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de Brún pushes for EU support for mental health

4 September, 2008

de Brún pushes for EU support for mental health

Sinn Féin MEP and former executive Health Minister Bairbre de Brún has today called for greater EU support for mental health promotion. Ms de Brun called on the European Commission and governments across Europe to place a much greater focus on tackling the problem of mental ill-health across Europe.

She was speaking as MEPs discussed the mid-term review of the EU's Environment and Health Action Plan. Speaking in the European Parliament plenary session in Brussels Ms de Brún said:

"Mental ill-health is a major risk factor for suicide in Ireland and suicide itself is the biggest killer of our young people. The EU should give more support to developing adequate prevention strategies, and any actions at an EU or international level to help us promote mental health would be welcomed warmly."

de Brún also touched upon the new challenges to our environment and consequently on public health that climate change will bring saying: "Our climate is changing and this brings with it new challenges in both the fields of health and environment. The new threats to our environment and our health caused by climate change must be met head-on and in an effective way.

More ambition and sensible concrete actions is the message I want to send to the European Commission and European Council today."

Speaking after the debate Ms de Brun also called on the Executive to step up efforts to tackle the social and economic determinants of health following the recent all Ireland report from the Institute of Public Health in Ireland.

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