OECD has just released the new edition of Health at a Glance, which presents the most recent comparable data on the performance of health systems in OECD countries. pp148-149 refers to mental health. Find the full report HERE

"Community not confinement" report

On 14th October MHE participated in the Open Society Foundations – Mental Health Initiative (MHI) event at the European Parliament “Community not Confinement: the role of the EU in promoting and protecting the right of people with disabilities to live in the community” report. The event was hosted by MEP Daciana Sarbu and was the opportunity to examine and discuss EU law and policy governing the use of structural funds, as well as EU and state responsibilities to human rights obligations under international and EU law. You can find the report HERE.

Reminder: DG EMPL new chart entered into force

As of 1st of November 2015, the European Commission DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion's new organisation chart entered into force. This involves some changes in the Unit for Disability and Inclusion.  Ms Emmanuelle Grange becomes Head of Unit for "Disability and Inclusion’’. If you would need further information please find the chart HERE.
News from MHE members

Dear members, the newsletter is also about you! 

Is your organisation working on a specific project? Are you organising a conference/seminar in the coming weeks or next month? Has your organisation published a paper that you would like to share with other members to receive feedback? Please contact MHE Communications Officer Ophelie if you would like to be featured in our next newsletter! 

Feedback wanted: DGSP's papers on the use of neuroleptics

MHE German member organisation the German Society for Social Psychiatry has been working for many years on the use of neuroleptics in relation with the treatment of mentally ill people. The organisation recently published two papers on the issue , that have now been translated into English. These position papers on the use of neuroleptics include an overview of developments and challenges in mental health as well as shared experiences, and seek to show  the harmful side effects of  conventional therapy when psychotic disorders are treated predominantly with neuroleptic drugs. Please find the papers HERE and HEREThe German Society for Social Psychiatry would very much appreciate feedback from other members and any other stakeholders on these two papers. Please do not hesitate to share your views, findings or own experiences by contacting Richard Suhre. 
Estigma video

MHE Spanish member organisation Fundacion Mundo Bipolar has released an excellent video on stigma around bipolarity. The video interstingly links stigma to human rights. It is translated into English and is worth sharing among your network!  Please watch the full video 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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