Hospital del Mar Research Institute Hospital del Mar Research Institute


09/04/2024 - Press release

The MENTBEST Project kicks off in Santa Coloma de Gramenet.

A two-year project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program

Protecting mental health in times of change.

Santa Coloma de Gramenet will host a large-scale European project, MENTBEST, starting from September 2024, led by Dr. Benedikt Amann from Hospital del Mar Barcelona. The project aims to address suicide prevention and the reduction of depression and emotional distress in communities undergoing rapid transformation in a community-based approach. This project will benefit from the active participation of organizations and associations rooted in the locality, which, therefore, have firsthand knowledge of the mental health needs and gaps in the population. It is an ambitious intervention that seeks to involve and engage all individuals and institutions interested and identify some problems in addressing and managing psychological distress among the inhabitants of Santa Coloma.

The Mayor of Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Núria Parlón, assures that "Santa Coloma de Gramenet is one of the five European cities and the first in the whole of Spain to join the MentBest project, which demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the emotional well-being of our citizens. One of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the increase in mental health problems among the population, and at the same time, people suffering from depression or at risk of suicide. In Santa Coloma, this is a reality that concerns us, and proof of this is our active participation in this community project, which is vital from where we will work collaboratively - administration, primary care, organizations, and citizens - to identify at-risk populations, prevent suicide, and address symptoms of depression, especially targeting young people, the elderly, migrants, the unemployed, and people with mental disorders, who are currently the most vulnerable groups."

MENTBEST will be developed in Spain and four other European countries: Ireland, Greece, Albania, and Estonia. Dr. Benedikt Amann, psychiatrist and director of the Research Unit at the Centre Fòrum of Hospital del Mar, will coordinate the intervention in Spain, with Santa Coloma de Gramenet being the chosen location for implementation. This will be based on the successful "community-based 4-level intervention program" developed by the European Alliance Against Depression (EAAD), a program that has already been successfully used to combat depression and prevent suicide in more than 17 European countries. Additionally, a new artificial intelligence-guided application will be designed and tested. Through the app, users will be able to improve their mental health self-management, thanks to the data collected by their mobile phones.

Launch meeting in Santa Coloma de Gramenet on April 8th.

To kick off the project, a meeting was held on April 8th with all the stakeholders and institutions that have an impact on the community and, therefore, on the mental health of the residents of Santa Coloma in the auditorium of the Riu Civic Center.

The meeting discussed ways in which the project can be integrated into existing resources and networks in the area, and the needs of the various entities involved, such as primary care centers, migrant associations, or the police, among others, were identified.

The MENTBEST project arrives in Santa Coloma de Gramenet to build, from the community, an effective intervention and prevention program connected with the concerns of its citizens.

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