Today, the European Parliament Interest Group on Mental health, Well-being and Brain Disorders (with co-hosting MEPs Tomas Zdechovsky and Nessa Childers), EBC, GAMIAN-Europe, the European Psychiatric Association (EPA), EUFAMI, the Expert Platform on Depression, Eurocarers, the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), the UEMS – Sector of Psychiatry and the International Federation for Psychotherapy launch a joint policy paper on major depression, entitled ‘A sustainable approach to depression: moving from words to actions’, at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Today, over 35 million people are estimated to be living with depression in Europe Its cost is 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.

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.

The organisations listed above joined forces to address this need; they agreed 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.

Today’s event aims to:

  • Present the key findings of this report;
  • Showcase examples of successful projects addressing depression;
  • Exchange views on how depression can be prioritized on the EU and national policy agendas;
  • Forge links between relevant stakeholders and explore ideas for future cooperation to ensure better management of depression.

A summary of the report is available below and the full report can be read and downloaded HERE.