Nordiske psykolog-foreninger: Det haster med handling for bedre mental sundhed


De nordiske psykologforeninger opfordrer de politiske beslutningstagere til at anerkende, at der er et presserede behov for handling, der kan fremme den mentale sundhed og forebyggelsen af psykiske lidelser. Der er også et behov for, at der kommer et øget fokus på mental sundhed, ikke bare på hvordan det ser ud i vores egne lande – men også globalt set. Mere end 350 millioner mennesker verden over lider i følge WHO af en depression. De nordiske psykologforeninger opfordrer til, at der gribes ind så tidligt som muligt både i forhold til depression, men også i forhold til andre psykiske lidelser.

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Nordic psychologists: action for better mental health is urgent

The Nordic Psychologists Associations urge their decision makers to realize that the need for action for mental health promotion and prevention is urgent. There is also a need to raise awareness of this, not only in their own countries, but globally. More than 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression alone according to WHO data. The Nordic Psychologists Associations recognize the need to intervene as early as possible in the developmental process of this and other mental health problems.

Over the years, psychological research has provided us with many insights that psychologists use today to effectively help people overcome their mental health problems. Accessibility to psychological care, however, remains difficult across Europe.

WHO forecasts an increased prevalence of depression, as one of the more prominent mental illnesses, and by 2030 the leading cause of disease burden globally. It will result in an even strenger pressure on our health systems.In Europe, depression is estimated to be     associated to costs that amount to 136.3 billion euros (data from 2007) of which 1/3 refersto health systems expenditures.

UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius POras, says societies must reconsider dominant biomedical approaches to depression in line with the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals to secure the right to health for all.

The role of psychologists is probably best known in their classic, psychotherapeutic treatments of depression. Psychotherapy has proven so successful that it has become the preferred treatment of choice in most clinical guidelines for mild and moderate depression.

Prevention is importantStill, the Nordic Psychologists Associations would like to draw attention to much more effective ways of psychological intervention such as prevention. Prevention of depression by modifying behavioral strategies, teaching good coping strategies in how to deal with negative life events, or providing clear education on what’s happening when people are feeling depressed are often highly effective measures that psychologists can use in a limited number of sessions and in different contexts.

Most European countries continue to invest more in medical treatments rather than in psychological services; even less in preventive programs. If we want to meet the challenges of tomorrow, we need to shift our focus towards a more psychosocial understanding of mental illnesses, and invest more in prevention of depression as well as in the accessibility of psychological services and psychological research.

Globally, suicide is the second leading cause of death among those between the ages of 15 and 29. Preventative interventions can reduce the incidence of new episodes of major depression disorder by about 25% and by as much as 50% when stepped-care formats are offered.

But not only individuals should be addressed to improve their mental health. Psychologists also seek the underlying causes of depression and ether mental disorders. Depressions are the result of a complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors. One of the causes is the continuously rising level of stress – especially at the workplace. Persons who have suffered distressing episodes in their life (e.g., loss of work, loss of loved anes, trauma) are more prone to develop a depression.

Depression itself can cause even higher levels of stress and dysfunction, and hereby increase the severity of the problem. This is a new challenge for society which needs the combined efforts of experts, politics and employers. The full use of evidence-based depression prevention strategies has yet to be realized.

This gap between what is known to be effective and the implementation of those strategies still requires a lot of action and the strengthening of research and dissemination efforts.

As members of the Nordic Psychologists Associations, we call on our governments to focus more resources on prevention in mental health, and to make sure that such efforts are followed by research, making sure we get good data on what works and what does not work.

In October 2017, the Nordic Psychologists Associations met in Capenhagen. On the agenda was World Mental Health Da hosted by the World Federation af Mental Health

On behalf of the Nordic Psychologists Associations, 6. October 2017

Opråbet er udsendt af formændene for de nordiske psykologforeninger. (Se det som pdf)

Læs også det fælles brev, der støtter rapporten fra FN’s særlige rapportører om alles ret til at nyde den højeste opnåelige standard for psykisk og psykisk sundhed her.



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