Joint Statement: A Mental health in All Policies approach as key component of any comprehensive initiative on mental health
This statement was made by the EU Health Policy Platform Thematic Network Mental Health in All Policies. EuroHealthNet and fellow signatories of this Joint Statement consider mental health an integral part of health and believe that everyone has the right to good mental health. Our vision is that of a Europe where everyone’s mental health can flourish across the entire life course and everyone can have timely, appropriate and affordable access to support, when needed.
This vision is far from reality. The COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the climate crisis and the rising cost of living among others all have a devastating impact on the mental health of the children, youth and adults in Europe, which was already an issue of concern well before the polycrisis, especially for people living in vulnerable situations.
The case for urgent action is clear. The EU and European countries must implement a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach to mental health, strengthening systems and mobilising different stakeholders to implement integrated mental health promotion, prevention and support at local, regional, national and European levels.
With this Joint Statement, we call for a Mental Health in All Policies (MHiaP) approach, i.e., for public policies across sectors to promote population mental health and wellbeing by initiating and facilitating action within different non-health public policy areas. The MHiAP approach emphasises the impacts of public policies on mental health determinants, strives to reduce mental health inequities, aims to highlight the opportunities offered by mental health to different policy areas, and reinforces the accountability of policymakers for mental health impacts.