Cyrus Engerer calls for better environment policies, highlights significance towards better mental health

MEP Cyrus Engerer calls on European authorities to better safeguard access to nature and biodiversity

Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer
Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer

Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer has insisted on the importance of a clean environment for European citizen’s mental wellbeing.

Engerer was speaking during a conference organised by Mental Health Europe (MHE) and the Institute for European Environmental Policy, MPE and co-Chair of the MHE coalition within the European Parliament.

The MPE highlighted various negative aspects which impose harmful impacts on EU citizens,

“Grey urban areas, emissions, polluted air, dirty seas and rivers as well as climate change have a deep impact on the mental health and wellbeing of citizens. People are fed up with grey buildings, overdevelopment and mass production of properties. They want more green spaces, more publicly accessible spaces and more peace,” he said.

Engerer insisted on the responsibility carried by policy makers in the environment and planning sector. He explained how their decisions directly affect the mental health of European citizens.

“If authorities do not make a shift from grey developments to access to clean green and blue spaces, we will be failing the mental health and wellbeing needs of our society,” he said.

The MPE also spoked about the Covid-19 pandemic, and how nature served as an escape for many. 

He pointed out that the mishandling of natural environment may lead to another pandemic, urging authorities to take a holistic approach towards the natural environment.

“This is a lesson that we must learn from. That is why I am calling upon the EU commission and state governments to acknowledge the relationship between the environment and mental health,” the Labour MEP said.  

In his concluding statement Engerer pledged to adopt this approach to his work in the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment and Public Health, especially with regards to the committee’s work on the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030.

“I am supporting the call to turn 30% of all of Europe's forestry and oceans into protected areas to restore ecosystems which have been destroyed due to human activity,” Engerer told the conference.

The MEP concluded by stating the EU’s Mental Health policy should no longer be discussed and linked to clinical affairs, but should focus on the human being in a holistic manner.

More in Europe