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Anti Stigma Programme: European Network [ASPEN] [2007301] - Project
General objectives

The Anti Stigma Programme: European Network (ASPEN) will contribute to reducing stigma and discrimination against people with depression in the 27 EU member states.

Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme

Approximately one tenth of the adult population in Europe suffer from mental disorders. Such disorders now account for about 12.3% of the global burden of disease, and this figure will rise to 15% by the year 2020. In Europe 20 million people experience depression and associated personal distress. The total cost of this is estimated at 105,666 million Euros a year. This project focuses on the impact of stigma and discrimination on the everyday life of people with depression, and it will identify strategies to reverse such forms of social exclusion.

Methods and means

To achieve its objectives the project will:
- produce scales to assess stigma and discrimination in people with depression;
- interview 500 persons with depression in 19 sites across the EU;
- collect and compile best-practices to reduce stigma and discrimination;
- assess if anti-discrimination policies are applied in practice;
- provide recommendations on how to include people with mental illness in policymaking and in generic disability discrimination laws.

Expected outcomes period

The key outcomes of the project will be:
- information sharing through best practice toolkit, ASPEN webpage and summary reports;
- improved knowledge for policymakers on practical measures to improve social inclusion of people with depression;
- a high-quality assessment tool for stigma/discrimination scale development;
- dissemination of knowledge on the nature and severity of discrimination experienced across Europe by people with depression;
- transfer of practical and useable information to policy makers on how to increase work opportunities for people with depression by legal measures

Start date: 01/01/2009
End date: 01/01/2012
Duration: 36 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: First Programme of Community action in the field of public health (2003-2008)
EC Contribution: € 875 318,00
Portfolio: Mental health