Biggest Mental Health Conference of the year: focus on people and stereotypes

11 October 2013, Last updated at, 15:53 EEST
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Today in Vilnius the European Union Commissioner for Health Tonio Borg and Lithuanian Minister of Health Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis closed the two-day conference “Mental Health: Challenges and Possibilites”. The Conference was attended by about 200 participants from the EU and other countries, it was honoured by a representative of the European Commission Health and Consumers Directorate-General, Michael Hübel, as well as Matt Muijen, Regional Advisor at the World Health Organization‘s Regional Office for Europe.

The fact that almost 50 million European Union citizens (almost 11 per cent of the EU population) have mental health disorders but mental health is still not receiving the deserved attention proves the relevance of the Conference.

According to the Minister of Health V. P. Andriukaitis, mental health is one of the most significant and most vulnerable values of the modern society. The Minister said that EU countries must implement tasks and achieve objectives set in the European Pact for Mental Health and well-being and the Europe 2020 Strategy, as well as to conduct mental health prevention and early intervention, arranging measures to guarantee mental well-being.

The participants of the Conference agreed that although children and youth mental health remains a priority, mental health problems of the elderly are still important at large. It was emphasized that for public mental health and well-being it is essential to work together with non-governmental organizations as equal partners, to consult with experts for advice, to share best practices and to regularly discuss innovation, advancement and development opportunities. With regards to one of the topics of the Lithuanian presidency of the EU Council in the field of health – sustainable health systems – it has been highlighted that innovative prevention and treatment approaches need to be set up, especially without wasting resources and effectively investing EU funds in accordance with the principles and best practices of contemporary public mental health and well-being.

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From 28.11.2013 to 29.11.2013
The 3rd Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius

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