Mental health and the pandemic: living, caring, acting!

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our physical health, our livelihoods, and our economies upside down. At the same time, an unseen mental health emergency is sweeping across the European Union and beyond.

The European Commission took the opportunity to draw attention to this issue by organising a high-level online event on 10 May to kick off European Mental Health Awareness Week 2021. The theme chosen this year was Mental Health and the Pandemic: living, caring, acting!

Vilans consultant, René van het Erve of the Dutch programme Dignity and Pride spoke during the session, “Caring – workers in social and residential care, informal carers”. Together with Human Resources Specialist, Noud van Hecke of Vidacto, he presented the concept Team Reflection as a mechanism to support the mental health of healthcare workers throughout the pandemic and beyond. van den Erve said fellow presenters  acknowledged the positive impact of Team Reflection and agreed that it could be a “promising approach in the pandemic.”

Close to 2,000 participants attended the event, which highlighted several promising approaches to addressing the growing burden of mental illness.