BRUSSELS, June 7 (KUNA) -- Mental health problems affect one in six people in the EU and mental health is Europe's silent epidemic, Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President of the European Commission told a press conference in Brussels Wednesday.
Presenting an EU initiative to deal with mental health problems in Europe, he said: "Loneliness affects around one-quarter of the population (22 to 26 percent) across the EU."
"And suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people (after road accidents). Behind these statistics lie millions of personal stories. With this initiative, we want to bring mental health to the spotlight," stressed the EU official.
With this initiative, we want to bring mental health to the spotlight; stop mental health problems from being considered taboo.
The initiative will rest on three guiding principles that should apply to every EU citizen: prevention, treatment, and reintegration, he added.
On her part, Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner for Health told the joint press conference that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health problems affected around 84 million people in the EU, and these figures have only worsened since then.
She noted that mental health challenges are not faced by certain groups or types of people.
Anyone from any background can experience anxiety and depression, phobias, and eating disorders, and it is important that people with these symptoms come forward and ask for help, she added. (end)