Surviving or Thriving was the central theme of this year`s Mental Health Awareness Week.

The annual awareness week was held from the 8th until the 14th of May. The main focus this year was on the influence of mental health on people’s ability to live their life to the fullest. Good mental health was celebrated as an asset required to thrive in life.

The Mental Health Awareness Week is an initiative managed by the Mental Health Foundation, a UK charity working in the field of mental health. The main aim of the week is to raise awareness about and start discussion on mental health issues.

Mental health afflictions are a heavy burden on societies in Europe and beyond. Depression alone affects 121 million people worldwide, which is more than the population of Germany. The WHO considers depression to be a major cause of disability, which in turn results in burdens in terms of treatment costs and pressure on families and carers. Symptoms of depression include low mood, loss of interest, low self-worth and poor sleep. Read more about the current state of depression here.

The European Brain Council (EBC), like many other organisations that work in the field of mental health, considers initiatives such as the Mental Health Awareness Week to be of great importance to those suffering from mental afflictions.

In the context of the growing societal burden of mental disorders the European Brain Council (EBC) is piloting the Not Myself Today initiative in Europe. This Canadian mental health at work programme aims to empower organisations and businesses to launch events to reduce stigma concerning mental health problems. Read more about the initiative on the Not Myself Today Website.