Depression scorecard

HPP developed a framework to support the assessment of national-level performance in key aspects of policy and care for people living with depression, and applied it to countries across Europe.

Depression scorecard


Depression has a profound effect on people’s lives and is linked to a number of negative outcomes, including reduced earnings, chronic illness and a higher chance of death. The associated stigma may prevent people from seeking the care they need.

The burden of depression is felt acutely across Europe, with countries spending billions on mental health services. Many countries are focusing on deinstitutionalising care, with the aim of bringing services into the community, and some have implemented national mental health plans. Despite these efforts, numerous barriers to access to and provision of high-quality care remain. These include stigma towards mental illness, fragmented care and regional inequalities in access to mental health services.

To improve the management of depression, policy and practice should focus on four key areas:

  • integrating mental health into wider health and social care services to enhance continuity of care
  • collecting and analysing data on depression
  • empowering people with depression to be actively involved in decisions about their own care
  • harnessing digital tools to improve access to care.

What we’ve achieved

As a follow-on to our previous work on finding a sustainable approach to depression, we have developed a series of scorecards designed to support national-level assessment of policy and delivery of care for people with depression. The scorecards are based on a framework that we developed following an international literature review and consultation with an expert advisory group.

We have initially applied the framework to four countries – Belgium, France, Italy and Romania – in consultation with national-level experts in each country. The findings have been summarised in individual country reports, produced in English and translated into the local language(s) for each country.

In the next phase of work, we developed reports for Finland, Germany, Greece and Portugal, which were also translated into the local language. All scorecards are made available for independent researchers in their own countries.

To accompany the launch of each country’s scorecard report, we developed videos in which the national-level experts discuss the priorities in their country.

HPP shared the scorecard methodology with a research consultancy in Slovakia, which has used it to develop scorecards for ten countries in Central and Eastern Europe. This project won an award for original/commissioned research for PR in the 2023 IN2 SABRE Awards.

Key partners and stakeholders

This project was developed with the support of the following partners and stakeholders:

Depression Scorecard Advisory Group

  • Julian Beezhold, European Psychiatric Association
  • Liesbeth Borgermans, University of Ghent
  • Doina Cozman, Romanian Association of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
  • Massimo Di Giannantonio, Italian Society of Psychiatry
  • Kevin Jones, European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness (EUFAMI)
  • Raluca Nica, Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks-Europe (GAMIAN-Europe)


Country scorecards


  • Janne Jalava, Mielenterveyden keskusliitto (Finnish Central Association for Mental Health)
  • Jukka Kärkkäinen, Suomen Psykiatriyhdistys ja Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos (Finnish Psychiatric Association and Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare)
  • Oskari Korhonen, Mielenterveyden keskusliitto
  • Riikka Mettälä, Mielenterveyden keskusliitto
  • Vaula Ollonen, FinFami


  • Eric Fakra, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de SaintÉtienne, PsyR2 research team
  • Marie-Jeanne Richard, Union nationale de familles et amis de personnes malades et/ou handicapées psychiques (UNAFAM)


  • Ute Lewitzka, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden
  • Claus Wolff-Menzler, University Medical Centre Göttingen


  • Massimo Di Giannantonio, Italian Society of Psychiatry
  • Nicoletta Orthmann, Fondazione Onda
  • Luca Degli Esposti, CliCon
  • Antonio Vita, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Brescia, School of Psychiatry
  • Emi Bondi, ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII Bergamo


  • Joaquina Castelão, Federação Portuguesa das Associações das Famílias de Pessoas com Experiência de Doença Mental (FamiliarMente)
  • Luís Oliveira, Associação de Apoio aos Doentes Depressivos e Bipolares (ADEB)
  • Carlos Sequeira, Sociedade Portuguesa de Enfermagem de Saúde Mental


  • Claudia Dima, public health expert
  • Amedeea Enache, Estuar Foundation
  • Alexandru Paziuc, President of the Romanian Association of Social Psychiatry

Project funding

The scorecard reports were produced by HPP as part of the Words to Actions initiative, which began in 2018 with a report from nine mental health organisations working across Europe. The scorecard reports were developed as a follow-on but separate activity. All Words to Actions materials were initiated and funded by Janssen Pharmaceutica NV.