European Mental Health Awareness Month (13 May to 19 May 2024) serves as a pivotal time to spotlight the significance of mental well-being and the collective efforts needed to foster a healthier society. This year’s theme, “Better Together: Co-creating the Future of Mental Health,” underscores the importance of collaboration and shared responsibility in addressing mental health challenges. Let’s explore how individuals, communities and policymakers can work together to promote mental health and well-being.

At the heart of the theme lies the recognition that mental health is a shared responsibility. It requires a collaborative effort involving individuals, communities, healthcare providers, policymakers and other stakeholders. By working together, we can create supportive environments, break down barriers to care and foster a culture of understanding and compassion.

One crucial aspect of co-creating the future of mental health is promoting awareness and education. Many people still face stigma and misconceptions surrounding mental illness, which can prevent them from seeking help. By raising awareness and providing accurate information, we can combat stigma and promote understanding and empathy.

Communities play a vital role in supporting mental health and well-being. Community-based initiatives such as support groups, peer counselling and mental health awareness campaigns can provide valuable resources and support networks for individuals facing mental health challenges. By fostering a sense of belonging and social connectedness, communities can promote resilience and reduce the risk of mental health problems.

In addition to community support, access to quality mental health care is essential for promoting well-being. Co-creating the future of mental health requires investment in mental health services and resources, including increased funding for mental health programmes, improved access to care and integration of mental health services into primary care settings. By prioritising mental health and investing in prevention and early intervention, we can improve outcomes for individuals and communities.

Policymakers also play a crucial role in shaping the future of mental health. Policies that support mental health promotion, prevention and treatment can have a significant impact on population health. By advocating for policies that prioritise mental health, we can create environments that support well-being and reduce the burden of mental illness.

Ultimately, co-creating the future of mental health requires a multi-faceted approach that involves individuals, communities, healthcare providers, policymakers and other stakeholders. By working together, we can create a future where mental health is valued, stigma is eliminated and everyone has access to the care and support they need to thrive.

As we observe European Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s reaffirm our commitment to co-creating a future where mental health is prioritised, stigma is eradicated and everyone has the opportunity to live a mentally healthy life. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities across Europe.