BRUSSELS - "Before the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health problems already affected one in six people in the European Union, equivalent to around 84 million citizens, and the situation has worsened with the unprecedented crises experienced in recent years". The European Commission writes in its new strategy dedicated to mental health, stressing that "the cost of inaction is significant, amounting to 600 billion euros every year, a figure that is worth more than 4% of EU GDP". "In 2020, ten deaths per 100,<> EU inhabitants were caused by suicide. Among young people, suicide is now the second leading cause of death."
To combat the trend, the Commission presented a new €1.23 billion mental health plan. Prevention, affordable treatment and treatment, a better work-life balance, protection of children and adolescents and attention to the most vulnerable are its pillars. The strategy consists of 20 flagship initiatives and represents "a first and important step to put mental health on a par with physical health" in all sectors of society, highlights Brussels. Funding will be made available from several instruments of the EU budget, including the ESF+ and ERDF cohesion funds and Horizon Europe.