International conference on key mental health issues

09 October 2013, Last updated at, 15:28 EEST
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International conference on key mental health issues | author: Scanpix.lt/ AFP

On 10–11 October, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union conference "Mental Health: Challenges and Possibilities" will take place in Vilnius. The goal of the conference is to promote the implementation of the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-Being, and urge representatives in various fields (health, social affairs, and education) to share their experience, and enhance the cooperation and prevention of mental health disorders.

The event will also cover the mental health of children, young, and elderly people, the impact of alcohol consumption, suicide risk and depression management, the stigmatization of mental health, and the assurance of human rights.

In the EU, the matter of mental health is being discussed with increasing attention and is seen as having greater significance. Unfortunately, about 50 million EU citizens (about 11% of the total population) suffer from mental health disorders.

It is necessary to note that more and more children and young people are suffering from mental health problems that render youth incapable of work. Attention must be given to how schools operate, the workplace environment, and how separate communities live and the relations they share.

Another vital aspect is the prejudice around mental health disorders. People with mental health disorders need social understanding and support, and that, first and foremost, requires the elimination of deep-rooted discrimination.

Two-hundred participants from the EU, candidate countries, the European Free Trade Association, and the Eastern Partnership countries are expected. Europe's top specialists in the field (presenters from more than 10 European countries) as well as European Commissioner for Health, Tonio Borg, Minister of Health of the Republic of Lithuania, Vytenis Andriukaitis, representative of the EC Directorate General for Health and Consumers, Michael Hübel, and Regional Advisor of the World Health Organization for Mental Health in Europe, Dr Matt Muijen will participate at the conference.

On 10 October, World Mental Health Day is celebrated. This year, it is dedicated to elderly people and their mental health.

Mental health is the feeling of wellness, an emotional and spiritual state which allows people to live their lives to the fullest and experience pain and sorrow. Mental health is not just an absence of mental disease or disorders. Good mental health is reflected in a human’s ability to establish and maintain personal relations, deal with hardships, express oneself in ways that are pleasant to the individual and the people around the individual, and make decisions and be responsible for them.
 

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