EU’s Huge Mental Health Burden

One-in-four Europeans is likely to experience mental health problems at some point in their lives, and over 27% of European adults are affected by mental ill health each year, according to a new report. The EU report found that depression and anxiety disorders, including stress, are the most common mental health problems experienced, and studies reveal that by 2020,neuropsychiatric disorders, with depression at the top of the list, will be the highest-ranking cause of illness in the developed world.

Irish MEP Avril Doyle said during the course of any one year, over 18 million people across the EU will suffer from severe depression, and some 58,000 EU citizens commit suicide each year, and 10 times this number attempt it.

Ms Doyle reiterated the need to develop and implement an action plan for mental health promotion and mental disorder prevention in all EU member states.

“Such measures would help promote mental health and help reduce the enormous health and economic burden of mental disorders,”she said.

The MEP pointed out that in many cases, early intervention and preventive action is the most effective course of action, yet on average, EU member states designate only 3% of their healthcare budgets to the prevention of ill-health, with mental health accounting for only a tiny proportion of the total amount spent on health each year.