The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson launched the Depression Scorecard, the report that proposes a series of recommended actions to improve the management and care of patients with depression in Romania to stakeholders.
Depression is the most common mental condition that affects people today. The World Health Organization estimates that depression affects over 40 million people in the European Union, which accounts for 4.3% of Europeans1. However, given the psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a massive 25% in the first year of the pandemic only2. it is very likely that this figure is even higher now. At the same time, the pandemic context has made the subject of depression more relevant than ever, doctors and academics around the globe calling it the “silent pandemic” or “parallel pandemic”3.
This Scorecard was developed by The Health Policy Partnership, in partnership with GAMIAN, EUFAMI, and the European Psychiatric Association, with the valuable contribution of Prof. Dr. Doina Cozman as member of the Advisory Group at European level, interviewing Ms. Claudia Dima – Senior Public Health and Management, National Center for Health Status Evaluation and Health Promotion, National Institute of Public Health, Ms. Amedeea Enache, Estuar Foundation – Executive Director and Dr. Alexandru Paziuc, President of the Romanian Association of Social Psychiatry. It is part of a broader series of individual Depression Scorecards evaluating in Belgium, France, Italy and Romania, the key national health policies and services provided for people suffering from depression.
The document was initiated and funded Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. It continues a 2018 European Union report by nine stakeholder groups, which presented 10 areas where priority action is needed in order to achieve ‘A sustainable approach to depression: moving from words to action’.
The Depression Scorecard has been launched within the event “Invisible, but real – an integrated perspective on depression management in Romania”. Held under the aegis of the Commission for Health and Family in the Chamber of Deputies, with the support of the Romanian Association of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, the event brought together decision-makers, authorities, the medical community, international and national experts in health and mental health, as well as representatives of patient associations.
“The Depression Scorecard is based on a very important objective for our company, of providing patients in Romania access to quality medical services and innovative treatments that contribute to improving the quality of life. As a result of the report, a number of recommendations to improve mental health policies have been made by experts and we are determined to work with authorities and decision-makers to turn them into action. In the medium term, we want people diagnosed with depression to be able to benefit from personalized services and treatments, in an integrated medical approach”, said Sévan Kaloustian, Managing Director of Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson Romania.
“Mental health services in Romania have gone through successive reforms aiming deinstitutionalizing care and transferring as many services as possible to community environments. While there are policies that support this change, we need to pay more attention to their practical application. A paradigm shift is needed in addressing depression, for all its components: prevention, early diagnosis, development of integrated and comprehensive services, access to innovative treatments and technologies that improve the condition of patients”, said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Diana Păun, Presidential Advisor, Department of Public Health, Presidential Administration of Romania.
“We hope that this report will stimulate decision-makers to work closely with all stakeholders, including the medical community, to reverse the course of depression in Romania, adopting an integrated and preventive approach, to draw attention to this condition, in all its complexity. Especially in the pandemic context, depression must become a priority for all of us”, said Prof. Dr. Doina Cozman, President, Romanian Association of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Depression Policy Scorecard Board Adviser member.
“Integrated care – a patient-centered system that supports people with depression throughout their lives and throughout the health system – is essential to provide adequate support and treatment. The integration of mental health services and social assistance services can increase the treatment rate and reduce the burden of disease”, said Dr. Nelu Tataru, President of the Health and Family Committee, Chamber of Deputies, Romanian Parliament.