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Tume ya Ulaya

Tume ya Ulaya inatumia €1.23bn kurekebisha afya ya akili ya EU

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The European Commission (EC) announced a landmark mental health strategy to confront what has been termed as a “silent epidemic”, backed by €1.23 billion in funding.

Kwa kutambua afya ya akili kama nguzo ya msingi ya afya kwa ujumla, Tume imependekeza mpango mpana, wa sekta mbalimbali ambao unalenga kubadilisha jinsi afya ya akili inavyoshughulikiwa katika Umoja wa Ulaya.

Mental health is more than an individual or familial issue; it significantly impacts our economies and societies. According to the Commission, mental health issues have touched approximately 84 million people in the EU prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, at a staggering cost of approximately €600 billion annually – over 4% of the GDP. The workplace hasn’t been spared either, with 27% of workers reporting experiencing work-related stress, depression, or anxiety.

However, mental health doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it’s shaped by various personal and external factors. Recent crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and the escalating triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, have all compounded these challenges. The Commission highlighted how the pandemic particularly impacted young people and those with pre-existing mental health conditions. For instance, suicide has become the second leading cause of death among young people in the EU, aged 15-19 years. Moreover, increased digitalisation, demographic changes, and shifts in the labour market have presented a complex web of challenges and opportunities.

Nyuma ya takwimu hizi kuna mamilioni ya "hadithi za kibinafsi", ikiwa ni pamoja na zile za watoto na vijana wanaotegemea sana vifaa vya kidijitali, watu binafsi waliotengwa na jamii, wazee wanaokabiliwa na upweke, wafanyakazi wanaokabiliana na uchovu na watu binafsi wanaohisi kutengwa kwa sababu ya utambulisho wao au eneo. Tangazo hilo linasisitiza hasa umuhimu wa kuingilia kati mapema, hatua za kuzuia, huduma ya afya ya akili ya hali ya juu na ya bei nafuu, na kuunganishwa tena kwa jamii baada ya kupona.

Kwa kuitikia wito huu wa dharura wa kuchukua hatua, na kwa kutambua haki za kimsingi za raia wote wa Umoja wa Ulaya kupata huduma ya afya ya kinga na matibabu ya hali ya juu, Rais von der Leyen alitangaza lengo jipya la Tume - 'Kukuza mtindo wetu wa maisha wa Ulaya'. Mkakati huo mpya unazingatia kanuni tatu elekezi: haki ya kupata uzuiaji wa kutosha na unaofaa, haki ya kupata huduma ya afya ya akili ya hali ya juu na ya bei nafuu, na uwezo wa kuunganishwa tena katika jamii baada ya kupona.

Mpango huo ni wa kina, unaotaka ushirikiano kati ya watendaji wa kitaifa na kikanda, sekta za sera za afya na zisizo za afya, na wadau mbalimbali kuanzia mashirika ya wagonjwa na ya kiraia hadi kitaaluma na viwanda. Madhumuni ya pamoja ni "kuandaa vyombo hivi kwa zana zinazohitajika ili kuleta mabadiliko na kukuza miundo iliyopo katika kiwango cha kimataifa".

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Importantly, the Commission’s new strategy will support Member States in their efforts to meet the World Health Organization’s targets for non-communicable diseases by 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Wanaharakati, ni pamoja na Afya ya Akili Ulaya (MHE) wametetea hasa aina hii ya maendeleo - kushughulikia afya ya akili ndani ya muktadha mpana wa kijamii na kiuchumi. Kwa kutoa wito wa uratibu, mkabala wa sekta mtambuka na kuweka njia wazi kuelekea uboreshaji, ina uwezo wa kuleta mabadiliko ya dhana katika huduma ya afya ya akili kote katika Umoja wa Ulaya. Baadhi ya wadau, hata hivyo, wametaka hatua zaidi zichukuliwe, ikiwa ni pamoja na malengo madhubuti, vigezo, viashiria, na taratibu za ufuatiliaji wa maendeleo kwa nchi wanachama.

Kama sehemu ya juhudi mpya, EU inapanga kuongeza Euro milioni 10 katika kuimarisha afya ya akili katika jamii, ikilenga watu walio katika mazingira magumu kama vile watoto, vijana, na idadi ya wahamiaji au wakimbizi. Ukuaji wa afya ya akili ya kibinafsi lazima pia usipuuzwe na unapaswa kujumuisha uenezaji wa mbinu za kupunguza mkazo kama vile tiba ya utambuzi wa tabia (CBT), au tabia kama vile kuandika habari, kulala vizuri na kutumia dawa za kupunguza mkazo kama vile mipira ya mkazo au kutafuna gundi isiyo na sukari. , kwani watafiti wanaamini kuwa kitendo cha kutafuna huongeza umakini kwa kupunguza msongo wa mawazo na wasiwasi.

Significantly, the strategy also seeks to break the pervasive stigma surrounding mental health. Commissioner Kyriakides stressed the need for greater acceptance and understanding, stating, “It is ok not to be ok.”

The EC’s Vice-President Margaritis Schinas warned against expecting so-called quick fixes, stating, “There is no happiness button to push.” The overarching goal is to integrate mental health across all policy areas, from education and environment to employment and the digital world, indicating that mental health is not just a health issue, but a societal one. The strategy reflects a shift towards recognizing mental health as equally important as physical health, a necessary shift to better address the ‘silent epidemic’ afflicting millions across the EU.

Shiriki nakala hii:

EU Reporter huchapisha makala kutoka vyanzo mbalimbali vya nje ambavyo vinaeleza mitazamo mbalimbali. Nafasi zilizochukuliwa katika makala haya si lazima ziwe za Mtangazaji wa Umoja wa Ulaya.

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