EBC is actively promoting the development and adoption of overarching national strategies for accelerating brain research, improving healthcare for patients living with mental or neurological conditions and addressing the disease burden or brain disorders. Such strategies constitute integrated, coherent and holistic approaches for tackling the societal challenges associated with brain disorders, enabling national governments to better coordinate brain research and optimize resources at the national level. Moreover, these plans could follow the successful examples of other overarching national strategies in other research areas, such as cancer.
Many of EBC’s initiatives aimed at promoting national strategies were launched in the context of the 2013 “European Month of the Brain”. In particular, the closing conference, organized by the European Commission in collaboration with the Irish Presidency of the EU, considered that countries need to “develop or refine and to align national strategies on brain research and healthcare within Europe”.
The recommendation to design and establish national strategies in the brain area was subsequently incorporated in EBC’s “Call to Action” (2015) as well as the EBC Election Manifesto for the 2019 European Elections.
In December 2017, the Norwegian government launched a Norwegian National Brain Health Strategy (2018-2024). This robust plan incorporates key objectives aimed at, amongst other issues, enhancing prevention strategies, improving health and care services for people living with brain disorders and supporting research into diseases affecting the central nervous system. The Norwegian Brain Council played a key role in advocating for the adoption of the strategy prior to the launch in 2017 and is currently involved in monitoring its implementation.
Moreover, July 2019 marked the launch of a Brain Plan for Poland which presents robust data on the impact of brain disorders in Poland as well as key recommendations for improving care of patients affected by brain diseases, enhancing prevention and early detection and raising awareness of the disease burden of brain disorders at the national level. The authors are currently working on making sure that the plan gets adopted and implemented by the Polish government.
EBC is closely collaborating with the network of National Brain Councils in order to sustain and promote the development on national strategies in the area of brain-related diseases. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.