Mainstreaming mental health policies across sectors

Wednesday, 4 October 2017 | 18.00-19.30 | Room 2

Organised by European Health Forum Gastein with research from Economist Intelligence Unit Healthcare

The prevalence of mental health problems in Europe is high and they are a major burden on society. Data suggests that one in four citizens are affected at least once during their lifetime and that over 38% of EU residents experience mental health problems at some point during any given year. Yet only 25% of those affected receive any treatment and only 10% receive something like “adequate” care. Good mental health and well-being are human rights and moreover are key factors for social cohesion, economic progress and sustainable development in the EU - mental health problems lead to substantial personal and economic costs for European individuals, communities and economies.

Much is now known about what works in the prevention, care and treatment of mental health problems. And it is accepted that promoting mental health and well-being in policy areas other than health is a crucial way of addressing its multiple determinants. Yet, implementation remains challenging, both at EU and national levels.

This session will consider what works and is cost-effective in preventing and treating mental health problems, drawing on best practice examples. What can we learn from those countries who are doing better than others at preventing and treating mental health problems and effectively integrating those suffering into society? We will consider the challenges at the policy level – where is the political will to address stigma, and what can we do to combat silo-based sectoral working and progress a mental health in all policies approach? What can we learn from successful and unsuccessful efforts to mainstream mental health policies in other sectors? Above all we will ask where can and should the European Commission, Member States and the wider community working on mental health now concentrate efforts to finally make progress?

W5 Programme PDF

Speakers & panellists

Panel discussion with

HEINZ KATSCHNIG, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, Medical University Vienna, Austria

JOHN BOWIS, Honorary President, Health First Europe

FRANCESCA COLOMBO, Head of Health Division, Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD

GERALDINE NIEDERSÜß, AhA! Angehörige helfen Angehörigen (Family members help family members), Salzburg

ANNIE PANNELAY, Healthcare Principal, Economist Intelligence Unit


TANIA DUSSEY-CAVASSINI , former Ambassador for Global Health and former Vice-Director General of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, Federal Department of Home Affairs of Switzerland

Biographical information

NameBowis, John
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NameColombo, Francesca
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NameDussey-Cavassini, Tania
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NameKatschnig, Heinz
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NameNiedersüß, Geraldine
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NamePannelay, Annie
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