Mental disorders are a global problem and represent one of the biggest challenges for health care systems. In the world, there are some 500 million people suffering from mental disorders, and in the European Union, mental disorders range as one of the leading causes of disease burden. What makes the situation worse is that the prevalence of mental and neurological disorders is expected to grow for a variety of reasons: an ageing population will lead to an increased risk for age-related mental illness and neurological disorders, especially dementia and Parkinsons disease. By 2040, Alzheimers disease will double in Western and triple in Eastern Europe (Jan-Llopis & Gabilondo, 2008). Furthermore, with increasing economic troubles, work-related psychosocial risk factors such as reduced job security, work intensification, and a poor work-life balance become more widespread, affecting both men and women.
Most European countries have recognised mental health as a priority area in recent years. The European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), a scientific forum established in 1987, has set itself the task to bridge the gap between basic research and medical practice, paving the way for improved pharmacological treatments in mental disorders. With the 22nd ECNP Congress 2009 in Istanbul, the ECNP once again marks a contribution to meet the enormous burden and amount of suffering associated with mental disorders.
Fighting the burden of mental disorders
Our brain creates our life: perception, movement, thought and emotion, memories, speech and intelligence are features of this extraordinary and most complex organ. As a consequence, disorders of the brain deeply affect the life of people, and are associated with immense costs for health care systems.
Due to work-related stress and mental health problems, levels of absenteeism, unemployment and long-term disability claims are increasing. In many EU Member States they are the leading
|Contact: Sonja Mak|
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology