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Oct 19, 2005

EU Commission Commission adopts Green Paper on a new strategy for mental health

The EU Commission adopted a Green Paper on Mental Health on 17 October designed to tackle mental illnesses in Europe. The Green Paper, 'Promoting the mental health of the population: Towards a strategy on mental health for the European Union', aims to launch a public consultation on how better to tackle mental illness and promote mental well-being in the EU.
Mental illness affects over 27 per cent of European adults every year, and is responsible for the majority of the annual 58,000 deaths by suicide, more than the numbers who die from motor vehicle traffic accidents. Mental health levels can have a significant influence on the economic and social welfare of society. As well as the challenges of mental ill health for the health sector, and the implications for the affected citizens and their families, mental illness imposes significant costs on society and its economic, educational, social, criminal and justice systems. Moreover, stigma and discrimination linked to mental disorders undermine fundamental rights.

A conference to launch the Green paper will be held in Luxembourg on 24 October.

Draft agenda

The launch conference will be followed by three thematic meetings until end of May 2006:
1) Meeting 1: “Promotion and prevention in mental health” (fourth quarter of 2005);
2) Meeting 2: “Social inclusion and fundamental rights in mental health” (first quarter of 2006);
3) Meeting 2: “Information, data and knowledge in mental health” (second quarter of 2006).

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