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lost due to sports injuries.

Concerted health policies can make a difference by promoting safe sports, advocating safety as well as participation in sports. Appropriate information on sports, use of personal protective equipment, adequate qualification of coaches, quality assurance and maintenance of equipment are the main strategies to be applied. Community actions will facilitate these developments by the dissemination of advocacy documents, good practice and policy tools. In particular, campaigns should focus on popular sporting activities with a high injury risk like soccer and other ball sports, drowning and water sports, skiing and mountain sports.

4.2.5.Prevention of injuries caused by products and services

Ensuring high standards of consumer safety is one of the main objectives of the Community. The safety of non-food consumer products is ensured by a wide range of sectoral legislation and complemented by Directive 2001/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 December 2001 on general product safety9. Nevertheless, accidents involving non-food products and/or consumer services (i.e. tourism services, sports and leisure services) are numerous. Such accidents need to be prevented by making sure that safety requirements are appropriate and adequately enforced. To facilitate this it is also essential to have an effective injury monitoring and reporting system which identifies the nature of the injury, the nature of the product and/or service and the circumstances of the injury. This information can then be used by regulators and product developers to ensure there are continuous improvements in safety and injuries are reduced Community wide.

4.2.6.Prevention of self-harm

Acts of self-harm and suicide are another important cause of premature death and hospitalisation. The issue of self-harm and suicide is closely related to mental health and in particular the prevention of depression.

In October 2005 the Commission published a Green Paper on Mental Health10 which emphasised suicide prevention. In the follow-up to this Green Paper, actions to improve mental health and prevent mental ill-health will be developed and promoted in all Member States. In this context, actions to prevent suicides will be encouraged at local, regional, national and Community level. Actions in the field of injury prevention should therefore link up with existing projects in the mental health domain, with the Green Paper on Mental Health and with future action plans in this area.

4.2.7.Prevention of interpersonal violence

Interpersonal violence is an issue of growing public concern and includes domestic violence, child abuse, abuse of the elderly and youth violence. Interpersonal violence takes many forms (physical, mental and sexual) and occurs in different environments (in the family, between intimate partners, in the community, in institutions and at work). It undermines the social and economic conditions in society.

The recording of violence by the police is not sufficiently accurate or detailed. In addition, the issue is heavily under-reported, due to the reluctance of victims to report it. In the framework of the Public Health Programme, improved reporting techniques will be developed in order to get better estimates of the size of the problem. To supplement the limited data available

9OJ L 11, 15.1.2002, p. 4.

10Green paper improving the mental health of the population: towards a strategy on mental health for the European Union COM(2005) 484


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