What is the problem EAAD-Best is addressing?

In Europe, there are huge diagnostic and therapeutic deficits concerning depression and the prevention of suicidal behaviour. This means that not all people with depression and suicidal behaviour are getting the treatment they need.

EAAD-Best seeks to address this deficit by increasing the number of people with depression and suicidal behaviour that are getting treatment. This project is particularly timely given the exacerbation of mental health problems associated with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the goals of EAAD-Best?

The main goal of EAAD-Best is to improve care for patients with depression and to prevent suicidal behaviour in Europe. EAAD-Best will achieve this goal by:

  1. Implementing the European Alliance Against Depression’s community-based 4-level intervention concept for the first time to target regions in Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Italy and Poland and to further regions in Hungary, Ireland and Spain.

  2. Promoting in each of these countries a nationwide uptake of the iFightDepression®-tool, an internet-based self-management tool for patients with depression and more broadly, the iFightDepression® awareness website.
EAAD-Best also aim to reduce stigma, improve health literacy and increase help-seeking behaviour.

Aim One – implementing the 4-level intervention concept

New (implementation) countries

In EAAD-Best, the new countries are known as implementation countries and include Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Italy and Poland.

For each of these five countries, a model region has been identified. The EAAD 4-level intervention concept through the establishment of a local alliance will be implemented first in the model region. Sustainability is an important, it is expected that this model can then be expanded to further regions and even nationally, beyond the funding of EAAD-Best.

Implementation countries benefit from the broad systematic implementation research and practical experience of the EAAD and its partners who have collectively implemented the 4-level intervention concept in over 120 regions across 20 countries. This includes step by step implementation guides and a broad range of materials and resources which will be translated and culturally adapted for each country.

Existing (transfer) countries

In EAAD-Best, the countries where the 4-level intervention concept has already been implemented in some regions are known as transfer countries and include Hungary, Ireland and Spain.

In each of these countries, the 4-level intervention concept has already been delivered in at least one region, the goal now is to expand to a national scale. Sustainability is important and the focus of these countries is to establish a framework that lives beyond EAAD-Best.

To do this, the transfer countries will promote the 4-level intervention concept and EAAD-Best to key national stakeholders and health politicians, as well as to communities. The purpose being to raise interest and motivation for different communities to start an alliance against depression and suicidal behaviour. Once interest is raised, the lead organisation will support those interested in starting community based 4-level interventions and work to establish a National Coordination Centre that creates a national learning network of regional alliances against depression and suicidal behaviour.

Aim Two: Nation roll-out  – iFightDepression®-tool and iFightDepression® awareness website

In EAAD-Best, a key part of the 4-level intervention concept is the national promotion and availability of the iFightDepression® tool and the associated iFightDepression awareness website. This national roll-out will occur in all eight countries: Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy and Poland and Spain. 

The iFightDepression® tool is a guided, online-based self-management programme for people suffering from mild to moderate forms of depression – it is based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy. Access and guidance to the tool are provided by a health professional (GP, psychiatrist, psychotherapist) who has been trained by an E-learning tool to be a guide. The antidepressant efficacy has been shown recently within a randomized controlled trial. It is currently available in 12 languages (English, German, Spanish, Catalan, Basque, Shqip, Hungarian, Estonian, Italian, Norwegian, Greek, and Arabic) and in EAAD-Best, will be translated into Bulgarian and Polish. 

The iFightDepression awareness website aims to promote and increase awareness of depression and suicidal behaviour by providing comprehensive information about depression and its consequences. The website is currently in 15 languages (English, German, Spanish, Catalan, Hungarian, Dutch, Shqip, Estonian, Bulgarian, Portuguese, French, Italian, Norwegian, Turkish, and Arabic), and in EAAD-Best, will be translated into Greek and Polish.


Acronym EAAD-Best
Project title Adapting and Implementing EAAD´s Best Practice Model to Improve Depression Care and Prevent Suicidal Behavior in Europe
Duration 3 Years, commencing April 2021
Total Budget EUR 1 978 101.26
Funding Program Annual Work Programme 2020 of the 3rd EU Health Programme (HP-PJ-2020)
Grant Agreement 101018325