Minister Mc Entee TD today addressed a conference on Active Ageing and Mental Health in Brussels. The Minister was invited by Deirdre Clune MEP, and the conference was organised by the European Peoples Party and Mental Health Europe. A group of about 40 MEPs and key representatives from European mental health and active ageing organisations attended the conference, which was addressed by various experts from around Europe.
The main theme of the one day conference was ‘Ensuring opportunities and participation in society at all ages’ – and relevant policy issues covered included why active ageing matters, the European dimension of active ageing, and Mental Health and Active Ageing in the workplace. Discussion also centred on how best EU countries can progress this important issue over coming years, particularly given looming demographic pressures.
The Minister stated, “I was very pleased to attend this important conference. It not only relates to my two specific care areas of responsibility as Minister, but also highlights a particular focus on the way we need to develop effective approaches on active ageing and mental health, both in Ireland and across Europe. I stressed at the conference that Ireland remains fully supportive of existing agreements to progress joint actions in this area, and that we would learn from, or contribute to, any new pan-European initiatives in the future. I pointed out also that significant progress has been made here over recent years, and that our current Programme for Government commitments for these specific care areas leaves Ireland relatively well placed to support EU thinking and plans for active ageing and mental health. Obviously, improvements can be made both by us and other countries and I gained some new and very useful insights from the conference. As reflected in the overall theme of the day, it is important to remember that improved active ageing and mental health measures can only enhance opportunities and participation for all ages, including obviously older people ”.