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It's World Mental Health Day  -  Let's talk about clinical trials

An EU-PEARL podcast with Professor Carmine Pariante and Patient Advocate Fanni-Laura Mäntylä

Today, October 10th, is an important day. It’s World Mental Health Day (WMHD). Every year this day is marked by the World Health Organisation with a different theme in focus. This year’s theme is ‘Make Mental Health and Wellbeing for all a Global Priority.’

Such days exist to put mental health at the forefront of the conversation. To raise awareness, to show support, to show people how to look after it, and to recognise how fundamentally important it is.

To mark this day, we want to share a podcast with you hosted by the European Patients’ Forum (EPF), the leading voice of patient organisations. Inspire the Mind Editor in Chief Professor Carmine Pariante, and Patient Advocate (and writer of this great ITM blog) Fanni-Laura Mäntylä, sat down to talk to host Estefania Cordero about WMHD and the work they have been doing in a research project, EU-PEARL (EU patient-centric clinical trial platforms) — an Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) funded programme working to shape the future of clinical trials and drug development in four areas of medicine, including major depressive disorder.

World Mental Health Day has a key focus on making mental health equal to physical health — something that was a huge part of Carmine and Fanni-Laura’s conversation. They discuss everything from the refocusing of priorities, especially in times of societal disruption as we are experiencing now, to the broad effect that mental health can have on life.

The trio also discuss the importance of work in the EU-PEARL project, and similar initiatives, through the lens of making mental health a global priority for all; showing it has an important role to play in reducing stigma, both in demystifying the clinical trial methodology needed to make new treatments available, and for the individuals involved.

The important role of the patients in this project was explained from Fanni-Laura’s own experience as she spoke about her own role in the project and how this collaborative work with patients and scientists is really crucial, giving voice to the people affected by mental ill health. Concluding with their individual hopes for the project, the importance of improving mental health for all was very apparent and gave a strong sense of hope for change.

If you would like to listen to the podcast, you can find it here on the EPF Anchor channel, or by searching ‘Marking #WorldMentalHealthDay with the EU-PEARL project’ on Spotify or your favourite podcast streaming platforms! You can also read more about the EU-PEARL project by visiting

Image source: EPF


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