EPA Policy Activities in Brussels
In recent years, one of the objectives of EPA has been to strengthen the profile and specificity of EPA in the European Union (EU) policy scene as the main association representing psychiatry in Europe, and to highlight the role of National Psychiatric Societies/Associations (NPAs) in Europe.
Since the official opening of the Brussels Office in May 2015, EPA has been engaged in developing policy and networking activities at the EU level, including:
- Strengthening the role of the EPA Council of NPAs, particularly through the involvement in the EU Joint Action on Mental Health and Well-being (JAMHWB), by providing scientific input to the Work Package 5 (WP5) for the development of recommendations for action at the EU and Member State level to improve the effectiveness of policy implementation in the field of community-based mental health care;
- Raising awareness and advocacing at the EU level on relevant mental health related issues with the preparation of position papers in the field of mental health. In particular, key policy recommendations cover mental health care access for refugees and migrants in Europe, and the need to improve the image of psychiatry and psychiatrists;
- Collaborating with the European Parliament, namely with the EP Interest Group on Mental Health, Well-being and Brain Disorders (led by GAMIAN-Europe) and the EP Interest Group on Carers;
- Participating in ongoing communications with the European Institutions and international organisations (WHO-Europe), and fostering cooperation with key stakeholders representing patients and families like GAMIAN-Europe, EUFAMI, and Mental Health Europe (MHE);
- Partnering with other relevant organisations by contributing to EU-level symposia and events on mental health related issues, and encouraging high-level policy dialogue to establish strategic frameworks for joint multi-level, cross-sectoral actions;
Reinforcing its membership in the European Brain Council (EBC) by contributing to EU level research projects, i.e. the "Technological Innovation Strategies in Substance Use Disorder" led by STOA (the Parliament's own Science and Technology Options Assessment unit) and the Value of Treatment project.
Image courtesy of Vania Putatti.