10 October 2022

Press Release: World Mental Health Day 2022  | News

World Mental Health Day 2022 Press Release

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, Mental Health Europe (MHE) calls for stronger, more inclusive, accessible mental health promotion, prevention, and services for refugees and migrants at a European Parliament event co-hosted by MEP Tilly Metz (Greens/EFA) and MEP Estrella Durá Ferrandis (S&D).    

Migration, including for those seeking asylum, concerns almost every country in the world. Europe is experiencing the largest movement of people since WWII with 6.6 million reported to have fled Ukraine besides refugees from other countries (e.g. Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, etc.) entering Europe.  This is putting a spotlight on the short, medium, and long-term mental health consequences of conflict, displacement, and exile.    

People on the move can face mental health difficulties multiple times, be it disturbing experiences in their country of origin such as war and forced displacement, along migratory routes, and during challenging reception conditions with long periods of legal limbo. A recent WHO report (July 2022) estimates that the prevalence of severe mental problems is high (up to 22%) amongst conflict-affected populations, including refugees, at any given time.  

Addressing the mental health needs of refugees and migrants should become a priority and integral to the principle of the right to health for all. Policy – and decision-makers should invest in the social drivers of mental health. They should also strengthen mental health systems, ensuring these are refugee and migrant-sensitive and inclusive.   

More work is needed for such a transformational change as we seek mental health for all. Mental health is a human right and no one should be left behind.      

Read the press release

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