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Building the multidimensional picture on Mental Health across Europe: insights from the Headway Mental Health Index 3.0

Research presented in Brussels by Angelini Pharma and The European House - Ambrosetti highlights that one in two young Europeans report unmet needs for mental healthcare.

The third edition of Headway Mental Health Index 3.0, presented today at the European Parliament by The European House of Ambrosetti and Angelini Pharma, highlights a complex picture in which policies are put in place to promote Mental Health and well-being, despite a notable improvement in many of the countries considered in the analysis, are not always responding to the needs of the population.

The “Headway – Mental Health Index 3.0”, updated in 2023 with a new structure, to provide a multidimensional picture of the factors impacting the population’s Mental Health. These determinants are divided into 3 distinct categories: individual, environmental, and socio-economic. The Index also analyzes the Mental Health status of the population and the responsiveness of the systems to mental health needs, specifically in healthcare and in workplaces, schools, and society in general.

Mental Health Index 3.0: highlights

According to the report, European institutions are adopting a comprehensive approach that integrates mental health into education, employment and urban planning. However, , the "Headway - Mental Health Index" reveals persisting challenges he cost-of-living crisis, fueled by geopolitical conflicts, is affecting vulnerable populations, while extreme weather events are contributing to eco-anxiety.

This new indicator (eco-anxiety) reflects the emotional toll of environmental challenges and can lead to depression, anxiety disorders, and a sense of powerlessness, serving as a precursor to more severe mental health issues.

In addition to that, according to the latest data:

  • 1 in 6 people in Europe lives with a mental disorder, that is responsible for over 16.9 million years lived with disability.
  • Approximately 20% of children experience Mental Health problems during their school years, and 1 in 5 children report growing up unhappy and anxious about the future due to bullying, challenges with schoolwork and loneliness.

Mental health disorder has also come with a substantial economic burden, costing Europe 600 billion euros annually, with 40% attributed to indirect factoors like reduced productivity and lower employment rates. Alarmingly, almost half of young Europeans report unmet mental healthcare needs, and budget allocations for mental health treatment remain inadequate, with disparities in the availability of mental health resources.


The third edition of “Headway – a new roadmap in brain health 3.0” provides a framework for addressing the determinants of mental health, emphasizing responsive healthcare, supportive schools, and employee well-being in the workplace. The economic and personal burden of mental health disorders underscores the need for robust interventions..

Therefore, in the post-pandemic and post-crisis era, data-driven tools like the Index offer an opportunity for policymakers to pinpoint critical areas and intervene effectively. Europe must continue to evolve its approach to mental health to ensure the well-being of its diverse population in an ever-changing world.

To learn more about “Headway: A New Roadmap in Mental Health” or to download the full report, please visit:  https://healthcare.ambrosetti.eu/it/incontri/view/12938.

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