The EESC has launched its 14th Civil Society Prize open to civil society organisations, individuals and private companies registered or residing in the European Union.

By choosing mental health as this year's theme, the EESC will reward creative and innovative non-profit projects that help individuals with mental health conditions and create a supportive environment for their mental well-being, whether on an individual level or as a collective effort.

A total of EUR 50 000 will be awarded to a maximum of five winners. The deadline for entries is 10 a.m. (Brussels time) on 30 September 2023. The award ceremony is likely to take place during the EESC Civil Society Week in spring 2024.

To be eligible, initiatives and projects have to be carried out in the EU. They must have already been implemented or still be ongoing. Eligible entries must cover at least one of the issues listed in the eligibility criteria published in the Rules governing the 14th EESC Civil Society Prize, available on the EESC's dedicated web page.

Among other things, projects can focus on preventing and combating psychosocial risks at work and promoting supportive workplace cultures. They can also address the mental health needs of disadvantaged groups and ageing populations, or promote mental well-being in children and adolescents.

Projects focused on community work such as empowering local communities, creating networks for community involvement and establishing a supportive environment for mental health will also be eligible. Improving mental health literacy and combating the stigma, which often deters people from seeking help, are also acceptable as entry themes.

The EESC hopes its prize will honour and showcase the non-state efforts made so far to help people battling with mental health issues. It also aims to encourage ongoing projects and inspire new ones, thus highlighting the contribution such projects can make to curbing the explosion of this silent epidemic in the EU.

The aim of the EESC's flagship Civil Society Prize is to raise awareness of civil society's outstanding contribution to creating a European identity and citizenship, and to promoting the common values that bolster European integration. Each year, the prize focuses on a different theme particularly relevant to the EU. Past topics have included youth and help for Ukraine, climate and gender equality. In 2020, the EESC awarded a one-off Civil Solidarity Prize dedicated to the fight against COVID-19.

To apply, click here. (ll)