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EBC is pleased to host a symposium on ‘Assessing the Value of Mental Health Treatments for Youth in Europe’, set to take place on 7 April 2024 at 10:00-11:30 at the 32nd European Congress of Psychiatry.

While substantially diverse across healthcare segments and ill-health conditions, excess healthcare costs associated with the increased risks of physical comorbidities linked to mental health disorders have been found to be between 37% to 110%, calling for more tailored policy considerations towards integrated care options. Furthermore, the economic value of life years lost due to morbidity and mortality linked to mental health disorders exceeds their cost impact: recently, this was valued as between 6% and 7.7% of GDP in Europe, suggesting potentially large returns on investment from improved prevention, detection, and treatment of mental health problems.

EBC Value of Treatment (VOT) Study Results

The European Psychiatry

Effective and cost-effective early detection and interventions exist, however there are numerous unmet needs along the mental health care pathways. Navigating the mental health services system is often complex for patients and families due to fragmented or disrupted services (in-patient and outpatient care) and discontinuity of care (transition between child and adult mental health services, for example). Policies and programmes to prevent and mitigate the negative impacts on schooling, employment, families and risky behaviors are also paramount. Nevertheless, spill-over effects to other economic sectors (work, education, legal system, informal care) are usually neglected in economic burden and value assessments. Current value estimates usually also remain limited in terms of comprehensive outcome assessment for patients and families, and comprehensive and comparable societal cost impact assessment due to the lack of relevant data.

There is a clear need to look at value-based healthcare as the desired solution or path forward in improving health systems. Achieving high value for patients must become the overarching goal of health care delivery, with value defined as the health outcomes achieved per money spent. The approach towards more comprehensive mental health care models critically intertwines wider patient and societal outcomes with efficient spending of resources. Reinforcing this should lead to both better care for patients and a more sustainable framework for payers in Europe. Speakers of the session and experts involved in the Value of Treatment project, coordinated by the European Brain Council, will focus on early detection and continuity of care for persons living with selected mental disorders. The research project – which combines care pathways analysis and economic analyses – included three case studies related to anorexia nervosa (AN), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). It aimed to identify treatment gaps, assess the potential outcomes and costs of optimised care, and provide policy recommendations.

Chair & Co-chair

Judit Balazs
Chair of the Child Psychiatry Section, European Psychiatric Association

Danuta Wasserman
President, World Psychiatric Association


Celso Arango
Chair of the Child and Adolescent Department of Psychiatry, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón

Allan H Young
Professor of Psychiatry, King’s College London

David McDaid
Associate Professorial Research Fellow in Health Policy and Health Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science

Judit Simon
Professor of Health Economics, Medical University of Vienna


She is Professor Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary, and New University College, Oslo, Norway; Doctor of Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; head and tutor of the Developmental and Clinical Child Psychology Program at the Doctoral Schools of Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest; tutor of the Semmelweis University, Budapest.

Her main interests are adolescent suicide prevention, neurodevelopmental disorders and subthreshold mental disorders, migration-acculturation-mental health, and quality of life. She is the first author of several peer-reviewed papers and the editor of a textbook on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, published both in Hungarian and English. She was the Hungarian partner Principal Investigator of three EU-sponsored collaborative projects and several local projects on youth mental health.

She was the president of the Hungarian Psychiatric Association and chair of the Suicide Network of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. She is the chair of the Child Psychiatry Section of the European Psychiatric Association.

Danuta Wasserman M.D., Ph.D. is the President (2023-2026) of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), comprising 147 psychiatric associations and 250,000 psychiatrists from 123 countries, and a University Professor of Psychiatry and Suicidology at Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Stockholm, Sweden. Professor Wasserman is the Founder of the National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health (NASP) at KI, and she is the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research, Methods Development, and Training in Suicide Prevention, a collaboration with the WHO Global office in Geneva.  She is also the former President of both the European Psychiatric Association (EPA), composed of 44 National Psychiatric Association Members from 40 European countries, and the International Academy of Suicide Research (IASR). Professor Wasserman’s scientific work in suicide prevention is globally recognized, and she has recently expanded her focus to include wellbeing and mental health promotion in the general population, psychiatric patients, and psychiatric staff through advocating for healthy lifestyle choices such as physical activity, nutrition, and good sleep habits.

Professor Celso Arango is currently Chair of the Child and Adolescent Department of Psychiatry at Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Complutense University in Madrid, Spain, as well as Director of the Gregorio Marañón Psychiatric and Mental Health Institute, Professor of Psychiatry at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center of the University of Maryland in Baltimore, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF in San Francisco, Visiting Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College London, and Tenured Full Professor at Complutense University in Madrid.

Professor Arango completed his medical studies in 1992 at both the University of Oviedo in Spain and Manchester University in the UK. He later received his PhD in Psychiatry from Complutense University of Madrid in 1997. Currently, Professor Arango’s major research interests include the neurobiology of early-onset and first-episode psychoses and neurodevelopmental psychopharmacology. He has received more than 73 awards for his work.

Professor Allan Young is Chair of Mood Disorders and Director of the Centre for Affective Disorders in the Department of Psychological Medicine in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, where he is also Head of School for Academic Psychiatry. The School of Academic Psychiatry is second in the world rankings for Psychiatry. He is the clinical academic lead in the Psychological Medicine and Integrated Care Clinical Academic Group in the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, where he is also Consultant Psychiatrist and Head of the Affective Disorders Service.

Professor Young’s research interests focus on the cause and treatments for severe psychiatric illnesses, particularly mood disorders. He has received research grants from several funding agencies and has over 700 peer-reviewed publications, including several books about psychopharmacology and affective disorders.

David McDaid is Associate Professorial Research Fellow in Health Policy and Health Economics within the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre, Department of Health Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The primary focus of David‘s work is on using economic arguments to support investment in mental health and wellbeing promotion, self-harm, suicide and mental illness prevention within and beyond the health sector and across the life course. He has published extensively on these topics and has provided advice to a number of governments and ministries of health, as well as international organisations including European Commission, OECD, WHO and UNICEF.

Judit Simon is Professor of Health Economics, Head of the Department of Health Economics, Deputy Head of the Center for Public Health and Coordinator of the Public Health Doctoral programme at the Medical University of Vienna. She is Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford and Corvinus University Budapest.

Her main expert areas include applied and methodological health economic evaluation research alongside clinical studies/guidelines/HTAs, evidence synthesis and health services and systems research. She has been PI/co-I on 23 grants with over 40 million Euros funding (CDL, EC, ECNP, FWF, LBG, NIHR, WHO, WWTF) in the fields of mental health, public health, nutrition, cancer and palliative care economics. Most recently, she has led European research on improving (mental) health economic evaluation methods (PECUNIA), the physical comorbidity costs of mental disorders, the cost-effectiveness of palliative/end-of-life care (iLIVE) and the value of family-intervention for adolescent mental health promotion in Eastern Europe (FLOURISH), as well as acted as advisor to the EBC Value of Treatment project. She has over 170 publications, and is senior editor at BMJ Mental Health, BJPsych Open and Bipolar Disorders.

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