Estonian-Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute

Estonian-Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute

Protecting mental health in times of change (MENTBEST)

23 October, 2023

Duration: 01.04.2023–31.03.2028
Funding: 470 840 EUR
National coordinator: Airi Värnik
Project manager: Rainer Mere
Funder: European Union, Horizon Europe “Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2021-2027)”
Institution: Estonian-Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute

MENTBEST aims at mitigating the negative impacts of transformation and seizing new opportunities: Global trends such as war, economic crisis, climate change, migration, digitalisation, pandemics, ageing and demographic change, place increasing stress and pressure on European societies to adapt to fast-changing situations. These stressors can trigger mental health problems for significant parts of the population. These problems include both non-clinical aspects (mental distress, sub-diagnostic depressive symptoms, reduced quality of life and well-being, “burnout”, anxiety syndromes) and clinical aspects (mental disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders according to ICD-10, increased suicide risk). Particular vulnerable groups within the general population (e.g., migrants/refugees, younger people, older people, long-term unemployed, those with mental disorders) are especially at risk of finding themselves disadvantaged by dramatic societal change, of experiencing particular stressors, and of suffering (further) negative impacts on their wellbeing, including mental health.

MENTBEST will develop, implement, validate and evaluate a Comprehensive Multifaceted Community-based Intervention (“COMBINA”), based on the proven EAAD intervention programme, but adapted and broadened for the specific needs of the vulnerable groups (above), and for non-clinical mental health challenges as outlined above, including sub-diagnostic depressive and anxiety symptoms, burnout and mental distress, as associated with dramatic societal change. COMBINA will be implemented in five model regions in five different European countries, which vary greatly in terms of geography, socioeconomic conditions, and mental health ecosystem (Ireland, Spain, Albania, Estonia, Greece) and be evaluated with a special focus on the vulnerable groups within the model regions. An innovative addition is the RCT of app-based self-monitoring and self-management technologies for mental health, which use AI and n=1 longitudinal statistics to create individualised predictive models and provide users preventive and self-management support.

Estonian-Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute (ERSI) | Õie 39 Tallinn 11615 |