APPENDIX 3: CALL FOR EVIDENCE |
Sub-Committee G of the House of Lords European Select
Committee is carrying out an Inquiry into the policy issues related
to a Green Paper published by the European Commission on 18 October
2005 entitled: Improving the mental health of the population:
towards a strategy on mental health for the European Union
(Commission document 13442/05 reference COM (2005) 484 final).
This document is available from the Commission website:
The Green Paper is a consultative document designed
to launch a policy debate about the relevance of mental health
for the EU, the need for a strategy at EU level and possible priorities.
It acknowledges that, while some public health aspects of mental
health would fall under Community competence, others would be
within the exclusive competence of Member States.
The Commission point out in the Green Paper that:
- Mental ill health affects every
fourth citizen of the EU and costs an estimated 3-4% of EU GDP,
mainly through lost productivity, as well as causing many suicides.
- Mental disorders are a leading
cause of early retirement and disability pensions.
- Mental ill health and conduct
and behavioural disorders in childhood incur costs for the social,
educational, criminal and justice systems.
- Further intangible costs concern
how society treats mentally ill or disabled persons who still
experience social exclusion, stigmatisation, discrimination or
non-respect of their fundamental rights and dignity.
Against that background, the Commission state that
mental health is an important issue for the European Community
- the contribution that good mental
health of the population can make to some of the EU's strategic
- the role of the Community to encourage
and support cooperation between Member States and to address inequalities
between them; and,
- the obligation for the Community
to contribute to a high level of human health protection through
all its policies and activities.
The Green Paper suggests that an EU strategy on mental
health could add value by creating a framework for exchange and
cooperation between Member States; helping to increase the coherence
of actions in different policy sectors; and opening a platform
for involving stakeholders, including patient and civil society
organisations, in building solutions.
Among the options for action outlined by the Green
- promoting mental health and addressing
mental health though preventive action;
- promoting the social inclusion
of mentally ill or disabled people and protecting their fundamental
rights and dignity; and,
- improving information and knowledge
on mental health in the EU.
The Commission is expected to issue proposals later
this year, based on responses to the Green Paper, for consideration
by Member States and the European Parliament.
In March of this year, the Sub-Committee invited
views from interested parties for the Inquiry on:
- whether an EU strategy on mental
health would be appropriate,
- if so, what elements it might
- how it might complement and add
value to the strategies of Member States and the activities of
the World Health Organisation and other international bodies.
Because the start of this Inquiry was delayed, the
Sub-Committee is offering a further opportunity for interested
parties to submit a concise statement of written evidence to the
Inquiry by Monday 2 October 2006 for consideration by the
Sub-Committee on return from the Parliamentary Summer Recess.