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The expert roundtable discussion Mental Health Matters: What are the policy priorities for the Belgian Presidency and the next European Commission?, organised by the International Longevity Center UK and ILC Europe Network, will take place on 6 March 2024 at 09:00-11:00 in Brussels.

Across Europe, we know that around one in 20 EU citizens are affected by anxiety or depressive disorders. Since COVID-19, there has been a sharp increase: one Eurobarometer survey in June 2023 found that 46% of the EU population had encountered feelings of depression or anxiety during the 12 months prior.

Resolving the challenges associated with mental health conditions is crucial to ensure Europeans live longer and happier lives. ILC is currently undertaking a global project that aims to generate a debate among key policy and health stakeholders on the importance of addressing mental health across our lives.

Vinciane Quoidbach, EBC Research Project Manager, joined the expert roundtable discussion, exploring mental health policy and best-practice in the EU. Discussion highlighted the importance of addressing mental health and well-being in the different contexts in the life course, which can benefit both individuals and societies. It recognizes the beneficial role of communities, schools, sports and culture in strengthening mental health and life-long mental well-being. In addition, the topic of mental health is also of the utmost importance to the Belgian Presidency, especially mental health and work being a priority. Lastly, beyond the European Commission’s communication on a comprehensive approach to mental health released in June 2023, there is a need to implement a biopsychosocial approach to mental health.

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