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Public Health

2021 EU Health Award - Mental Health

Rewarding community-based initiatives alleviating the mental health impact of COVID-19

Award on mental health

Submission deadline: 30 November 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a huge mental health challenge that is becoming increasingly complex and diversified as time moves on. It requires us to find answers to immediate and longer-term consequences of subsequent waves of infection and measures to contain the virus. The virus has brought anxiety and grief; social distancing increased loneliness; school closures put pupils, parents and teachers under stress; diagnosis of mental health illnesses were delayed and afflicted patients found it harder to continue treatment; health care workers faced strain and exhaustion. The mental well-being of EU citizens has been put to the test in an unprecedented manner.

The high-level conference on the mental health impact of the pandemic, hosted by European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides on 10 May 2021, underlined that this impact will be seen long after the public health crisis has receded, with experts warning against underestimating the long-term consequences and anticipating a considerable increase in the need for mental health support. It is essential to encourage mental health resilience, tackle the current mental health consequences of the pandemic, and make sure our society and services are ready to meet future mental health needs. The conference also showcased encouraging and innovative supportive actions that were initiated across EU countries. The Commission is aware that many more excellent initiatives are ongoing or have been completed, also at community and/or local level.

The EU4Health 2021 work programme looks at a wide range of areas in which we can promote mental health. This includes a dedicated call for proposals to support implementation of best practices on the ground to tackle mental health challenges as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, many actions addressing cancer will also support mental health, psychological support and patient empowerment.

Complementing these calls, the 2021 EU Health Award will be an opportunity to reward community-based initiatives by local authorities (or organisations affiliated with these), non-governmental and/or other not-for-profit organisations active in health or other policy areas at national, regional or local level. These have been proactive or reactive in helping to prevent, address and/or mitigate the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this sense, it aims to acknowledge and encourage authorities or organisations who developed and initiated dedicated community-based activities to support people whose mental health was particularly affected or at risk of being affected.

These organisations must have discussed opportunities for strengthening mental health and met the growing need for mental health support. They must have experimented and/or implemented innovative practices and approaches at community level, with and/or in close collaboration with the groups or communities concerned, in order to address the negative mental health impact of the pandemic.

Commissioner Kyriakides recently stated: “Mental health matters to every individual, every society and across all policies. We need to support concrete and targeted improvements.

The European Commission invites NGOs, local authorities (or organisations affiliated with these), and other not-for-profit organisations based in the European Union to enter their community-based initiatives that help alleviate the mental health impact of COVID-19 for the 2021 EU Health Award, providing details about these initiatives and their tangible results.

Applications submitted under the EU Health Award must have started and been put into practice in 2020 and/or 2021. Multiple applications by the same applicant are allowed, provided that each application is for a different initiative under the topic of this Award and all required documents are submitted for each application separately.

Six initiatives per category will be selected, and each of them will receive a prize:

  • Prizes for the category LOCAL AUTHORITIES or affiliated organisations:
    1. First winner: EUR 30 000
    2. Second winner: EUR 20 000
    3. Third winner: EUR 12 000

    In addition, three shortlisted initiatives will each be awarded a certificate and EUR 1500.

  • Prizes for the category NGOs or other not-for-profit organisations:
    1. First position: two winners, each EUR 30 000
    2. Second position: two winners, each EUR 20 000
    3. Third position: two winners, each EUR 12 000

    In addition, six shortlisted initiatives will each be awarded a certificate and EUR 1500.

The EU Health Award is funded by the EU4Health Programme, under the 2021 work programme.

Award Ceremony at the EU Health Policy Platform annual meeting

Representatives of all shortlisted initiatives will be invited to the 2022 EU Health Policy Platform annual meeting, where the 2021 EU Health Award Ceremony will take place (Subject to COVID-19 sanitary restrictions in place at the time the EU Health Policy Platform annual meeting is scheduled to take place).

Winners and shortlisted applicants for the 2021 EU Health Award on alleviating the mental health impact of COVID-19 will be invited as follows:

  • Local Authorities or affiliated organisations category: maximum 2 representatives per selected application (winners and shortlisted) will be invited and reimbursed for their travel and accommodation expenses.
  • NGOs or other not-for-profit organisations category: maximum 2 representatives per selected application (winners and shortlisted) will be invited and reimbursed for their travel and accommodation expenses.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to join the EU Health Policy Platform to follow up on the 2021 EU Health Award and to engage in discussions on health issues of common interest with international, European, national and regional stakeholders and the European Commission. The link to the Platform is https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/hpf/

Submit your application

Thank you for your interest in the 2021 EU Health Award and for your dedication to improving public health. Here are some tips for successfully navigating the application process.

  • Application language and translations: Applications may be submitted in any official language of the European Union. However, in order to facilitate the evaluation process, it is recommended to submit the applications in English or at least to provide an English translation, as indicated in the submission form.
  • Check the criteria: Before submitting, please check that you are not at any risk of being disqualified for any reason that is clearly listed under the “Criteria” tab of this website.
  • Submission form – draft and upload of documents: The submission form can be saved at any time of the process by clicking on "save as draft" on the right side of the submission page. Larger documents of over 1MB need to be uploaded in parts, each under 1MB in size. Once submitted, you can print or get your submission form in pdf by typing in your email address.
  • Do not wait until the last day to submit your application as you may encounter some difficulties reducing the size of the requested pdf documents.
  • Frequently asked questions are regularly posted under the “News” tab of this website. If you don’t find what you are looking for there, we would be happy to help you at sante-hpp@ec.europa.eu

Submission deadline: 30 November 2021.
No applications will be accepted after the deadline.

Documents

flyer_award_2021_mental_en.pdf
English
(2.21 MB - PDF)
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