DG SANTE (the Directorate General for Health) of the European Commission is giving continuity to the Joint Action on Mental health and Well-being launched in 2013 resulting in the European Framework for Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing, which supports EU-countries to review their policies and share experiences in improving policy efficiency and effectiveness. The programme aims to:

  • Develop mental health promotion and prevention and early intervention programmes with a focus on the workplace.
  • Ensure the transition to comprehensive mental health treatment and quality care.
  • Strengthen knowledge, evidence and best practice sharing in mental health and well-being, with a focus on the workplace.

Within this Joint Action, a new research report on mental health services in the social community has been published (May 2018). The report stresses the importance for organisations and users to make use of the online database of good practices and policy recommendations. This online database has a dedicated section on “Mental Health and Well-being in Youth and Education”, which includes some ETUCE policy papers and actions plans relating to work-related stress, and is divided into different chapters:

  • Mental health in youth and education
  • Parents, Family and Early Years
  • Educational Settings and Learning
  • Role of Health Services in Promotion and Prevention
  • Mental health in the workplace

However, ETUCE remarks that the research collection does not count with teachers’ expertise at the workplace in education institutions as the study is too focused on students. In addition, the establishment of this online database should have involved education unions as social partners – which have actively contributed a lot on the topic of the prevention of psychosocial risks in the education sector and the promotion of decent and healthy workplaces for teachers and educational personnel.

In the end, it is important to note that for ETUCE, psychosocial risks and mental well-being can be work-related and not necessarily workplace-bound. Education unions, as social partners, need to be included in the prevention and risk assessment schemes. Indeed, ETUCE is currently running the EU OiRA project on the prevention and awareness of psychosocial risks and physical related risks in the education sector.