Towards Inclusive Mental Health Care: JFL speaks at EPA Forum in Budapest

Big thanks to the the European Psychiatric Association for inviting me to speak at the EPA Forum in Budapest this month.

This year’s theme of inclusion was of particular relevance: EFPA’s 7 points of mental health advocacy map out ways that inclusion can be considered and practically implemented across a number of contexts including the policy level, crisis response, community-oriented services, the workplace, in response to climate change, in training and in relation to the role of digitalisation.

The various sessions drew from the immense lived and professional experience of a diverse range of speakers. I was happy to contribute as part of two panels:

The first, a roundtable on the challenges faced by the mental health workforce was moderated by Julian Beezhold (Secretary General, EPA) and included Andrea Fiorillo (President Elect, EPA), Nina Kilkku (President, HORATIO) and Elena Moro (President Elect, EAN). Consideration was given to some of the more ‘traditional’ challenges in the mental health workforce, such as access to training, inclusion, standards and professional mobility, as well as newer challenges. These included responses to digitalisation, and discussion about what it means in practice to take a more psychosocial approach to mental health as recommended by the European Commission’s Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health and the United Nation’s Resolution on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support.

The subsequent session featured a discussion between clinicians, experts, and policymakers to explore solutions towards more inclusive healthcare systems was moderated by Joan Marsh (Editor-in-Chief, Lancet Psychiatry) and included Geert Dom (President, EPA), Doron Wijker (Health Policy Analyst, OECD), Ledia Lazeri (Regional Adviser for Mental Health, WHO Europe) and Cyrus Engerer (Member of the EU Parliament, S&D). Themes that emerged included a strong emphasis on co-creation, from policy through to research and practice, as well as the importance of being able to address mental health and its determinants more broadly while still being able to recognise specific needs and provided specialist support.

Great to see events like this, which practice moving beyond the idea of inclusion and into action through bringing a broad range of stakeholders together. The event can be watched back here:

#mentalhealth #psychology #inclusion

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