EU4Health is the EU’s funding programme to deliver on EU health policy and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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This call aims to increase awareness, knowledge generation and sharing, and capacity building in the area of mental health.
Mental health is an integral and essential component of health. It is critical to individual well-being, as well as to social and economic participation. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the total costs arising from mental health problems accounted for more than 4% of GDP across the Member States (Health at a Glance: Europe 2018). The heavy individual, economic and social burdens of mental illness are not inevitable.
Although many Member States have policies and programmes to address mental illness at different ages, the distribution of these actions is uneven throughout the life course. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has immediate and long-term consequences, including on mental health, which require action that focuses on vulnerable groups, including children, and refugees and migrant populations. Hence, there is an acute need to increase awareness, knowledge sharing and capacity building in the area of mental health.
The Commission supports Member States to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases in order to reach the UN SDGs. The Commission is working on a new Initiative, ‘Healthier Together’, which includes five strands: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, mental health and neurological disorders, and a horizontal strand on health determinants. In each of these strands, the reduction of health inequalities will be tackled.
In addition, the Commission has established the Steering Group on Promotion and Prevention (SGPP) to support Member States in reaching the health targets of the UN SDGs. The expert group provides advice and expertise to the Commission to foster exchanges of relevant experience, policies and practices between Member States on how to tackle the burden of NCDs in the Union. Therefore, addressing mental health challenges through the identification and transfer of best practices, which are developed and implemented successfully in one country, can have a concrete, direct, positive impact for citizens, health systems and society.
This action will provide support to stakeholders in implementing best practices promoting children and adolescent mental health and well-being, with a focus on vulnerable groups, such as children living in deprived areas. It will contribute to giving young people more and better opportunities for the future, in line with the activities of the 2022 European Year of Youth as declared by the Commission.
This action supports the policy objective of reducing the burden of NCDs and meets the following EU4Health Programme general objective of improving and fostering health in the Union (Article 3, point (a)) through the specific objectives in Article 4, points (a) and (i), of Regulation (EU) 2021/522.
The aim of the action is to increase awareness, knowledge generation and sharing, and capacity building in the area of mental health. Activities will include the transfer of best practices, as it was indicated by the SGPP, on children’s and adolescents’ mental health and well-being.
Specifically, the actions will support interested stakeholder organisations, to come together to discuss and exchange mental health practices and knowledge, to implement validated best practices and evidence-based projects. The activities should focus on the needs of specific and/or vulnerable groups, in particular children and adolescents.
The actions developed by civil society and health professionals’ organisations to improve mental health, namely by exchanging and implementing best practices, and implementing activities that will increase awareness, knowledge sharing and support for health professionals’ training, including the development of necessary guidance and/or training material, such as video tutorials, manuals, etc.
The action will implement the best practices ‘Icehearts’ and ‘Let’s Talk about Children’ to address the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents (e.g. in schools, and through sport programmes).
The short-term impact would be achieved through an increased number of interventions being scaled up in Member States providing long-term professional support for vulnerable young people to prevent social exclusion, promote psychosocial well-being and enhance social skills. The long-term impact would be to identify solutions to tackle specific mental health issues, both at personal and societal level. Networking between experts and additional cross-learning other than via practice transfer per se, will also provide benefits for developing and improving public health and social inclusion policies.
Actions funded under this topic shall transfer the above-mentioned best practices to other Member States and embed them in their health and social systems.
Practice transfer is to be implemented through pilot projects, and in consultation with representatives from the community or target group concerned. Funded activities will also need to include a brief process evaluation of the implementation at the pilot sites, as well as a plan for further roll-out of practice implementation in the participating countries.
The proposals are expected to build on the outcomes of the previous EU-funded work on mental health as well as on lessons learned on the transnational transfer of good practices, in particular those acquired via other projects funded via the Health Programme that focus on good practice transfer.
Applicants must be prepared to include data on the following specific action-level indicators in their regular reporting activities in case of award:
The applicants are required to include in their proposals additional specific action-level indicators which will be agreed with the Commission during the grant agreement preparation.
The Commission may require the awardees to collect data for additional specific action-level indicators, where needed to complement the above indicators.
Academia and educational institutions, civil society organisations supporting the priority areas (health and social professional associations, schools, foundations, NGOs and similar entities).
Applications by a consortium of minimum 5 eligible entities from 5 different eligible countries are accepted.
The consortium must include at least one NGO active in the field of mental health at Union level, and at least one NGO working in the area of youth and/or representing young people.
The duration of proposals should range between 12 and 36 months (see section 6 of the call document). Given the complexity of the activities to be funded under this topic, the recommended length of a project is between 24 and 36 months.