World Mental Health Day

This year’s World Mental Health Day, on the 10th of October, was impacted more than ever by the pandemic crisis the world is facing due to COVID-19.

As Ms. Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety explained in her statement, ‘the pandemic is an invaluable reminder of the importance of looking after our mental health’.

The European Federation of Psychologists’ Association (EFPA) also reminds us how vital it is to look after our mental health as well as our physical condition. “A number of issues are contributing to this increase including social isolation, job and financial losses, housing insecurity, loss of coping mechanisms, consequences of working in a front-line job”. However, the Association warns about the difficulty to find sufficient funds in order to act on a more large-scale regarding mental health problems.

Many countries are well developed in their thinking about how to deliver psychological interventions, and it is becoming more common to see psychologists contributing to policy, but countries have largely been unable to implement fit for purpose large scale systems. Whilst access has been improved to mental health services, funding for mental health has historically often been the first to be cut during times of austerity” adds EFPA.

On the European Commission side, Ms. Stella Kyriakides explained that the institution is taking that urge into consideration. The Commission ‘will support, with up to €8.4 million, the roll out of best practice for community-based mental health system reform, multi-level national suicide prevention, step-wise intervention programmes to tackle depression, as well as an integrated housing approach for people with severe mental health problem’. 

The Liberal professions are on the front line regarding mental health problems. The European Council for Liberal professions hopes that this matter will be taken seriously and vows to do all in its power to make sure that this issue is met with the right answers for the European citizens.