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Presentation of BOOST project at Brussels dissemination event

“Building a Brighter Future: Promoting, Protecting and Improving Young People’s Mental Health in Europe”

On 28 March 2018, EUREGHA presented the BOOST project at the Public Policy Exchange event on the promotion of young people’s mental health. The event focused on mental health policies for young people at EU level and best practices in the field of prevention and early intervention. Distinguished speakers set the context for discussion and shared good practices in the field. Panelists emphasized that mental health is a human right and that it is as important as physical health. The importance of the deinstitutionalization process was also mentioned as a means to avoid the segregation of people with mental issues and integrate them into society. Among the many frameworks acknowledging the importance of mental health, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), SDG 3 in particular, and the  European Pillar of Social Rights can be beneficial tools for the promotion of mental health worldwide. All speakers agreed that mental health is a cross-cutting issue which must be tackled across different policy areas.

Among the many good practices and innovative approaches to support young people’s mental health in family, school settings, and the workplace, Ms Valentina Polylas, EUREGHA, presented the BOOST project. BOOST is an Horizon 2020-funded project aiming to build social and emotional skills to BOOST mental health resilience in children and young people in Europe. Social and emotional skills are key to promote mental health and wellbeing and many school-based Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs have proven effective in increasing social well-being and academic achievement in children. However, a number of shortcomings have been identified in these programs. One criticism is that they are time-consuming and compromise academic teaching time. Furthermore, they are often implemented by external experts, and not by the regular schoolteachers, and as such are not integrated into general teaching. These elements may compromise the programs' sustainability and long-term effect. 

The project will address the issue by developing a new approach integrating social and emotional learning (SEL) programs in teachers' pedagogical skills and classroom interaction and designing a tool for organizational development to facilitate implementation and uptake of the approach in classrooms, schools and among school owners.

This holistic combination of teacher's empowerment and organizational development will go beyond the current models for social and emotional learning (SEL) and will be referred to as the “BOOST approach”.

During the dissemination event, the social media activity of the BOOST project was officially launched.
Follow BOOST on Twitter at
@BOOST_MHealth and on Linkedin at BOOST project for further information on developments and results as the project unfolds.

Scotland has officially joined EUREGHA

Gradient 002 002We are delighted to announce that the Scottish Government has officially joined EUREGHA and is now a full member. The Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorate is now fully on board and we are very much looking forward to working together on shared interests and priorities.

We are convinced Scotland will benefit from the EU-level cooperation among regional and local authorities provided through EUREGHA, especially in a moment when key priorities and objectives for the public health sector are being redefined and new financial programmes revised for the future programming period. At the same time, EUREGHA and all its members will be able to learn from new good practices and ways to face common challenges through fruitful exchanges with the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorate. Together, we will make sure the highest quality of health and social care services are delivered to people in Scotland and across the EU, especially in disadvantaged communities, ensuring better, local and faster access to health care.

EUREGHA is growing as a reference network and is establishing closer and stronger collaborations with EU institutions and other relevant stakeholders, making the voice of regional and local health authorities heard at EU level.

EUREGHA contributes to shaping the next EU budget

EUREGHA has officially contributed to the public consultation on the next Multiannual Financial Framework launched by the European Commission. By sending its position on the next generation of EU financial programmes, EUREGHA makes sure the Commission takes into account the needs and interests of the public health sector when designing comprehensive proposals for the post-2020 EU budget.

Healthcare governance within the European Union is predominantly a competence of the individual member states. However, while the principle of subsidiarity embodies that, when possible and reasonable, decision-making power stays within the member states, there is a clear EU added value in supporting and improving public health policies and the provision of quality healthcare services across the EU.

In a context of demographic change, there are a lot of new challenges in the health sector which can be better tackled at EU level, such as ageing society, patient-centered healthcare systems, eHealth, health inequalities, prevention, personalized medicine, antimicrobial resistance, to name only a few. The next generation of EU financial programmes must provide the adequate tools to address these challenges, as investing in health means investing in people and contributing to the development of more sustainable and resilient societies. The provision of quality healthcare and long-term care is also part of the European Pillar of Social Rights, which aims to further develop the social dimension of the Union. The next EU budget must provide the adequate resources to support and implement the Pillar.

The importance of the healthcare sector is also reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which clearly state that ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development. The Pillar of Social Rights and the SDGs will serve as a strategic framework for future policy implementation through the European Commission’s legislative proposals, policy coordination, the European Semester, and EU funds and programmes. The main message conveyed by EUREGHA is that investing in the health sector plays a key role in this process and local and regional authorities must be empowered to improve the provision of healthcare services for everyone and contribute to the upward convergence of all EU regions for a fairer and more inclusive society.

EUREGHA joined the Cohesion Alliance for a stronger post-2020 Cohesion policy

EUREGHA has officially signed the Cohesion Alliance declaration in order to advocate for a stronger Cohesion policy after 2020. The #CohesionAlliance is a coalition of those who believe that the EU Cohesion policy must continue to be a pillar of the EU's future, as it is a major driver of job creation, sustainable growth and innovation in Europe’s diverse regions. The Alliance was created through cooperation between the leading European associations of cities and regions and the European Committee of the Regions. It demands that the future EU budget makes the Cohesion policy stronger, more effective, visible and available for every region in the European Union, as “undermining the Cohesion policy risks undermining Europe’s future”.  

EUREGHA strongly believes that the next Multiannual Financial Framework should reflect the strong role that European regions and local authorities have in conceiving and implementing policies for European citizens. Investing in tangible and intangible assets and ambitious programmes for jobs and growth cannot be done without a strong Cohesion budget. Not only is the Cohesion policy the main EU investment tool, but it is also a means to ensure a European perspective to all the actions that we implement in our territories. By signing the Cohesion Alliance declaration, EUREGHA is the first network representing the public health sector to send a strong signal to the Leaders of Europe on the future of the EU budget.

SUNFRAIL Final Conference

On 7th of February, the 4-year SUNFRAIL Project was concluded by its Final Conference in Bologna, Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy. The final conference gathered regional health authorities, local and regional stakeholders, policy makers and SUNFRAIL project partners to present and discuss the SUNFRAIL project’s result, opportunities, replicability and outcomes.

The SUNFRAIL Project have successfully succeeded in developing a SUNFRAIL Model for frailty, a SUNFRAIL tool for early detection of frailty, and a SUNFRAIL human resources tool for training of health professionals.

Ms Elisabetta Gualmini, Minister of Welfare Policies in Region Emilia-Romagna, opened the SUNFRAIL Final conference by addressing the demographic change challenge and the importance of early detection of frailty. In the session of “Initiatives to address frailty and multimorbidity” existing networks and actions to address frailty was presented to participants, such as the network of Italian regions Pro.M.I.S (PROgramma Mattone Internazionale Salute) and the AdvantAGE JA. Ms Mirca Barbolini, Coordinator of the SUNFRAIL Project from the Regional Agency for Health and Social Care in the Emilia-Romagna Region, presented the project results and outcomes by addressing the elements of success regarding the SUNFRAIL tool; 1) Understandable, 2) Easy to use by professionals, and community actors, 3) Empowering beneficiaries 4) Connecting services (health, social, community care), 5) Multidisciplinary approach to frailty.

Final recommendations regarding opportunities and replicability of the SUNFRAIL projects outputs were drafted by EUREGHA Chair Nick Batey during the conference as follows:

·         Reinforce the message to policy makers across Europe that frailty is a reversible condition, and needs to be addressed through its main dimensions and early identification of risk factors, to orient proactive and preventive strategies. (European, national, regional and local health authorities)

·         Move beyond the hospital setting that frailty alerts can be identified especially in community and primary care settings, targeting a population that may be unknown by services. (National, regional and local health authorities)

·         To address frailty in a sustainable way requires broad interdisciplinary approaches and integrated strategies connecting existent health, social and community services. This should be embedded in funding approval projects (National, regional and local health authorities)

·         Adopt a more holistic consideration of we mean by frailty e.g. bio/psycho/social aspects

·         Don’t underestimate the challenge of implementation. Use the evidence to create a compelling local story and use existing structures to drive adoption where possible (local authorities)

·         Use structures to accelerate good practices exchange (EU networks and national agencies- EUREGHA, PROMIS, Reference site collaborative network, etc)

·         Addressing reversible frailty is an issue relevant to an increasing proportion of European population. It will be greater added value in addressing this at EU level.

Please find more information about the SUNFRAIL Project on the website.

SUNFRAIL (Reference Sites Network for Prevention and Care of Frailty and Chronic Condition in community dwelling persons of EU Countries) is a European project with a duration of 30 months, which started in May 2015. The project received funding from the EU Third Health Programme 2014-2020 and gathered 11 partners from 6 EU Member States.

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