open access

Vol 12, No 1 (2015)
Review paper
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The European Mental Health Integration Index: reflections and conclusions

Peter Huxley
Psychiatria 2015;12(1):6-8.

open access

Vol 12, No 1 (2015)
Prace poglądowe - nadesłane

Abstract

This paper is by one of the expert advisors to the development of the Mental Health Integration Index (MHII) (2014) a recent Europe-wide survey on mental health and integration and the policy and provision for supporting people with mental illness. The MHII serves to provide facts on integration in order to inform policy development.

Method: Data gathering and interviews with key policy makers in 30 countries in Europe (the EU28 plus Switzerland and Norway). Data gathered enabled the production of an 18 indicator benchmarking index ranking the 30 countries based on their commitment to integrating those with mental illness.

Results: The main findings were: mental illness exacts a substantial human and economic toll on Europe, and has a substantial treatment gap. Germany’s strong healthcare system and generous social provision put it at the top of the index. The UK and Scandinavian states are not far behind. The lowest-scoring countries in the index are from Europe’s south-east, where there is a long history of neglecting mental illness. It has to be said though that the leading countries are not the only sources of best practice in integrating those with mental illness. Employment is the field of greatest concern for those with mental illness, but also the area with the most inconsistent policies across Europe. Real investment separates those addressing the issue from those setting only aspirational policies. Europe as a whole is only in the early stages of the journey from institution- to community-based care. Lack of data makes greater understanding of this field difficult.

Discussion and conclusions: The author reflects on a selection of the findings and considers areas for future concerted actions across Europe.

Abstract

This paper is by one of the expert advisors to the development of the Mental Health Integration Index (MHII) (2014) a recent Europe-wide survey on mental health and integration and the policy and provision for supporting people with mental illness. The MHII serves to provide facts on integration in order to inform policy development.

Method: Data gathering and interviews with key policy makers in 30 countries in Europe (the EU28 plus Switzerland and Norway). Data gathered enabled the production of an 18 indicator benchmarking index ranking the 30 countries based on their commitment to integrating those with mental illness.

Results: The main findings were: mental illness exacts a substantial human and economic toll on Europe, and has a substantial treatment gap. Germany’s strong healthcare system and generous social provision put it at the top of the index. The UK and Scandinavian states are not far behind. The lowest-scoring countries in the index are from Europe’s south-east, where there is a long history of neglecting mental illness. It has to be said though that the leading countries are not the only sources of best practice in integrating those with mental illness. Employment is the field of greatest concern for those with mental illness, but also the area with the most inconsistent policies across Europe. Real investment separates those addressing the issue from those setting only aspirational policies. Europe as a whole is only in the early stages of the journey from institution- to community-based care. Lack of data makes greater understanding of this field difficult.

Discussion and conclusions: The author reflects on a selection of the findings and considers areas for future concerted actions across Europe.

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Title

The European Mental Health Integration Index: reflections and conclusions

Journal

Psychiatria (Psychiatry)

Issue

Vol 12, No 1 (2015)

Article type

Review paper

Pages

6-8

Bibliographic record

Psychiatria 2015;12(1):6-8.

Authors

Peter Huxley

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