Announcement of High level conference on mental health, Brussels, 13 June 2008


The European Commission is organising an "EU High-Level Conference on Mental Health". This will take place on the 13 June 2008 in Brussels. This high-level event will be hosted by European Commissioner for Health, Ms Androulla Vassiliou, and she is preparing it with her colleague Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Mr Vladimír Špidla. The President of the European Commission, Dr José Manuel Barroso, expressed his wish to participate in the event. The conference will be a follow-up to the consultation on the Commission's Green Paper on Mental Health of 2005.

The Conference will be attended by high-level representatives from the European Parliament, the Council Presidency and Member State Governments. Also expected are organisations and leaders from relevant sectors such as health, education, employment, social affairs as well as from civil society.

A draft Conference programme will be available soon.

The conference is expected to establish a European Pact for Mental Health.

The conference and Pact will focus on four themes:

  • Prevention of Suicide and Depression,
  • Mental health in Youth and Education,
  • Mental health in Workplace Settings,
  • Mental health in the Elderly,
  • As a further strand, Combating Stigma and Social Exclusion, will run through across all thematic areas.

From 26-29 February 2008, a series of preparatory meetings of consensus groups were organised to launch the preparation of "consensus papers" on the first four of the priority themes, with logistical help from the Public Health Executive Agency. These consensus papers are expected to establish how investing into mental health addressed can support EU-policy objectives and improve performances in these four priority fields.

Further information about the preparation of these papers can be found under the links above. This work is facilitated by a contracted Consortium led by the "Generalitat de Catalunya" (Department of Health, Government of Catalonia/Spain).

Further information about mental health activities in the EU, in particular project activities supported from programmes under EU-policy areas, can be found on the website of the SUPPORT Project.

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