13 February 2017 // The mental health of persons with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and their family members is an IF priority area in 2017. Misdiagnosis, cognitive issues, lack of self-esteem, lack of proper care and support, frequent hospitalisation, chronic pain, stigma and discrimination are factors that can have a negative impact on people's mental health. IF, together with 16 other organisations, endorsed the Joint Statement on Mental Health, which was originally prepared by Mental Health Europe and EUFAMI. Mental health is as essential as physical health to well-being, and the partners to this joint statement call for action to improve mental health and well-being as well as mental health systems in partnership with service users, families and carers.
More can be done to improve the promotion of positive mental health and access to services in Europe through the mainstreaming of mental health in all policies at European and national levels (through health, employment, and social policies).
Mental health is a pivotal and crosscutting issue. There is much more space for the EU to address mental health in an integrated way and the joint statement develops recommendations on how to ensure:
- Parity of esteem, which is the principle by which mental health must be given equal priority to physical health
- A life-course approach to mental health which supports better understanding of mental health for all age groups and transitional times (mental health and pregnancy, mental health and ageing…)
- More attention is given to mental health in the workplace which is too often overlooked in occupational health and safety policies
- The improvement of mental health treatment in primary care settings and encouraging more holistic and person-centered approaches to mental health.
Through the Joint Action and its Framework for Action, the EU and Member States already have an existing framework with tools on how to improve mental health and well-being as well as mental health systems in partnership with service users, families and carers.
IF will strengthen its membership by offering training sessions on mental health, collecting testimonies of people with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and their family members, creating an animation on the right to health, stressing the interconnection of mental and physical health, to help in the fight against the stigma of having a mental health condition.
Mental Health Europe
European Federation of Associations of Families of Persons with Mental Illness (EUFAMI)
Council of Occupational Therapists for the European Countries (COTEC)
European Brain Council (EBC)
European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA)
European forum for primary carecare (EFPC)
European Patients’ Forum (EPF)
European Psychiatric Association (EPA)
European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)
European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA Europe)
Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks-Europe (Gamian Europe)
International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT)
Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)
The International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IFSBH)
The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME)