World Mental Health Day, October 10, 2021

Joint statement EFPA/RECOVER-E

This year’s World Mental Health Day theme from the WHO, “Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality[1]” is an important call for improving access to mental health care and for reducing mental health inequalities in Europe.

Covid-19 has disrupted mental healthcare at a time when, mental health services and outcomes are already not distributed equally within or between countries in Europe. 

The pandemic has however highlighted the importance of psychological well-being, and EFPA has called for the European Commission, in its EU4Health programme[2], to ensure mental health is given parity with other health needs in terms of funding and provision.

Multidisciplinary Community Mental Health Teams

The WHO celebrates that some countries have found new ways of providing mental health care to their populations. The RECOVER-E project[3], a European Commission HORIZON 2020 project in which EFPA is a partner[4], is one example of an initiative contributing to changing this through supporting the development and evaluation of multidisciplinary Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) in five sites in five countries in Central and Eastern Europe: Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Romania.

These countries are in the midst of reforming their mental health services in different ways, but have the shared aim to reduce gaps in receiving mental health support, by enabling care to be delivered in and around a person’s community, and focusing on recovery.

These multidisciplinary community mental health teams consist of psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, and peer workers (people with lived experience of a mental health issue). In particular, the role of social workers and peer workers in the team is important for addressing social and economic concerns of service users, and addressing not only mental health symptoms but emotional, psychological and social wellbeing as well.

The RECOVER-E project is proud to represent a network of partners with unwavering energy to deliver comprehensive support and care to individuals with severe mental illness, both prior to and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

RECOVER-E as a model

Capacity building efforts and involving key stakeholders that advocate for investment in mental health are necessary to sustain and improve community-based mental health care in the region.

EFPA hopes that the work of RECOVER-E can act as a model that encourages similar peer and professional mental health support services to become available to all equally across Europe.

Free webinar ‘Human Rights in Mental Health and the importance of the role of peer workers in mental health care’

RECOVER-E is hosting an event[5] on 14 October 2021 to discuss these issues which anyone, from users, to mental health care professionals, policy makers, advocacy organisations, researchers and more can join. 

More information and the link to register can be found here.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

1  https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-mental-health-day/2021

2 https://www.efpa.eu/world-health-day-efpa-calls-eu-make-eu4health-count-4mentalhealth2

3 RECOVER-E = https://www.recover-e.eu/

LaRge-scalE implemention of COmmunity-based mental health care for people with seVere and Enduring mental ill health in EuRopE

4 https://www.efpa.eu/activities/involvement-eu-projects

5 https://www.efpa.eu/event/recover-e-webinar-peer-workers-perspective-and-human-rights