Evolution of Health Care series: Tackling mental health in the post-pandemic recovery


Past Event

Thursday, Oct 14, 2021
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM (UTC)

Registration Required






Awareness Days

Mental Health & Wellness

World Mental Health Day 2021

Presented by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

Mental health services were already overstretched before the pandemic, with mental health problems affecting one in six people across the European Union, and yet spending on mental health is low and lags behind investment in other common chronic illnesses. With COVID-19 increasing risk factors associated with poor mental health — such as financial insecurity, fear and isolation — and impeding access to protective factors — like social connection or physical exercise — population mental health has “deteriorated significantly”, especially anxiety and depression according to the OECD.

The need for more concrete action to tackle the growing crisis in mental health is making itself dire. The prevalence of mental health issues is growing across the population, and is becoming especially concerning in young people where it is increasing at a rapid rate. Can the current crisis be an opportunity to tackle the longstanding gap between the burden of mental ill-health and the attention and money dedicated to tackling it?

Main questions for discussion include:

  • What is the impact of the pandemic and its restrictions on mental health both on the short and long term? Is mental illness, and particularly depression and anxiety, the silent pandemic?
  • How can health systems make sure mental health services will be better equipped to face the next crisis in the short and long term? Can the lessons from years of under-investment and under-prioritization be applied and how?
  • With budgets tighter than ever, how can member state prioritize and invest beyond immediate crisis management and make sure mental health research and care are integrated into the recovery plans?
  • Is the current crisis helping to raise awareness about mental health and lessen the stigma surrounding conditions like depression?
  • What can be done at EU levels on mental health research and innovation? What are the research gaps that could be filled and what are the priority areas to boost R&D in?

This event, which will be scheduled around world mental health day, will dive into these issues, and discuss what needs to happen to tackle a longstanding mental health crisis aggravated by more than a year of pandemic, to make sure things like anxiety disorders and depression don’t become mainstream.

Watch our previous event on Improving Europe’s Health Technology Assessments