Mental Health Week events in Greece – with special focus on child and adolescent mental health

The special event, Mental Health Week, is being organized in partnership with the Hellenic Ministry of Health. It will bring policymakers, experts, advocates and people living with mental health conditions together to build a world where high-quality mental health services are a reality for everyone – regardless of age, income or background.

Young people will also be active participants in the events, with WHO/Europe placing particular emphasis on the need for young people to play a central role in decision-making affecting their health. Youth participation is particularly important in shaping mental health systems, which — in addition to a lack of resources and difficulty in navigating — often fail to meet the unique needs and preferences of children, adolescents, and young adults.

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Continued work of the Pan-European Mental Health Alliance

The first day of the series of events, 3 November, will bring together members and supporters of the Pan-European Mental Health Alliance to share good practice in improving the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents, review progress to date, and see how to refine priority actions for the future. This will include an interactive workshop to gather input from young people on the development of a quality of care framework for child and adolescent mental health in Europe.

The Alliance, launched in September 2021, is a network of individuals and organizations committed to ensuring that everyone in the European region has access to the resources needed for good mental health. It does this by harnessing the collective wisdom, experience and knowledge of its more than 200 members, guided by the WHO European Framework for Action on Mental Health 2021-2025.

Greece is vocal and active in the field of mental health

The next two days of Mental Health Week, 4-5 November, will focus on the work Greece is doing in collaboration with the WHO office on quality of care and patient safety. In addition, a variety of events aimed at breaking down stigma and discrimination around mental health will bring together people living with mental health conditions, and the families and organizations that work to support them.

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These events, some of which will focus on youth, include:

  • A high-level meeting that will bring together senior government officials and civil society actors, with a focus on child and adolescent mental health;
  • Agora (the “Market”), where local organizations supporting the social inclusion of people with severe mental health conditions will present local products and display artwork made by users of their services;
  • Evexia (“wellbeing”), a series of sporting, arts, culture and community-building events in English and Greek – ranging from horseback riding and sailing to creative writing and expressive dance – aimed at raising awareness of mental health and well-being – the importance of social inclusion and reintegration of people with mental illnesses, and the need for elimination on the stigma associated with mental illness;
  • A special concert featuring local musicians aimed at addressing stigma and discrimination around mental health conditions.

In line with the WHO European Framework on Mental Health, the Government of Greece has made mental health – particularly child and adolescent mental health – a core priority of the National Public Health Strategy. Greece will present key aspects of its national mental health plan on November 4.

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