“Headway” is an initiative on Mental Health that was conceived and launched in 2017 by the Think Tank The European House – Ambrosetti in partnership with Angelini Pharma with the aim of creating a multidisciplinary platform for strategic reflection, analysis, dialogue and comparison between various European experiences in the management of individuals affected my mental disorders. The initiative, activated in continuity and in coherence with programs, activities and plans of the WHO and of international institutions and organizations, has a European perspective.
The first edition has been developed over the course of the year 2018 with a work of analysis, study, and dialogue between more than 40 experts from the medical-scientific community, representatives of patient and family associations and health economists of the European Mental Health sector, in 3 countries – Spain, Italy and Poland – through the activation and organization of dedicated national working group tables and an international workshop aimed at sharing the different experiences. These meetings highlighted the main issues connected to the organization of Mental Health services and the management of individuals affected by mental disorders, and the need for specific training programs dedicated to health and non-health professionals and for initiatives aimed at a better integration of individuals affected by these disorders into the education and working environment. Cases and virtuous experiences have also been identified and shared during a high-level European Workshop organized in Rome. In November 2018, the analyzes and priorities of action elaborated by each Country were merged into a final report.
The work of “Headway 2020″continued in 2019 with some specific activities at Country level, including the presentation of the results to national institutions, and with the creation of an important Forum in Brussels, which took place on October 9, 2019, the day before the World Mental Health Day. The “Headway 2020” Forum was primarily aimed at presenting the scenarios and impacts of Mental Health and existing challenges in the EU, at exposing the activities and results of “Headway 2020” and at offering an opportunity for discussion and debate on the centrality of the management patients with mental disorders and priorities of future actions in order to create a “new roadmap for Mental Health” in Europe.
Following the need to increase the awareness on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, in October 2020, The European House – Ambrosetti supported Angelini Pharma with the realization of the “Headway 2023 – Mental Health Week” – a week of events, debates and testimonials during which mental health experts, patient associations and citizens raised awareness on the issue of mental health to overcome the stigmatization that often accompanies mental illness.
In 2021, the aim of “Headway 2023” was to continue the work started in 2017 aimed at sharing knowledge and know-how to prevent, diagnose, manage, and find solutions that reduce the burden of mental conditions not only in the healthcare sectors, but also in workplaces, schools, and society in general. In particular, The European House – Ambrosetti in partnership with Angelini Pharma has elaborated an analysis model on the performance of European countries in the field of mental health (“Headway2023 – Mental Health Index”) with particular focus in the areas of Health, Society, School and Work places, which was presented in preparation of the Mental Health Day 2021 on October 7th at the “Headway 2023 Forum” in Brussels, and has reactivated 2 multidisciplinary platforms in Italy and Spain, involving experts of the mental health across various sectors.
In 2022, the initiative will keep the trajectory of the programs, activities and strategies of Governments and International Organizations such as the WHO and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as European Institutions with the objective of reducing the burden of mental disorders in Europe and designing a new roadmap for Mental Health in Europe. The aim has been to update the “Headway – Mental Health Index”, by also including a new pillar to the analysis that is the environmental context. The latter will take into account both the environmental context (e.g. pollution, climate, etc.), but also the physical context (e.g. natural disasters, conflicts, crime, etc.). The updating of the data will also capture the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, but also the current context characterized by the crisis in Ukraine.
The results of the “Headway – Mental Health Index 2.0” will be presented in Brussels at the European Parliament and digitally on September 28th, 2022.