Mental Health Europe
January 2016 Newsletter


Dear readers,

I have just started as the Acting Director of Mental Health Europe, replacing Maria, who many of you will have met, and who is now on maternity leave. I'm incredibly excited about the year ahead. The implementation of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the review of the disability strategy, our work on deinstitutionalisation- these are some highlights from our 2016 work programme. Over the next few months, I am looking forward to meeting you individually, by phone, email or in person, to find out from you how Mental Health Europe can best represent you. One of the first questions I will be asking is: what language should we be using when we talk about mental health? Language is power, as you know, and the language we use must also reflect the diversity of the people we represent and support. Mental health problems, mental ill-health, psychosocial disability, lived experience- all these and more bring their own story. It is important that we continue questioning and being mindful of the impact our words have, and find some kind of consensus based on our shared ethos.
I come from a mental health background, and I hope to add value to MHE's work by continuing the promotion of the recovery model, and encouraging greater dialogue between practitioners and service users, through shared expertise and co-production.  In this issue we will be asking you your views on one of the most pressing issues of our day: the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe, from a mental health perspective. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to
contact me. With my colleagues Alva, Ophelie and Charlotte (who just joined the team as part-time policy assistant), I wish you a very happy and healthy 2016!

MHE News and Policy Work

MEP Marian Harkin (ALDE) joins MHE Coalition for Mental Health and Well-being

We are pleased to announce that MEP Marian Harkin (ALDE) becomes a new member of our Coalition for Mental Health and Well-being! Ms HARKIN was the Chair of our event in the European Parliament on the role of employment in the lives of people with mental health problems, and has long been committed to promoting mental health and well-being. We would like to thank MEP Marian Harkin for joining the coalition, and 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:
MHE Activity Report 2014-2015
We are pleased to share with you Mental Health Europe Activity Report 2014-2015. If you would like to know more about the work we did over the past two years, please have a look at it! You will find in this activity report an overview of our membership, our policy and advocacy work, our objectives and priorities as well as our communications activities. We do hope you will enjoy reading it! Please find it HERE.
What is Recovery ? Mental Health Europe

MHE video on recovery just released!

MHE is proud to release its new video on recovery from mental health problems. For the past few months, we have been meeting with experts and users/(ex)users of mental health services from across Europe to discuss recovery: what is recovery? how do they define it?  Is there a specific definition of recovery?  English subtitles are available on youtube, and more languages will follow in the coming weeks! Click on the right hand side icon of the video to access English subtitles! READ MORE ...

MHE Open Letter to the Dutch Presidency 

MHE wrote an Open Letter to the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on the need to make mental health a priority in 2016 during the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the EU. The open letter outlines the current processes which will be of importance to mental health and recommends that the Netherlands prioritise the follow-up to the Joint Action, push for real progress on implementation of the UNCRPD recommendations at Council level, and give greater consideration on the newly proposed long-term unemployment recommendation over the next six months. Read the open HERE. 

MHE blogging on Mad in America website!

MHE Acting Director Akiko Hart is now a contributor to Mad in America. Mad in America is a famous website (around 70,000 visitors per month) which serves as community forum and resources for those interested in rethinking psychiatric care in the United States and beyond, including in Europe. We are pleased to become one of their contributors, hoping to extend some of our discussions on the social model of psychiatry to a wider and international audience! Please have a look at our first article HERE about our work on the ongoing ICD10 revision.  
MHE #HappyNewYearPress Release

MHE published a press release to inform the media as well as relevant stakeholders about our policy priorities for the year 2016. As you will see, we have a busy programme ahead of us! Please read our press release HERE
Reminder: Questionnaire on ICD-10 Position Paper

In November, MHE  published a position paper on the revision of the most recent International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) and shared a (very easy to fill) questionnaire on this occasion to seek the views of external stakeholders. To gather a considerable number of answers to this survey we are now extending the deadline until the 15th of February. You can answer this survey by following this link. Please only fill out the questionnaire if you feel comfortable doing so as the content could be challenging for those who are unfamiliar with the process. 
UseCandor: An online brainstorming tool for MHE Members

We know it can be difficult to share ideas and/or brainstorm through email threads when being a big group: it can be time consuming and quite challenging to follow the entire discussion. Therefore, we have decided to launch an online brainstorming tool for our members through USECANDOR, an online platform which helps groups generate ideas. Please CLICK HERE to find out how to use USECANDOR: we prepared a quick guide on how to use USECANDOR in five steps ! The first brainstorm we launched concerns the current refugees, migrants and asylum seekers' crisis (more information below). 

Joint Action for Mental Health and Well-being final conference

On 21-22 January, MHE, along with a number of our members, attended the closing conference of the Joint Action for mental health and well-being (JAMHWB). MHE President Nigel Henderson spoke about community-based mental health services and our Board Member Guadalupe Morales chaired a round-table in her capacity as Board Member of ENUSP. Other MHE members also chaired and took part in breakout sessions. The European Framework for Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing was presented as well as the Compass on Mental Health and Wellbeing to participants and a meeting with representatives from Member States was held afterwards to discuss follow-up. The Framework for Action outlines the need for action on mental health from Member States and the European Commission. MHE will be producing a guidance note on how to use the Framework for action on mental health and well-being in the coming weeks.  READ MORE...

EU Alliance for Mental Health in All Policies conference

On 22nd January the EU Alliance for Mental Health in All Policies organised a side event following the JAMHWB Final Conference. The objective was to discuss the role of stakeholders in defining the EU's mental health agenda. Participants and speakers included Emmanuelle Grange, Head of the Disability Unit at the European Commission (DG EMPL) and Luc Zerderloo, Secretary General of the EASPD. This was also the occasion to discuss specific  objectives for the alliance to set up with regards to mental health in the workplace. 
News from EU institutions and other bodies

Reminder: EU Accessbility Act consultation period still on

In December, the EU Commission proposed a European Accessibility Act, which will set common accessibility requirements for certain key products and services that will help people with disabilities at EU level to participate fully in society. It is of interest for MHE members since Persons with psychosocial disabilities face accessibility barriers in many areas of life including lack of access to basic services such as a bank account due to the denial of their legal capacity.   MHE will contribute to the consultation through EDF's membership. For our members interested in contributing individually please note that we are still in the 8 weeks-consultation period, so you have until the 3rd of February to send your input to the European Commission. 

EU Commission launches public consultation on the EU disability strategy

On december 22, the European Commission has launched a public consultation on the mid-term review of the European Disability Strategy (2010-2020). This Strategy provides a roadmap for the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which the European Union is a party. The deadline to contribute to this consultation is 18 March 2016!

The EU Compass for Action on Mental Health and Well-being

The EU-Compass for Action on Mental Health and Well-being is a tool for collecting, sharing and analysing information on mental health in the EU. Between 2015-2018, the EU-Compass project will be expanded to include an online database of stakeholders on mental health and well-being policies and activities. This compass was originally launched by the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being and followed by the JAMHB. The compass will gather practices on the five areas of work outlined by the JAMHWB, and we would like to urge MHE members to participate in the EU Compass survey HERE. Participating in the compass is a straightforward and useful way to influence best practices at EU level. If you would like to know more about the EU Compass, have a look the full description and history of the initiative HERE. 

Reminder: EU Commission public consultation on reconciling work and family life

The Commission has recently opened a public consultation in relation to a road-map entitled ‘New start to address the challenges of work-life balance faced by working families’ This will be of particular interest to some of our member organisations who represent the views of carers and family members. Issues of concern and root causes of the problem are discussed in the background document as well as the existing EU tools to encourage a healthy work-life balance and some proposed policy measures to address the gaps that still exist. The background document does not mention the mental health aspects of this topic and we will seek to highlight this in our response to the questionnaire.  We would like to encourage our members, particularly those who represent the views of carers and family members, to give us their views on our draft. We would also like to encourage members who would have an interest in this topic to respond to the questionnaire themselves. You can send your views on MHE’s draft response via e-mail to MHE Policy Manager Alva Finn. Please do not edit the draft directly. Our draft response is available HERE.

News from MHE members
Call for information: mental health in the context of the refugees' crisis

MHE would like to invite members working with refugees, migrants and asylum seekers to share best practices. We would like to work more extensively on this important issue, and we cannot do this without your input! Please tell us what is the situation in your own country regarding the refugees, migrants and asylum seekers current crisis and please do share with us best practices. We would like to invite those who are developing projects, research or relevant work to share them through our new brainstorm platform! To join our online brainstorming platform please follow this LINK or type in the following code (as explained above): 58v8j Find out HERE how to contribute in 5-easy steps! We are looking forward to hearing back from you! Or you can just email us. 
Zero project: Call for nominations 

EASPD and Zero Project are collecting models of innovative good practices on early childhood intervention.  The Zero Project focuses on the rights of persons with disabilities globally. If you wish to nominate a project/best practice please read the nomination guidelines HERE and fill in the nomination form to download HERE. Please send the nomination to Sabrina (EASPD) before January 31st! 
Peer2peer: A route to recovery 
For the past two years, MHE Spanish member organisation Fundación INTRAS has been leading a very interesting European project called Peer2peer which was developed together with other MHE member organisations such as Promente Austria (Austria), Escuela Andaluza de Salud (Spain) and Liga Romana pentru Sanatate Mintala (Romania). Peer2peer is a vocational training course which enables individuals who have experienced mental health problems to become personal assistants to those who are currently living with similar difficulties. The project resulted in an innovative teaching pack (available in German, Romanian, English and Spanish). More than 130 people with mental health issues attended the two pilots courses organised during the past two years and 22 of them have become peer support workers. Please visit P2P website and have a look at the video released on this occasion! 
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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