The EESC issues between 160 and 190 opinions and information reports a year.
It also organises several annual initiatives and events with a focus on civil society and citizens’ participation such as the Civil Society Prize, the Civil Society Days, the Your Europe, Your Say youth plenary and the ECI Day.
The EESC brings together representatives from all areas of organised civil society, who give their independent advice on EU policies and legislation. The EESC's326 Members are organised into three groups: Employers, Workers and Various Interests.
The EESC has six sections, specialising in concrete topics of relevance to the citizens of the European Union, ranging from social to economic affairs, energy, environment, external relations or the internal market.
Mental health forms an integral part of quality of life and well-being for all people in the EU. It is the prerequisite for individuals being able to realise their intellectual and emotional potential. For society, it is a source of social cohesion and of better social well-being and economic prosperity. This initiative is geared towards improving mental health and the public's awareness of it.
Mental disorders can have various causes and consequences. Prevention, early recognition and treatment of mental illness must be based on a multidimensional approach (psychotherapy, as well as medical and socio-economic measures). Greater account must be taken of mental disorders and illnesses in the general education of health professionals, educators, teachers and people in executive positions. A publicly supported health promotion plan and a modern corporate culture can support people with disabilities and minimise the occurrence of work-related problems.
It is vital to strengthen civil, voluntary, family and professional networks and boost the participation of those affected and associations representing them. European recommendations and good practices should include an appropriate reduction of inpatient psychiatric treatment and medication in order to help build up socio-environmental support measures and other alternative forms of assistance. The resources this would generate for science and research could also be directed more towards maintaining mental health.
Raising broad public awareness of this issue should be promoted across the EU. Campaigns to destigmatise mental illness and the use of non-discriminatory language in the media could reduce discrimination. More questions should be asked about how inclusion can be promoted actively through the effective development of care systems geared towards the individual and through supporting families. Advances in medicine, professional and voluntary support as well as the business model on preventative health care must be given greater consideration and promoted more strongly.