Mental health services in Europe ‘seriously under-funded’

Mental health services in Europe are “seriously under-funded”, fail to listen to service users and carers and lack adequate policies on mental health promotion, according to a committee of members of the European Parliament.

In its response yesterday to the European Commission’s green paper on mental health, published last October, a European Parliament health committee called for the “defeat of stigma” to be at the heart of future mental health strategies.

The report also called for more community treatment and better care of mentally ill prisoners and said medication should only be used as a last resort.

The document is likely to lead eventually to a series of recommendations rather than regulations, although the parliament’s rapporteur on the issue, MEP John Bowis, said regulations could eventually be introduced requiring companies to report on how they promoted mental health in the workplace.

It will be debated by the full parliament in September before being considered by the commission.

The green paper aimed to initiate a mental health strategy for the union.

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