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Special Interest Session & Networking Event – FENS Forum 2022: Brain capital and the young generation

Mental health disorders cannot be ignored, nor can their devastating impact on families, communities, and lives. The cost of not acting is tremendous. There is a need to improve the efficiency of brain health and care pathways, prevent avoidable deaths and implement cost-effective solutions.

The youth are our future. However, recent studies underscore the severity of the mental health challenges children and adolescents face that can lead to disability, disease, and death. There are numerous unmet needs along the care pathway, although effective early detection and interventions exist. Navigating the mental health services system is often complex for families, due to services that are fragmented or disrupted. According to the OECD (2018), the total costs of mental ill-health are estimated at more than 4% of GDP – or over 600 billion€ – across the 28 EU countries. And the burden is increasing. The Covid-19 pandemics exacerbated the situation. Policies and programmes to prevent and mitigate the negative impacts on schooling, employment, mental health, and risky behaviors are therefore paramount. The accumulation of human and social capital must start at a young age as the brain develops rapidly during early childhood and adolescence. Moreover, early cognitive, and non-cognitive skills and health capabilities lead to enhanced effectiveness of later investment.

As a result, by building a strong foundation, investing in optimal interventions tailored to the young generation advances socio-economic development. The EBC and FENS will convene a meeting at the upcoming FENS Forum 2022 in Paris, France together with the OECD, UNESCO and WHO to address these challenges.

The Special Interest Session will take place on 12 July 2022 at 18:45-20:30. More information will follow soon.