Policy division

News and updates from ESCAP's Policy Division

What is the Policy Division?

The role of the Policy Division is to promote national health policies, public awareness and public advocacy related to the mental health of children and adolescents, and to increase the standing and authority of the Society in Europe and in the European Union.

Chair: Prof Maja Drobnič Radobuljac - Slovenia
Co-Chair: Prof Robert Vermeiren - The Netherlands
Prof Dimitris Anagnostopoulos - Greece
Dr Füsun Çuhadaroglu Çetin - Turkey
Dr Sofie Crommen - Belgium
Prof Stephan Eliez - Switzerland
Prof Sarah Hohmann - Germany
Prof Riittakerttu Kaltiala - Finland
Prof Konstantinos Kotsis - Greece
Prof Nermina Kravic - Bosnia-Herzegovina
If you would like to be part of the Policy Division, please contact our editor.

Current programs and projects: 

- ESCAP policy statements on global and European issues

- Patient and Public Involvement

- Organising policy debates for future ESCAP congresses

- Sustainable development goals (SDG's) of the UN as a policy framework

- Research calls for SARS-CoV-2 e.g. Horizon 2020 and national calls

- Policy survey

Patient and Public Involvement -
Youth Participation at ESCAP

A youth delegation was invited to participate at the ESCAP Congress 2022 which took place in Maastricht. Following the congress, Amélie Galladé, a member of the Swiss Youth Delegation, and Matthias Köster, child and adolescent psychiatrist, reflected on the experience. In their dialogue, they are highlighting the importance of involving young people in discussions and policy making in the mental health arena. Read it here.


Resources, positional statement and webinar on the impact of war on children - Ukraine war

In May 2022, the McKinsey Health Institute (MHI) surveyed 6,000 Generation Z respondents across 10 European countries to understand their views on mental health. First insights were presented at the 2022 ESCAP congress in Maastricht. The study is now available. Read more

Below are some articles related to policy issues in Europe. Other articles can be found in the Resource pages.

Division Chair Prof Maja Drobnič Radobuljac

Division Co-Chair Prof Robert Vermeiren

ESCAP Recent Policy Statements

April 2024
ESCAP statement on the care for children and adolescents with gender dysphoria: an urgent need for safeguarding clinical, scientific, and ethical standards

Sustainable action is needed more than ever: ESCAP welcomes the efforts of the European Commission and the decisions of the European Parliament on mental health care for children, adolescents and young people and calls on the Member States to act quickly

March 2024
ESCAP releases mental health policy positions ahead of European Parliament Elections 2024

December 2023
Statement of the ESCAP Board: Stop the humanitarian crisis in Gaza - Ensuring the basic needs of children

October 2023
Statement of the ESCAP Board on children taken as hostages in the context of the recent terrorist attacks in Israel

October 2023
Response to the EU Commission consultation on Integrated Child Protection Systems in the EU

June 2023
Involving youth peer support workers in child and adolescent psychiatry

May 2023
ESCAP endorses "Mental Health in All Policies Approach Statement"

February 2023
Trauma and recovery after natural disasters

December 2022
The impact of war

February 2022
War hits children first

March 2021
Next Generation Europe - A Recovery Plan for Children, Adolescents and their Families - ESCAP Statement March 2021

April 2020
COVID-19: services must remain active, we must communicate with networking partners and avoid further closure of psychiatric units Policy Position Statement

Policy in the news

20/12/2023 WHO Europe report on inequalities in the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic among adolescents 

12/12/2023 EU Parliament adopts resolution on mental health
MEPs adopted their recommendations on prioritising mental health, as an integral part of a person’s health, in EU and national policies. MEPs call on the Commission to draw up a long-term, comprehensive and integrated EU Mental Health Strategy. Member states should develop corresponding national strategies with clear timelines, adequate budgets, concrete targets and indicators to monitor progress. Click for an overview of key issues relation to the mental health of children and adolescents.

30/11/2023 EU Council Conclusions on Mental Health
In its conclusions, the Council highlights the importance of addressing mental health and well-being in different contexts in the life course, which benefits both individuals and societies. The conclusions invite member states to elaborate actions plans or strategies with a cross-sectoral approach to mental health, to ensure access to timely, effective and safe mental health care and to act across a wide spectrum of areas, sectors and ages. Suggested actions aim to prevent and combat mental health problems and discrimination, while promoting wellbeing.

07/06/2023 EU Commission launches new comprehensive approach to mental health.
This approach is a first and important step to put mental health on par with physical health and to ensure a new, cross sectoral approach to mental health issues. With 20 flagship initiatives and €1.23 billion in EU funding from different financial instruments, the Commission will support Member States putting people and their mental health first.

06/06/2023 Insights from first EU-wide loneliness survey
The survey was conducted in 2022 on more than 25.000 respondents by the Joint Research Centre (the science and knowledge service of the EU Commission) in partnership with the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. According to the data, approximately 13% of respondents report feeling lonely most of the time or all of the time. Young people were found to have a higher incidence of loneliness compared to older generations.


Policy articles

Below are articles that have been published in recent years and relate to policy. 

Access to mental health

Patrick McGorry: “Early treatment is bending the curve of outcome” published for ESCAP 2017 Geneva Congress

Patrick McGorry "Transition to 21st Century Mental Health Care: Early Intervention for Young People with Emerging Mental Disorders"published for ESCAP 2017 Geneva Congress

Economic crisis

Child and adolescent psychiatry in Greece during the crisis: a brief report. by Dimitris C. Anagnostopoulos, Eugenia Soumaki. ECAP Journal, Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2013) 22:131–134 

The economic crisis in Spain and its impact on the mental health of children and adolescents by Aranzazu Fernández-Rivas and Dr Miguel Angel Gonzáles-Torres. ECAP Journal Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2013) 22:583–586

Improving youth psychiatry

Norman Sartorius’ fight for the improvement of child psychiatry: In the army 

Norman Sartorius: Mental health care for children and adolescents in Europe: challenges and future perspectives article and interview from ESCAP 2015 Madrid congress

Involving local communities

Joaquin Fuentes: “Embed the community into the congress and the congress into the community” AEPNYA and AACAP joint congress 2016

No strength without unity

Brendan Doody: No strength without unity.

Policy programming

Füsun Çuhadaroglu: “Policy programming will make us stronger and more effective” 

Public policy

William W. Patton: Involving child psychiatrists in public policy ESCAP Congress 2015 Madrid