The European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG), held annually in Bad Hofgastein, Austria, is the leading annual health policy event in the European Union and a meeting point for experts from different fields within the health system. With its wide-ranging three-day programme, the EHFG offers an unparalleled platform for decision-makers in various fields of public health & health care.
A premise of the EHFG is that current health systems need to safeguard past gains in health while responding to new threats and opportunities which call for a strengthened European public health response. Though public health security remains high on the agenda, effective health systems go beyond that and are challenged also to engage with issues that lie outside the health sector.
One of the workshops at this year’s EHFG focused specifically on the topic of mental health, discussing innovative solutions for preventing and treating mental illness. Moderated by the European Commission’s Ann Uustalu, the workshop featured Helen Christensen (Black Dog Institute, Australia), Heleen Riper (VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Claus Duedal Pedersen (Odense University Hospital, Denmark), and Pedro Montellano (GAMIAN-Europe).
The European Commission furthermore prominently displayed a poster about the Joint Action on Mental Health and Well-being (JAMHWB) during the entirety of the conference, from the 30th of September until the 2nd of October, thereby highlighting the JAMHWB, as well as distributing the accompanying flyers. These actions hopefully helped to further emphasise amongst conference delegates the need for the increased promotion of mental health and well-being, the prevention of mental disorders and the improvement of care and social inclusion of people with mental disorders in Europe.