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Mental Health Europe hosts its annual event at European Parliament

Thursday 10 December 2015

On 10 December, Mental Health Europe (MHE) hosted its Annual European Parliament event on the topic of “The Role of employment in the lives of people with mental health problems”.

The event gathered about 70 participants, including key speakers Iris Arends from OECD, who presented the OECD Mental Health Work review 2011-2015, Steven Bevan from the Work Foundation, and Simona Giarratano from the European Disability Forum, who talked about the UNHCR Persons with Disabilities Act. Ms Giarratano asked whether the legislation currently in place is effective, or could there be room for improvement? Both Mr Bevan and Ms Arends concluded that work was a meaningful activity but there was still lots to be done for mental health and work support. At least 25% of people will encounter some form of mental health issue in their lifetime, but these issues are still stigmatised, which is an issue needing to be addressed.

Two members of MHE Board, Guadalupe Morales and Stephanie Wooley shared their personal insight and experiences, giving the audience the chance to hear about the positive and negative impacts of employment from a user perspective.

The event was co-hosted by MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen (Finland), MEP Liadh Ni Riada (Ireland) and MEP Marian Harkin (Ireland), who chaired the discussions.