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EACEA National Policies Platform


7. Health and Well-Being

7.5 Mental health

Last update: 6 March 2022
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  1. National strategy(ies)
  2. Improving the mental health of young people

National strategy(ies)


Currently, there is no government programme or strategy in Hungary to improve mental health of people and to develop mental health care.

Improving the mental health of young people

EMMI regulation on the operation of educational institutions use of names of school educational institutions

Regarding formal education, the mental health of youth is centrally regulated in the EMMI regulation no. 20/2012. (VIII. 31.) [20/2012. (VIII. 31.) EMMI rendelet a nevelési-oktatási intézmények működéséről és a köznevelési intézmények névhasználatáról] on the operation of educational institutions use of names of school educational institutions, which prescribes the compulsory integration of comprehensive health development into the educational programme covering numerous topics related to improving the mental health of children and young people. With the amendment of the law in 2021, the topics of health activities that can be held in schools are defined. It stipulates that only non-governmental organisations whose programmes meet the requirements of the professional quality assurance system may offer these subjects.

National Core Curriculum

In the new National Core Curriculum (Nemzeti Alaptanterv), accepted in 2020, the principle of the 'physical education and health development' states that

'the active human has proper attitudes to physical activities, lives an active life, accepts himself/herself, has the autonomy together with responsibility for the community, is open to new ideas and applies reliable solutions. The human with physical and mental health evaluates valuable the healthy and harmonious life. The pedagogues show the habits that establish healthy and harmonious life through personal examples in each stage of the education.' National Core Curriculum (Nemzeti Alaptanterv)

The 9-10th grades

In the 9th-10th grade, the student learns about stress and its harmful effects in biology classes and tries to avoid it; learns about the facts that determine emotional and motivational actions; evaluates the connection between emotional and intelligent development; recognises the characteristics of mental health and understands its conditions; and plans the necessary elements of a healthy, preventive life.

Physical education and sport, with the introduction of daily physical education, contribute to improving the mental health of students in both lower and upper grades and in secondary school.

'Restorative Handling of Offences in School Education Institutions'

The booklet 'Restorative Handling of Offences in School Education Institutions' ('Resztoratív sérelemkezelés a köznevelési intézményekben'), which was sent to all schools, contains a detailed description of the restorative techniques that can be used with offences. One of the features of these techniques is an attempt to deal with conflict by uncovering the nature and causes of the conflict and allowing each participant to express and share their feelings. Through meditation and circle methods, solutions are found that can be accepted by all. On the other hand, the document presents good practises and initiatives aimed at promoting zero tolerance towards violence and the attitude of the whole school community towards change.

Mental Hygiene Basic Training for Teachers

The Mental Hygiene Basic Training for Teachers (Mentálhigiénés Alapképzés Pedagógusoknak), a 30-hour in-service training, indirectly serves to promote the mental health of students by supporting the school education specialty, whose goal is closely related to improving the mental health.

Hungarian Association for Counselling in Higher Education

The Hungarian Association for Counselling in Higher Education (Felsőoktatási Tanácsadás Egyesület) was founded in October 1995 with the aim of uniting the efforts of organisations and individuals working for the dissemination and acceptance of the student-centred perspective and practise of counselling in higher education and, more generally, in institutions providing human services.

The aims of the Association

The aim of the Association is to provide opportunities for organised and nationally coordinated professional workshops and exchange of experiences, supervision and training for the professionals (psychologists, university teachers, doctors, university counsellors, social workers and the so-called contemporary support students) involved in the psycho-hygienic care of youth - especially those preparing for or studying in higher education - which has become particularly important due to accelerated socio-economic changes.

Therefore, the Association aims to coordinate and further develop the application of information, counselling and therapeutic methods used in higher education counselling - in personal and group settings - at the national level, and to contribute to the creation of a model for a modern institutional system in higher education counselling, including mental hygiene consultation provided for university teachers.

Its aim is also to support the training of trainee university counsellors in higher education, including preparation for drug and addiction prevention, acceptance of equality for people with disabilities and diversity/ non-conformity in general, and career planning and talent management. The association places a special emphasis on spreading the culture of university counselling in the nearer and more distant regions outside the borders. It strives to maintain and expand opportunities for international cooperation for its members.

Achieving the goals

In order to achieve the above objectives, the Association has placed a special emphasis on coordinating and developing the application and monitoring of the above tasks. Professional cooperation and coordination of activities are carried out through various channels, including

  • the annual professional days,
  • the annual book series,
  • the organisation/coordination of scientific research and
  • the participation of members of the Association in national and international conferences.

Psychic first aid services

As a result of the increase in the number of suicides, more and more organisations have been established in Hungary to prevent people who feel unable to recover from their difficulties in crisis situations. Such preventive organisations are mental first aid telephone services whose voluntary tasks are suicide prevention, crisis intervention, and prevention of mental illness.

The three tasks of telephone services are:

  • prevention
  • crisis intervention
  • suicide prevention.

Prevention of mental health problems and protection of mental health: psychosocial problems are a burden in daily life, the source of conflicts and life difficulties. To prevent these problems from becoming critical, support organisations offer assistance in the form of counselling, information, management and accompaniment.

Crisis intervention: when a person is faced with circumstances that endanger him or herself and these cannot be avoided or resolved, he or she is in crisis. External help is needed to resolve a personality crisis. It can be a unique advantage that people who cannot adhere to the rules of everyday communication in a crisis - while the "broadcasting power" of communication decreases - can communicate their thoughts on voice and speech channels.

Suicide prevention by reducing suicide threats, transforming fatal 'solutions' into meaningful action and turning the crisis into a problem situation.


National Crisis Management and Information Telephone Service

The main objective of the National Crisis Management and Information Telephone Service (Országos Kríziskezelő és Információs Telefonszolgálat) is to help victims of domestic violence, child abuse, prostitution and human trafficking and, if necessary, to organise their accommodation. The telephone service provides constant access to any person who is in trouble and needs immediate help, all day long, throughout the country and abroad.

Digital Child Protection Strategy

The issue of suicide is increasingly present among young people on the internet. The Digital Child Protection Strategy (Digitális Gyermekvédelmi Stratégia). The top priority of the strategy is to support the creation of a conscious and value-based online environment so that rules and measures to protect children are enforced more accurately than ever before. To this end, it is crucial to identify and address risks to children when using the internet, in order to prevent and minimise negative impacts. Another aim of the strategy is to ensure that the available protection mechanisms fulfil their function effectively  (For more information please see sub-chapter 6.8 Media literacy and safe use of new media.)