EU Commission funds mental health’silent pandemic’ with $1.3 billion 2023
The European Commission announced on Wednesday that it will allocate 1.23 billion euros ($1.3 billion) to mental health initiatives throughout the 27 member states of the European Union and make mental health a pillar of health policy.
“Today marks a new beginning for a comprehensive, prevention-oriented, multi-stakeholder approach to mental health at the EU level,” said Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner for health and food safety.
“We must eliminate stigma and discrimination so that those in need can seek out for assistance and receive it. It is acceptable to not be okay, and it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone who requests assistance receives it.
EU Commission spends $1.3 billion on mental health “silent epidemic”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission estimated that mental health issues affected approximately 84 million people at an annual cost of approximately 600 billion euros, or 4% of the bloc’s GDP.
Since the pandemic, the situation has deteriorated due to the conflict in Ukraine, the fear of climate change, and the rising cost of living due to skyrocketing inflation.
At a press conference, Commission vice-president Margaritis Schinas referred to the issue as a “silent epidemic” and stated that it was the final piece of the “puzzle” for the European Health Union.
The focus of EU action will be on adequate and effective prevention, affordable access to high-quality mental healthcare and treatment, and social reintegration after recovery.
Among its initiatives, the EU will increase protection for children, including against the effects of social media, run campaigns for mental health in the workplace, launch an initiative on European depression and suicide prevention, create a European Code of Mental Health, and provide targeted assistance to the elderly, migrant, and refugee populations.