European Mental Health Week, 13-19 May 2024

In 2023 edition: Mentally healthy communities. Thriving together.

  • Mental well-being is universal and essential for healthy communities, and vice-versa.
  • As with physical health, mental health can have its ups and downs over a lifetime.
  • Young or old, we all need better understanding, knowledge, skills and support to take care of our mental health.
  • That’s why it is crucial to address mental health across our communities, in schools, homes and workplaces.
  • Mentally healthy communities allow us to thrive without fear of stigma or discrimination.
  • What can you do for your community and how can your community support you?

About the week

All you wanted to know

The European Mental Health Week is a pan-European initiative that aims to raise awareness about the importance of mental health in our everyday lives. Set up and run by Europe’s largest independent mental health NGO Mental Health Europe (MHE), the fourth edition of the European Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from 22 May until 28 May 2023.

This week-long online action is a chance for everyone to exchange about all aspects of mental health, share personal stories of how to cope with difficulties in times of crisis and in general, and highlight the need for action.

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Why the week

Background

The European Mental Health Awareness Week builds on the long-standing global tradition of celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month in May. In the US, Mental Health Month was initiated by Mental Health America in 1949. It has been celebrated every year since with growing support from the public and policymakers, for over 70 years. In Canada, the Canadian Mental Health Association has hosted Mental Health Week during the first week of May for 70 years. In the UK, Mental Health Awareness Week has been run by Mental Health Foundation on the third week of May for over 20 years.

The facts

OECD: “Mental ill-health can have devastating effects on individuals, families and communities, with one in every two people experiencing a mental health [problem] in their lifetime. Mental ill-health also weighs heavily on societies and economies; the economic burden of mental ill-health can rise to up to 4% of GDP, and those with mental [ill-health] have poorer educational, employment, and physical health outcomes than those in good mental health.”

Our goal

The ambition of our Awareness Week is to promote and establish the European Mental Health Week as an annual pan-European mental health campaign celebrating the path to awareness and action.

Why mental health

Change

There’s an urgent need to raise the general public and policymakers’ understanding about mental health, reduce stigma and change behaviours and attitudes.

Progress

We know more about mental health today than ever before. Armed with all the knowledge, progress can be made. Mental health support must be available for all.

Impact

In recent years, the World Health Organization and other UN agencies, European institutions and health ministries have recognised the urgent need for commitment and action on mental health. When our leaders speak up and take action, we can look towards a brighter future to move towards positive mental health.

Equity

More people in Europe have been negatively affected by the “polycrisis” and these numbers could increase as new crises emerge. Equitable access to mental health care can improve the quality of life for many and especially for people in vulnerable situations (children, young people, elderly, marginalised groups, etc.).

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