Nearly Half of Europeans Face Mental Health Problems
On World Mental Health Day, observed today, October 10th, the European Commission has unveiled the results of a study indicating that nearly half of Europeans have experienced mental health problems in the past 12 months, with more than half of them not receiving any professional help, according to an Eurobarometer survey on mental health published by the European Commission on Monday.
According to the survey results, nine out of ten respondents (89%) consider strengthening mental health as important as physical health.
Specifically, 46% of respondents have encountered emotional or psychosocial issues, such as feelings of depression or anxiety, over the last twelve months. 54% of respondents with mental health problems did not receive professional assistance.
The majority of respondents reported that recent global events have had a significant impact on their mental health, with 44% saying it had a "somewhat" and 18% saying it had a "considerable" impact.
Researchers attribute the exacerbation of mental health problems to factors such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the climate crisis, and other socio-economic pressures, which have "significantly affected an already poor level of mental health in Europe," emphasizes the European Commission.
"There is no health without mental health," said Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.
Europeans identified good living conditions (60%), financial security (53%), physical activity, and social contacts (both at 41%) as the most important factors for achieving good mental health. Approximately one-third of Europeans believe that connecting with nature and green spaces (35%) and sleep habits (35%) contribute to mental well-being.
In June 2023, the European Commission adopted a Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health, aimed at helping EU member states and stakeholders take measures to address mental health issues. The new initiative includes 20 leading initiatives, with funding opportunities totalling 1.23 billion euros, focusing on vulnerable groups such as children, youth, migrants, and refugees.
In Ukraine, which remains in a state of war with Russia, according to the WHO's estimates, up to 10 million people are at risk of various mental disorders, ranging from anxiety and stress to more severe consequences.
In March 2023, at the initiative of Ukraine's First Lady Olena Zelenska, the nationwide mental health program "How Are You?" was launched in Ukraine. The campaign's goal is to educate Ukrainians on how to take care of their mental health and provide tools to overcome anxiety.
On October 3rd, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted a resolution on the implementation of a pilot project to introduce a comprehensive psychosocial service for resilience-building. It is also aimed at supporting and strengthening the mental health of Ukrainians. By the end of the year, 20 resilience centres will be established in Ukraine, where various social institutions will coordinate their efforts.