Wednesday, 08 October 2014

Germany leads Europe in dealing with mental illness

UK comes second in Mental Health Integration Index from The

Economist Intelligence Unit

 

Germany, closely followed by the UK, tops The Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Mental Health Integration Index”, a pan-European study which assessed the degree of commitment in 30 European countries—the European Union 28 plus Switzerland and Norway—to integrating those with mental illnesses into their communities. The research, commissioned by Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, looked at five key areas including medical provision, human rights, stigma, the ability to live a fulfilling family life and employment.

The index concluded that Germany is most able to respond to the needs of people who suffer from mental illness as its strong healthcare system and generous social welfare programme has helped better integration into society.  Those countries at the top of the index have moved treatment and support for mental illness away from hospital-based care to care which includes integration within society.

The UK was ranked in second place, followed by Denmark, Norway and Luxemburg. The UK’s high placing is largely down to a long-term, progressive commitment at a policy level to mental health care and enhancing the position of people with mental health problems in society.

 

Overall, the index found that scores correlate strongly with the proportion of GDP spent on mental health.


According to Aviva Freudmann, Research director EMEA, Content Solutions, Economist Intelligence Unit: “Mental illness is among Europe’s most difficult, complex and yet least-addressed issues. Europe has long faced substantial challenges when dealing with mental illness. Thirty-eight percent of Europeans suffer from such a condition at some point in any given year.

“The countries with the best results tend to be in the north and west of Europe, whereas the weakest are largely in the south-east, which can be attributed to low levels of investment and state treatment for those with mental illness.  However those countries that have ranked highly are still far from perfect in delivering care and integrating those with mental health problems into society.”


The study indicated five key areas where action is needed to better integrate mental illness sufferers into their communities. These include: 

1. Obtaining better data: Without these, it will be impossible to understand whether other efforts are making a positive impact.

2. Providing funding appropriate to the task: Political will to invest is often lacking, but the potential savings from long-term investment are substantial, with mental illness currently costing Europe €461bn annually.

3. Finishing deinstitutionalisation: The majority of those with mental illness remain in long-stay institutions but these facilities but should not be the core element of mental health provision. Six of the seven highest countries in the index treat most patients in the community.

4. Providing integrated, community-based services: Although 21 of 30 countries have some version of Assertive Community Treatment teams, only just over half provide domiciliary care or home visits.

5. Integrated employment: Employment is a key component of recovery, but those with mental illness are much less likely to be in work. Integrated placement services show great promise in helping those with mental illness to reconnect to the world of work and their communities.

 

Aviva Freudmann, who edited the report, concludes: “True integration will require a transformation in understanding mental illness and overcoming stigma. Perhaps the most important finding from this index is therefore that its top countries share a long term, widely supported, commitment to change. Once that is in place across all Europe, progress may be slow, but it will follow.”

 

 

-          End    -


NOTES TO EDITORS

  

Scoring system

The EIU’s Mental Health Integration Index measures the degree of support within European governments for integrating people with mental illnesses into society. It compares levels of such support in 30 European countries—the EU-28 plus Norway and Switzerland.

 

OVERALL SCORE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RANK

COUNTRY

SCORE

 

 

 

1

Germany

85.6

2

United Kingdom

84.1

3

Denmark

82.0

4

Norway

79.5

5

Luxembourg

76.6

6

Sweden

74.1

7

Netherlands

72.8

8

Estonia

71.4

9

Slovenia

71.1

10

Belgium

70.7

11

Finland

70.0

12

Spain

68.8

13

France

68.4

14

Ireland

68.0

15

Poland

65.4

16

Italy

59.9

17

Malta

59.7

18

Czech Republic

59.4

19

Austria

57.9

20

Lithuania

53.5

21

Latvia

51.9

22

Slovakia

46.8

23

Cyprus

46.6

24

Switzerland

45.7

25

Hungary

43.9

26

Croatia

40.1

27

Portugal

38.1

28

Greece

38.0

29

Romania

34.7

30

Bulgaria

25.0

 

Indicators 

The comparison of countries in the index is achieved by compiling a score for each country based on a set of indicators applied uniformly across all 30 countries. The index has a total of 18 unique indicators which focus on the degree of governments’ commitment to integrating people with mental illnesses, and 7 additional background indicators on each country.

The 18 indicators dealing with mental health integration fall into four categories, as follows:

 

-          Environment: This category considers the presence or absence of policies and conditions enabling people with mental illnesses to enjoy a stable home and family life. This includes indicators such as availability of secure housing and of financial support.

-          Access: This category considers the presence or absence of policies and conditions enabling access by people with mental illnesses to health care and social services. This includes indicators such as outreach programmes to ensure awareness of such services.

-          Opportunities: This category considers the presence or absence of policy measures that help people with mental illness to find work, stay in work, and work free of discrimination.

-          Governance: This category considers the presence or absence of policy measures to combat stigma against people with mental illnesses. It includes such indicators as awareness campaigns and policies encouraging people with mental illnesses to influence decisions.

 

The index is based on a point system, with the points received for each indicator added up to provide an overall score for each country. The maximum score a country could receive for all 18 indicators together is 100.

In addition to the benchmarking study, The Economist Intelligence Unit carried out extensive desk research and conducted a programme of in-depth interviews with experts in the topic.

 

About Janssen Pharmaceutica NV

At Janssen, we are dedicated to addressing and solving some of the most important unmet medical needs of our time in oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious diseases and vaccines, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop innovative products, services and healthcare solutions to help people with serious diseases throughout the world. Beyond its innovative medicines, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV and its affiliates worldwide are at the forefront of developing education and public policy initiatives to ensure patients and their families, caregivers, advocates and health care professionals have access to the latest treatment information, support services and quality care. Please visit www.janssen-emea.com for more information.

 

About The Economist Intelligence Unit
 The Economist Intelligence Unit is the world leader in global business intelligence. It is the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, which publishes The Economist newspaper. As the world's leading provider of country intelligence, The Economist Intelligence Unit helps executives make better business decisions by providing timely, reliable and impartial analysis on worldwide market trends and business strategies. More information about The Economist Intelligence Unit can be found at www.eiu.com  or follow us on www.twitter.com/theeiu.

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