Yet most people still misunderstand mental disease and attribute it to work stress. The thing is, one in every five adults experience some form of mental illness each year, and suicide is the second leading cause of death in people aged 10-34.
In this context it needs to be remembered that every improvement in addressing negative attitudes toward mental illness, as well as to improved access to treatment and mental health support services, positively impacts not only people with mental illness but also the wider group of family and friends who love and care for them. Only a quarter (25 per cent) of workers said they are upfront about having to take time off for mental health reasons.
"The short-sightedness of not providing adequate mental health rehabilitation services, from both a human rights and a financial viewpoint, is quite astounding".
While no broadcaster or content provider should shy away from hard themes - and while those of us struggling with mental illness certainly want our experiences represented - it's easy to use mental illness as a way of upping dramatic stakes without thinking about how it affects (or reflects) the lives of viewers.
At its first meeting in the new European Parliament, the Alliance gave mental health stakeholders the opportunity to set out their priorities, outline how they fi t within the EU policy agenda and suggest how to address them effectively. The charity is also looking to destigmatise mental health conditions, enabling conversations on the subject, and help players, pros, and creators to come together to support eachother.
Moving forward, the Alliance will continue as an advocacy and exchange platform, fostering new partnerships for improving mental health and creating appropriate European Union level awareness, attention and action, including in suicide prevention.
Also, I would like to see a comprehensive EU Mental Health Action Programme developed, as originally proposed by the Commission in 2004.
An awareness anthem spot shows snippets of different characters and their mental health challenges, such as Tony Soprano talking with his therapist, and Girls' Hannah Horvath struggling with her OCD.