The burden of mental health conditions is on the rise globally. Only in Europe, diverse forms of mental disorders affect nearly 40% of the total population annually, leading to premature mortality and affecting functioning and quality of life of both patients and their families.
Implementing social, physical and mental health care policies should thus be a priority for the European Health Systems, in order to increase the access to an overall quality of care.
To this end, some countries have launched new policies and legislations in this area, and many are making progress running community-based mental health services, though there are still very significant differences across Europe.
Sharing local experiences and best practices in the mental health area is hence of paramount importance to optimize the framing, the diagnosis, the treatment and the necessary social integration of all patients.
In this context, Angelini Pharma – in the framework of its commitment to Mental Health and its growing leadership in the neurosciences field – activated the Headway2020 initiative, in continuity and in coherence with programs, activities and plans of the World Health Organization and of international institutions and organizations.
Headway2020 is a European multidisciplinary platform launched in October 2017 by Angelini Pharma in partnership with The European House – Ambrosetti, aimed at stimulating the debate and at setting new priorities in the management of patients suffering mental health disorders.
The main goal of the initiative, which developed in two phases, is to generate thorough proposals and actionable solutions to best improve both management and care of patients affected by mental disorders, drafting and then implementing specific action plans in three EU Member States – i.e. Italy, Spain and Poland.
In the first phase, numerous key professionals and stakeholders with diverse background committed to National Working Groups operating in Italy, Spain and Poland. They produced recommendations and guidelines, most of which have been forwarded to policy-makers to inform decision-making processes. That phase ended with exchanging of views and best practices during an International Workshop, that took place in October 2018 in Rome under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Health.
First phase’s results paved the way to the second phase of the project, boosting several local initiatives on Mental Health in Italy, Spain and Poland. For instance, the Working Table on Mental Health at the Italian Ministry of Health has been reactivated and a Working Table for the definition of the new National Mental Health Strategy has been promoted in Spain; Polish experts also took part – on June 24th and 25th, 2019 – to a “community-based mental health services tour” in Milan and Modena, aimed at proposing potential answers to the Polish Government, in the context of an ongoing transition from an institutionalized to a community-based care system in Poland.
Finally, on October 9th, 2019, Headway2020 3-year journey came to conclusion with a high-level Forum hosted by the EU Parliament. Among others, MEPs, European multidisciplinary experts and academics, health economists and patients’ associations representatives joined the event to discuss and share opinions and final recommendations.
Angelini Pharma strongly believes supporting such initiatives in the policy-making space and recognizes the value of going “beyond the pill” with its unwavering commitment to patients and their families.