As part of the Words to Action working group, EBC took part in the production of a policy paper on major depression, entitled ‘A sustainable approach to depression: moving from words to actions’.

Over 35 million people are estimated to be living with depression in Europe with a cost 30% higher than that of stroke. Yet, as a society, we lack understanding of depression and empathy for those affected. Policies focused on depression exist, but implementation is variable and suffers from significant under-resourcing. This in turn contributes to significant gaps in diagnosis and care: only 25% of people diagnosed with depression receive appropriate and timely care.3 These gaps need to be remedied – and require a comprehensive, sustainable policy response, looking at how to prevent and manage depression across all aspects of society.

EBC, GAMIAN-Europe, the European Psychiatric Association (EPA)EUFAMI, the Expert Platform on DepressionEurocarers, the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), the UEMS – Sector of Psychiatry and the International Federation for Psychotherapy joined forces to address this need; agreeing to produce a report aimed at providing policymakers with concrete ways to better address the full spectrum of depression and its impact on our societies.  The report drew from the practical experiences of a variety of innovative projects addressing different aspect of depression across the EU. Key factors and lessons learnt were identified which can help policymakers develop and put in place concrete, relevant and sustainable policies and initiatives.

The report was launched on 5 December 2018 in the European Parliament (Brussels) in a meeting of the Interest Group on Mental Health, Well-being and Brain Disorders, co-hosted by MEPs Tomas Zdechovsky and Nessa Childers.