Editorial

Europe's mental health strategy

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7561.210 (Published 27 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:210
  1. Kristian Wahlbeck (kristian.wahlbeck@stakes.fi), professor,
  2. Vappu Taipale, director general
  1. STAKES National Research and Development Centre of Welfare and Health, PO Box 220, Helsinki 00531, Finland
  2. STAKES National Research and Development Centre of Welfare and Health, PO Box 220, Helsinki 00531, Finland

    Responsibility extends beyond health authorities

    Many countries in western Europe are experiencing increasing numbers of sickness spells and early retirements due to mental disorders and problems.1 However, the importance of good mental health is still not acknowledged universally. In the era of the information society, mental stressors are public health threats of increasing magnitude.

    A recently presented green paper by the European Commission on mental health promotes discussion on the relation between the European Union's strategic policy objectives and the mental health of Europeans.2 The paper builds on the Helsinki Action Plan of the World Health Organization's European Ministerial Conference on Mental Health 2005.3 The potential adoption of a union-wide mental health strategy later this year could signal an upgrade in the status of mental health issues within the union and within each member state.

    The paper acknowledges the need for European action on mental …

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