The Expert Platform on Mental Health – Focus on Depression (henceforth the Expert Platform) is a multi-stakeholder initiative established in response to the call of the European Commission and the European Parliament to support the “European Pact on Mental Health and Well-Being,” launched by the European Commission on 13 June 2008.
It brings together mental health experts, representatives of major organizations concerned with mental health in Europe, as well as representatives of the European institutions as observers, with the goal of raising awareness of depression at EU and at national level, and supporting the implementation of the “European Pact on Mental Health and Well-Being.” The key objective of the Expert Platform is twofold:
- To support the implementation of the EU Pact on Mental Health and Well-being by:
- increasing awareness in the public and changing the perception and thinking of society and healthcare professionals about the seriousness and severity of depression;
- promoting action to prevent depression;
- developing specific suggestions for action around the five themes of the European Pact of the European Commission, by providing expert input on the thematic conferences organised under this framework.
- The Expert Platform and its member organisations fully endorse the important recommendations that have come out of the five thematic conferences convened under the EU Mental Health Pact, including the need to fight the stigmatisation of depression, support mental health prevention and promotion and raise awareness of depression as an issue that affects all segments of society and therefore calls for a coordinated societal response.
Beyond the five thematic conferences, the Expert Platform has been actively working on developing recommendations concerning action to tackle depression in areas addressed by the five thematic conferences which merit further analysis. Namely, the prevention, early diagnosis and appropriate treatment of depression, and the economic impact of depression.
The Expert Platform is an initiative of, and run under the operational aegis of, the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), in fulfilment of its mission to advance the science of the brain, promote better treatment and enhance brain health, and to provide high-quality, evidence-based guidance and information to the public on matters relevant to brain disorders.
Additional support is provided by H. Lundbeck A/S, in the form of an educational grant.
Except for the Secretariat, participation in the Expert Platform is on a volunteer basis. The Expert Platform reimburses travel and accommodation costs of members of the Management Committee, the (observers to the) Advisory Board and Consulting Experts, but they do not receive remuneration for their time invested.
Chamber of Commerce registration
The Expert Platform is registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, the Kamer van Koophandel, under number 66207185. The Dutch fiscal number of the Expert Platform, in Dutch the ‘Rechtspersonen en Samenwerkingsverbanden Informatienummer (RSIN)’, is 8564.42.549.