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7 Jun, 2023

COFACE Advocates for Mental Health at the European Parliament

On the 24th of May 2023, COFACE Families Europe’s Director, Elizabeth Gosme, took part in the fourth edition of the European Mental Health Week conference to offer crucial knowledge on nurturing mentally healthy communities from a family perspective.

During the conference, the importance of work-life balance emerged as a vital factor for mental well-being. COFACE highlighted the urgent need for measures that promote work-life balance and prevent burnout. Emphasising the significance of minimum legal standards derived from the EU work-life balance directive, COFACE’s Director also highlighted the importance of regulating the digital environment to ensure compatibility with human rights.

Inclusive education was another crucial topic addressed during the event by Elizabeth Gosme, who emphasized the role of structural arrangements within key communities such as family, education, and leisure in nurturing children’s mental health. Boosting inclusive education fosters respect and inclusion. This is why COFACE and its member KMOP have launched a free online course on school bullying management which equips educators with the necessary tools to combat bullying and create safer environments for students.

Access to mental health services emerged as a pressing concern as well. COFACE shed light on the disparities in accessibility across European Union countries and stressed the need for community-based centers that offer comprehensive support, including mental health services, to families seeking assistance.

Promoting gender equality and reducing the burden of the mental load on women were prominent themes discussed. COFACE encourages family teamwork as a means to achieve a fair distribution of caregiving and household responsibilities. By challenging traditional gender stereotypes, the network aims to empower families and create supportive environments where everyone can thrive.

Last but not least, COFACE Director, Elizabeth Gosme, emphasised the significance of empowerment, mediation, communication, active listening, and problem-solving in fostering positive family dynamics.

COFACE Families Europe remains committed to its vision of mentally healthy communities where everyone can thrive. By advocating for work-life balance, inclusive education, accessible mental health services, and gender equality,  it strives to create inclusive societies that value and support the well-being of families in all their diversity.

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