Mental Health Reform e-Mental Health Project

eMEN Project Summary

e-Mental Health innovation and transnational implementation platform North West Europe (eMEN) is a three year EU funded programme to further the development of the eMental Health sector across Europe. Mental Health Reform is the sole Irish partner of the project that is co-financed in Ireland by the HSE.

During the life of the project, the project partners will select five technology products that are focussed on supporting people with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress. With the support of the HSE, we will arrange for further development and trialling of one or two of the products and develop a rapid testing method for mental health Apps. We will also present these products in a new Pan-European forum set up to promote policies, testing methods for, and promotion of eMental Health products. The project aims to embed eMental Health into the HSE’s service structure and help to implement Ireland’s eHealth Strategy.

Key information

Project name: e-mental health innovation and transnational implementation platform North West Europe (eMEN)
Partner countries: Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France.
Partner organisations:

Arq Foundation (Netherlands)
VU University Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Interapy Nederland B.V. (Netherlands)
German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Pscyhosomatics (DGPPN) (Germany)
Rhineland State Council – Institute for Healthcare Research (Germany)
Mental Health Foundation (UK)
Mental Health Centre Lille-Métropole Area (France)
Thomas More University College (Belgium)
ISW Limits N.V. (Belgium)
Mental Health Reform (Ireland)

Funder: Interreg North-West Europe Innovation Programme
Funding: €5.3 million (€282,300 for Mental Health Reform)
Co-financing (Ireland): HSE
Co-financed funding (Ireland): €188,200
Timescale: May 2016 – June 2019
Contact: Dominika Topolska

What will eMEN do?

eMEN will undertake a unique combination of digital mental health activity in research, product development, policy and communications and create a transnational e-mental health platform. The main activities of the project will involve testing and improving mental health apps, producing seminars and conferences, supporting working groups and developing policy recommendations.

Main project outputs:

  • 5 high quality e-mental health products further developed and tested (for depression, anxiety and PTSD / psycho trauma)
  • 1 quality test method for evidence based e-mental health interventions and standardised testing for showing quality and effectiveness of e-mental health products
  • 15 SMEs receiving dedicated support and engagement with e-mental health developers across the 6 countries
    1 transnational policy solution
  • Five years after the project ends, the average use of e-mental health products in all partner countries combined will have increased to at least 25%
  • Ten years after the project ends, the average e-mental health use have will increased to about 60%,
  • During this period a growth of 5-10% of e-Health SMEs is expected and mental health costs savings of up to 10% in NWE


Each year almost 165 million, or 38%, of people in the EU experience a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety. 9% of the Irish population over age 15 has a ‘probable mental health problem’ at any one time. This equates to approximately 325,000 people based on the Census 2011 population. Almost 20% of young people aged 19-24 years and 15% of children aged 11-13 years have had a mental health disorder.
Mental ill health presents a huge and growing economic and social burden for society, accounting for 20% of the disease burden in Europe.
Over the past ten years the demand for services has been growing in Ireland with anti-stigma campaigns, socio-economic pressures and an increasing population leading to greater numbers of individuals coming forward for help. Service resources have not been able to keep pace and service capacity has been under pressure, resulting in growing waiting times for service users. Innovative and high-quality eMental Health plays an important role in tackling this societal challenge.

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However, due to specific challenges, there are large regional differences with regard to the use of e-Mental Health products, for prevention and treatment. The average use across the Netherlands, France, Germany, UK, Belgium and Ireland is now 8%, which is low compared to other healthcare sectors.
At the end of the project, the average use of e-mental health products will have increased by 7%, to 15%. This directly contributes to the region’s economic performance and innovation capacity: reducing healthcare costs, better care and access to prevention and treatment and increased growth of eHealth SMEs.
In order to realise this change, a first-of-its-kind, EU-wide platform for e-mental health innovation and implementation will be formed by private and public partners in North West Europe. Project partners are key stakeholders in the field of e-mental health and have a broad EU network.
Mental Health Reform – the sole Irish partner of the project- joined to share Ireland’s experience of e-mental health progress and increase Ireland’s awareness and knowledge about digital health developments in other European countries. Our intention is to see how it would be possible to integrate this innovation into Ireland’s mental health system and thereby benefit people who need mental health support in Ireland.