Will the European Elections Be a Chance for Mental Health?


Seen from the US, the upcoming European Elections/Brexit negotiations combination must look like a giant, never-ending puzzle. It’s not far from the truth, since for us located in Brussels, at the very heart of European policymaking, it can also be a challenging topic to follow.

Between 23 and 26 May 2019, European citizens from 27 different countries will get to the polls to elect their representatives in the European Parliament for the next five years. The only time where Europeans get to the polls all together. There will be 705 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) elected to represent 500 million Europeans. The number of MEPs varies from one country to the other and seats are allocated to each Member State based on population (bigger countries get more MEPs).

Mental Health Europe (MHE), as an advocacy organisation, sees those elections as an opportunity to call on current and future European leaders and policymakers to recognise that mental health matters and to bring it to the heart of European policies. For our demands to be heard, we need support and action from citizens, organisations and like-minded communities, as well as users and survivors of services.

Our message is straightforward and universal. Mental health affects us all, in every aspect of our lives: our relationships with the people around us, how we work, where we live, and even our basic human rights. Mental health friendly policies across all sectors, therefore, have a key role in the wellbeing of millions of people.

The last few years have been crucial for mental health and human rights with the publication of groundbreaking reports by international human rights bodies and the increased attention for mental health on the global agenda. What we need is a long-term commitment from political leaders to build a society which does not stigmatise people living with mental ill health, supports the promotion of good mental health, and provides services for people of all ages.

Our ‘Manifesto for Better Mental Health in Europe’ sets out key actions and specific European policy areas where mental health could be included, leveraging existing policy tools. There are many existing European and international initiatives that represent invaluable opportunities to improve mental health policy in Europe, including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Although European policies might sound like a very distant concept for MIA’s American readers, we do believe the key actions and recommendations set out in our elections manifesto reflect many shared values between our two continents.

Some of our recommendations are to include mental health in all relevant policies (such as employment, migration, social affairs); to address inequalities, education, early childhood development, housing, violence and poverty as determinants of mental health; to promote investments in research on prevention, recovery, solutions to coercion and investment in non-coercive mental health services; to disseminate advances in mental health promotion and prevention and facilitate networks for research collaboration with people with mental health problems; to consult with and actively involve people with mental health problems and psychosocial disabilities, directly or through their representative organisations when designing, planning, implementing and evaluating policies, laws and services.

At MHE, we always welcome international voices and perspectives to feed into our work, and we believe that people with lived experience should be treated as equal partners in the creation of policies. We are therefore looking forward to hearing from fellow Mad in America’s readers about their views on mental health policy and international advances in the field.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. Ophelie, I’m sure you don’t intend to be consciously condescending to us native American YANKEES, so I won’t pretend to be offended by your talking down to us from your Euro-centric high horse. Let me tell you what *I* think, based on my LIVED EXPERIENCE. First, “Brexit” is a joke and a farce. It will make little, if any, long-term difference to either the EU, or Great Britain, or the rest of the world, whether of not Brexit happens or not. The whole thing is a FAKE NEWS scam designed to create a binary, either-or faux crisis, to fill the news, and keep people emotionally upset. This serves as a sort of smokescreen to obscure more important concerns for the *PEOPLE*. The same 1% of rich ruling elites will still be in power, regardless of whether Brexit, or Brexstay….
    “Mental Health Europe” is the same propaganda campaign as “Mental Health America”. Only some language is tweaked to account for language and national differences at the population level. It’s all so vague, wishy-washy, and touchy-feely, (“treacle-y”), that it really says NOTHING NEW, while only purporting to “move us forward”. To reduce the MHE message to it’s simplest terms: “BE SCARED OF THE MENTAL CRISIS, and GIVE US *MORE* *MONEY*!” Oh yeah, **STIGMA**!…. (Funny, I don’t recall seeing the word “psychiatry” anywhere in there….WHY is THAT?)
    You need to understand, Ophelie, that BOTH so-called “mental health”, and “mental illness/ill health”, are something that WE ALL HAVE. We ALL have both “mental health”, **AND** “mental illness”, at the same time…. So-called “mental illnesses” are exactly as “real” as presents from Saint Nick. Or Santa Claus, as we Yanks call the jolly old elf. And psychiatry is a pseudoscience, a drug racket, and a means of social control. It’s 21st Century Phrenology, with potent neuro-toxins. Psychiatry has done, and continues to do, FAR MORE HARM than good. The DSM-5 is nothing more than a catalog of billing codes. All of the bogus “diagnoses” in it were INVENTED, not “discovered”. Think about the difference there. If they were really real, then they would have EXISTED BEFORE THEY WERE DISCOVERED. But that’s not the case. They didn’t exist until they were invented. Think about that some more. We do appreciate your time, Ophelie, and we like you, but don’t expect us to be at all impressed by “MHE”…. Or scared over Brexit or Brexstay. Whatever, life will go on pretty much as it always has. And I thank GOD that I’m 25+ years FREE of psychiatry and psych drugs. I’m sorry for the current crop of VICTIMS that MHE is growing….

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  2. People in the UK still haven’t been allowed to exit the “the Fourth Reich” despite the Brexit win.

    I think the EU needs to just go away and government needs to get out of the mental health business. Its never been about mental health (making people happy) psychiatry is about social control and making excuses for society when people struggle by blaming their problems on ‘broken brains’ ect.

    I am reading in the article “early childhood development” and thinking OMG what plans do the social engineers have THIS time ?

    And “increased attention for mental health on the global agenda”

    That’s nice but what exactly is the “Global Agenda” ?? Website like this one may seem over the top http://www.globalistagenda.org/ but can you really argue its not the truth ??

    I don’t think I want “political leaders to build a society” that’s not governments job.

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    • Psychiatry also provides the illusion of safety by blaming all violent crimes and shooting sprees on the “genetically defective criminal types.” The high ranking shrinks promise to save the public by “helping” those they’ve scapegoated.

      Because they have thoroughly dehumanized us all in the public’s eye, everyone is happy to have the “monsters” locked up and put through cruel, pointless experiments. Even those who have never committed misdemeanors are treated worse than “sane” convicted felons.

      If we must have psychiatry it should be kept separate from the government. When the government has the power to lock up and torture without due process only evil can come of it.

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  3. Most of us here, Ophelie, don’t believe in the debunked as “invalid,” DSM, so called “mental illnesses.”


    Except, of course, we know for a fact that the psychiatric drugs create the symptoms of the serious DSM disorders, and creating “mental illnesses” in other people with the psychiatric drugs should end.


    And so we want the “mental health” workers out of our schools and away from our children. We believe forced treatment should be made illegal. And, generally, we believe that the world would be a better place without the iatrogenic illness creating, extraordinarily intrusive, “omnipotent moral busy body,” primarily child abuse and rape covering up, “mental health” workers.


    Pardon my candor.

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  4. Politically the pro-“mental health” agenda is always the same, more government spending for “mental health treatment programs”. Whether this “treatment” is forced or not, except in theory, isn’t the primary consideration. I would like to point out that spending less on “mental health” doesn’t necessarily mean spending more for forced “treatment”. One could make some good arguments for less spending, at least, as long as there is “forced mental health treatment”, one could make an argument against paying for it.

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  5. You are a psychiatric industry’s submarine, designed to increase psychiatric spending, which is to increase your income.

    Your organization is made up of psychiatrists who are engaged in the trafficking of legal narcotics, thereby participating in the murder and destruction of hundreds of thousands of people in Europe.

    Who do you believe to be deceiving with your call to a more “psycho-social” and less “oppressive” psychiatry? You remain drug traffickers, lobbyists, seeking to enrich themselves by introducing your pawns in all sectors of society.

    “Include mental health in all relevant policies, such as employment, migration, social affairs” (Manifest, 2019)

    Billions of euros are devoted to the psychiatric industry in Europe, with therapeutic results lower than those of Africa. The solution according to you? Increase the budgets!

    “Strategic investment in mental wellbeing can generate enormous economic and social returns.” (Infography, 2017)

    You spread the lies of the psychiatric industry, like that 20% of teenagers are mentally ill (10 myths, 2017). Do you know the historical statistics of psychiatry?

    In 1880, the United States government launched a massive survey, in which nearly 80,000 doctors in America’s 100,000 (!) were involved in the census of mentally ill people across the country, including outside the institutions. (Census Office, 1888, pp. IX and X).

    Among people aged 10 to 19, the definition of adolescence according to WHO, the prevalence of madness was 0.02% (Census Office, 1888, pp. XV and XIX).

    The prevalence of mental illness would have been multiplied by 1000 in just 140 years?

    But yes, I think about it! All you do, as psychiatrists, is surreptitiously redefining your “nosography” from year to year, to include more and more “patients” who would have supposedly needed you. You change your words to seem less scary, but especially to expand your clientele, from the word “madness” to “mental illness”, then to “mental disorder” and finally your latest invention: “mental health problem”. I even read an article (Méréo, 2019) that heartache is a mental illness! You invade the whole society, like lice and rats. But you do it so gradually that very few people realize the trickery.

    You are not doctors, you are fraudsters. Historical statics shows that you have never done a medical diagnosis: you are simply describing more and more normal behaviors and emotions as diseases or “problems”, to enrich yourself and increase your power.

    Down with the psychiatric lobby! Down the masks!

    Census Office (1888). Defective, dependant and delinquent classes of the population of United States, as returned at the thenth census (June 1, 1880). Washington, Government Printing Office. Repéré à : https://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/1880a_v21-02.pdf

    Mental Health Europe, (2017) 10 Myths about mental health that you can help us debunk!, mhe-sme.org https://mhe-sme.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Flyer-A4-MHE-WEB.pdf

    Mental Health Europe, (2017) 10 Things you should know about Mental Health, mhe-sme.org https://mhe-sme.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/10-things-you-should-know-1.pdf

    Mental Health Europe, (2019) A manifesto for better mental health in Europe For the European Elections 2019, mhe-sme.org https://mhe-sme.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/MHE-Manifesto-EU-Elections-2019.pdf

    Méréo Florence (2019) La pilule contre le chagrin d’amour arrive en France, Le Parisien, 13 février 2019, http://www.leparisien.fr/societe/la-pilule-contre-le-chagrin-d-amour-arrive-en-france-13-02-2019-8011425.php

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  6. “Mental Health Europe advocates for a psychosocial approach to mental health, which instead of defining mental ill-health as a ‘disease’ or ‘illness’ caused by purely biological factors, looks to a person’s life and social environment, treating these factors as equally important in understanding well-being and mental ill health. It appreciates the lived experience of people who have experienced mental distress and recognises them as experts in their own lives.

    We all have mental health. Mental health is not only about disease or the absence of it. It is also about wellbeing and experiencing positive emotions: it is about us, our lives, work, relationships, physical health and social environment.”

    Thumbs up from me. Other than the bit about me being an expert on my own life, when in fact, like every other humble human being, I am a lifelong rookie. Life is too short to become an expert on it. But I do have some insights which only I can have, because only I can have them, because only I can live my life, which should not be brushed aside or crushed.

    It’s sad that the UK is trying to break free of Europe in order that it can go deep into a psychotic delusion of grandeur about a long-dead and romanticised Britishness of colonialism, Empire, xenophobia, jingoism.

    Maybe MHE can lobby to parachute in European psychologists to counsel this deluded and increasingly psychotic nation and help it back from the brink of impending disaster?

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  7. @ Sylvain Rousselot

    The human race, particularly here in the West, is very very fucked up indeed and that has been getting worse for some time now. Is perhaps accelerating as I type. The neurosis/psychosis, the delusions, the utter insanity of people is increasing and while psychiatry is undoubtedly off the ball about the true nature of humanity’s insanity, they are not as far off it as you are suggesting.

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  8. I believe those suffering from what are metaphorically called “mental illnesses” might be much better off if “mental health” were NOT a central plank of the candidates’ platforms. Unless there are some uniquely well-informed and courageous candidates who are willing to argue for the removal of “mental health” from the field of medicine altogether, or to prevent any kind of forced “treatment” (which is an oxymoron to me), it would be better for all if “mental health” is left in the background, as it will be easier that way for those wanting to avoid the system to fly under the radar.

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    • Same here — it’s good that Bernie is standing up for Venezuela, but last time he was hopelessly pro-mh. I wonder if he’ll support the recent upping of social network totalitarianism with the across-the-board banning of comments against mandatory “vaccinations,” and I wonder if similar tactics are in store for us, as we are after all “anti-science.”

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  9. Will the European Elections Be a Chance for Mental Health?

    What does this even mean? Is it a suggestion that the European Elections be stopped at all costs? Hopefully it is a rhetorical question designed to elicit a response of “OMG NO!!!”

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  10. In other words your manifesto is to insert mental healthism into as many domains of human existence as possible. Let’s hope the citizens of Europe see through the progressive jargon in which this is couched and vote decisively no.

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  11. All this propaganda is an economic question.

    Psychiatry has two polarized markets, and an intermediate market:

    Pole 1 (intensive): The market for extra-judicial kidnappings, sequestration and torture of undesirables for the benefit of families and the state. This market is necessarily limited because it is the oppression of the majority on a minority, and the manufacture of a class of sub-men deprived of fundamental rights.

    Pole 2 (extensive): The market for universal toxicomania, drug trafficking and psychotherapy, which in principle has no strict limit. Anyone can use drugs or electroshock voluntarily, so it is for psychiatry to present itself to its customers in the best possible light, by trying to dissociate themselves from the first market.

    Between Poles 1 and 2: the middle market of people leaving psychiatric hospitals, supposedly “free” but actually subject to economic, social and family pressures to stay in the circuit, for example under the threat of rehospitalization, obliged to see a psychiatrist to continue to receive an invalidity pension, signing “therapeutic contracts” in which they agree to undergo injections in exchange for housing, etc., etc.

    Psychiatry is a mafia continuum of violence, pressure and seduction.

    Today, Mental Health Europe launches a big seduction campagn to increase psychiatric budgets, and tells us everything we want to hear, but we are not idiots: the money will be used to expand all markets because they work in synergy.

    Against the proposal of Mental Health Europe, we must instead advocate for the reduction of budgets, for the dismissal of its agents in schools, immigration centers, hospitals, and wherever possible, and the best way to achieve this goal is the reduction of budgets.

    Psychiatrists and their minions threaten us that if budgets are reduced, they will increase torture in psychiatric hospitals. The threat is in vain because in reality, the less money there is for hospitals, the fewer beds available, so the less torture there is. Psychiatry does not torture for free, it tortures because we feed it, because we give it money! Less money = less staff, less treatment, this is the absolute and direct goal of the anti-psychiatric movement.

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    • Couldn’t have said it better myself Sylvain!

      I’m in that middle ground. I have never been locked up “involuntarily” if you can call being thoroughly deceived that my brain would deteriorate without the “treatment” offered voluntary. Is a diabetic taking heroine because the doctor they trust called it “insulin” a willing junkie? (Food for thought.)

      Many like me are too disabled to work after years of psychiatry and need the meager handouts to live. I would have left the System earlier but a poor work history, discrimination, and symptoms like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome still keep me from gainful employment. My heart and other organs were “mysteriously” giving out. None of the doctors would tell me why or what to do about it. I think they knew. 🙁 Escaped just in time!

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      • don’t feel bad about taking disability, Rachel. I personally believe in a fundamental human right to live and -not- be in misery and oppression, probably because I’m a Christian. Psychiatrists make more off the gov’t in one month than several “patients” do annually.

        I do kind of wonder…if Universal Basic Income somehow magically went into effect tomorrow…would “mental illness” take a big hit? I think so…who would really need shrinks, anyway? the upper classes who deman psychotherapy?

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          • I do OH.

            Yeah-I-Survived my only problem is $770 isn’t enough for a regular apartment and there’s a stigma with not working.

            Every social situation I’m in I get asked, “What do you do for a living?”

            One church I attended I sort of lied. Told them I get SSI for Fibromyalgia. (They said some horrible things about “crazies” later. I was right to lie.) The preacher’s wife kept demanding why I didn’t substitute teach, work in daycare, work in fast food, be a cashier. Just because moving is agony and it hurts to stand more than 60 minutes at a time is no excuse for not flipping burgers 40 hours a week it seems! 😛

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          • Yes, indeed, a universal basic income makes people happier. But it doesn’t make them more likely to become employed. So depending on the measure you choose, it’s eother a success or failure. Now we can’t jusy have a happier populace. What good is that? They wouldn’t need all that very lucrative mental healthcare.


            What’s really better, spending the money on people directly, or spending it through the for profit mental health system which causes physical disability and necessitates even more peripheral healthcare spending?

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          • Rachel, I get the same questions but with autonomic neuropathy I struggle to stand for just a couple of minutes. In fact, I cannot stand for a prolonged period in one place, and must walk around or my blood pressure tanks and I pass out. But even walking makes me so exhausted that just taking the dog out to potty (which thankfully I can do again) necessitates laying down for up to an hour afterward in order to stabilize my nervous system, stop the shakes and dizziness. I also struggle to maintain a consistent core temperature so I become overheated extremely easily and also get chills quickly, both of which can cause blackouts with little warning. But I look able bodied and that’s all that matters to people who think they can judge illness severity by looking at you.

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          • There was a compelling study on crime in Richmond, CA that showed that providing a basic income to former offenders works to deter crime as well.


            Should we be locking up record amounts of people and paying for profit companies to run prisons, or should a basic standard of living provided directly to people who would offend to get their needs met otherwise a more reasonable violence prevention measure? It depends on whether you want to live in a punitive state or a compassionate one.

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          • Should we be locking up record amounts of people and paying for profit companies to run prisons, or should a basic standard of living provided directly to people who would offend to get their needs met otherwise a more reasonable violence prevention measure?

            Well, “we” aren’t going to be doing anything as we are not in control here. But while capitalism still holds sway I think a basic income is a great demand; it would also resolve the issue of whether anyone is “really” disabled, as the right to a basic income would not be based on alleged medical need.

            I don’t think “being employed” should be seen as a goal. “Employed” towards what end? Until people collectively determined what “work” has value this is a meaningless goal.

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    • Between Poles 1 and 2: the middle market of people leaving psychiatric hospitals, supposedly “free” but actually subject to economic, social and family pressures to stay in the circuit, for example under the threat of rehospitalization, obliged to see a psychiatrist to continue to receive an invalidity pension, signing “therapeutic contracts” in which they agree to undergo injections in exchange for housing, etc., etc.

      This is exactly what I mean when I speak of “psychiatric OUTmates.”

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  12. “To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family tradition, national patriotism, and religious dogmas.” “We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents, our Sunday and day school teachers, our politicians, our priests….The reinterpretation and eventual eradication of the concept of right and wrong which has been the basis of child training, the substitution of intelligent and rational thinking for faith in the certainties of old people, these are the belated objectives …for charting the changes in human behavior.” Brock Chisholm, 1959 Humanist of the Year and former head of World Health Organization, in the February 1946 issue of Psychiatry

    Psychiatry is a leading edge of this operant-reconditioning program. People are taught that older systems of values are outmoded, in light of “scientific advances.” when elites fashion and impose a New World ORDER, they naturally need a way to classify the recalcitrant citizens and the rebellious and the independent. So they use the word DISORDER.

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