Stop Brexit - Start fighting for better mental health across the EU


Too many women, men and young people are affected by this life-changing epidemic and it’s our duty to work together to tackle it.

Over 84 000 people died of mental health problems (2015) and suicides across EU countries According to the latest IHME estimates, more than one in six people across EU countries (17.3%) had a mental health problem in 2016 (Figure 1.1) – that is, nearly 84 million people.

The economic costs of mental illness are also significant. This chapter estimates total costs related to mental ill-health at more than 4% of GDP – or over EUR 600 billion – across the 28 EU countries in 2015. EUR 190 billion (or 1.3% of GDP) is direct spending on health care, another EUR 170 billion (1.2% of GDP) is spending on social security programmes, while a further EUR 240 billion (1.6% of GDP) is caused by indirect costs in the labour market, driven by lower employment rates and reduced productivity due to mental illness.

As a result, of the joint action on mental health and wellbeing, launched in 2013, and the European framework for action on mental health and wellbeing were developed. Within this framework, the Member States are supported in reviewing and improving their policies. The EU Compass for action on mental health and wellbeing is a platform that assists Member States in sharing policies and good practices.

That's why I used my chance to question the Commissioner-Designate for Health in the European Parliament to ask what more she would do as Commissioner to put mental health back on the agenda. 

We need to stop Brexit and focus on the environmental and economic factors which contribute to this desperately important issue. By working together with our colleagues across Europe we can push for real change.

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