EHFG 2023- Climate and health: Understanding the impact on Europe’s most marginalised communities: Moving from mitigation to inclusive adaptation and resilience

We are excited to announce that NLO is back at the European Health Forum Gastein this year, collaborating with Wellcome on a session of utmost importance. We invite you to join us for an enlightening discussion on: 

"Climate and Health: Understanding the Impact on Europe’s Most Marginalised Communities: Moving from Mitigation to Inclusive Adaptation and Resilience" 

Date: September 28th, 2023

Time: 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM (CEST) 

More information is available here.

At a pivotal juncture within the EU election cycle, this session will delve deeply into the crucial interplay between climate and health, with a specific focus on marginalised groups. We will examine the profound impact of the climate crisis on these underrepresented communities. The session will feature engaging panel discussions with experts and provide opportunities for dynamic World Cafe discussions. These discussions will aim to bridge the knowledge gap concerning the intersection of climate and health, with a particular emphasis on marginalised communities.  

Recognising that marginalised communities bear a disproportionate burden of the adverse consequences of climate change, the insights generated during the session will inform policy frameworks aimed at delivering a more equitable future for all. By scrutinising current policy frameworks related to climate adaptation and health, as well as ongoing initiatives, the session will seek to influence future political priorities and policy advancements at the EU level. It will: 

  • Make the case for action on climate and health, with marginalised communities at its heart.  
  • Explore existing data and research in this field.  
  • Discuss current examples of good practise and how these could be scaled/challenges of implementation.  
  • Galvanise around need for further action, in particular around the European elections.   

We invite you to join us for this crucial exploration of how the EU can best champion the prioritisation of the health of marginalised communities as an integral part of long-term climate action plans. By prioritising these communities and their unique challenges, we can forge a path toward a more prosperous and inclusive future! 

‘Surviving not thriving’. A discussion paper based on the outcomes of the ‘youth dialogue on mental health and social inclusion’ is now available

In December 2022, NLO in collaboration with WHO Regional Office for Europe, hosted the Youth Dialogue on Mental Health and Social Inclusion. The event brought together youth representatives covering healthcare professionals, young people with lived experience of mental health conditions and services, representatives of marginalised groups, and other interested parties to discuss mental health and well-being among young people, with a focus on who is most at risk and left behind. As a result of these discussions, we are thrilled to announce the release of 'Surviving not Thriving' discussion paper. We thank WHO Regional Office for Europe for their unwavering support and young participants for their valuable contributions during and after the event.

This paper is an essential read for anyone interested in the mental health and wellbeing of young people. It highlights the challenges faced by young people in terms of their mental health, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need for sustained efforts from societal and governmental levels to address the issue. It provides valuable insights into the realities faced by young people experiencing poor mental health and social exclusion and offers practical recommendations for policymakers, service providers, and other stakeholders to address these challenges effectively.

‘Surviving not thriving’ paper is now available here







A Video Message from Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe 

In a recent statement, Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, praised NLO's work as an organisation dedicated to improving healthcare access for some of the most vulnerable members of our societies.

Dr Kluge commended NLO for its commitment to promote health equity and reduce disparities in accessing healthcare services for marginalised communities. He highlighted NLO's efforts to engage with communities, build partnerships, and develop innovative solutions to effectively address present health challenges.

"The work of Nobody left outside and its member organisations speak strongly to the principles that WHO stands for. We have a common purpose to work towards inclusive, accessible health systems to provide care for all those who need it, when and where they need it."

We are honored to receive this recognition from Dr Kluge and thank WHO Europe for their unwavering support.

The video statement is available here


NLO endorses the DisQo- anti-discrimination & health equity Joint Statement

NLO is a member of a Thematic Network DisQo, which brings together people and organisations with the shared ambition to address structural racism and discrimination for health equity. We are proud to endorse the ‘DisQo- anti-discrimination & health equity’ Joint Statement, which advocates for improving public health through the proactive elimination of institutional, structural, and interpersonal racism and discrimination that impact physical and mental health inequalities. The Joint Statement outlines five key priorities for addressing the issue in a constructive, collaborative, and respectful manner. NLO together with the undersigned organisations calls for decision-makers at all levels including the European Commission, to take an active stance against all forms of racism and discrimination.

We at NLO are committed to the following actionable steps to ensure equity, anti-racism, and anti-discrimination:


  1. Recognise racism and discrimination as the fundamental determinants of health, equity, and well-being. We will continue to: enhance policies and practices aimed at preventing them in our organisation; acknowledge this issue in our work and advocacy efforts where feasible; form partnerships and work collaboratively with organisations from various sectors to establish groups of professionals that can learn from each other’s experiences.
  2. Strengthen social participation of racialised and discriminated communities, and foster diversity, representation, and anti-discrimination. Through our work, we will continue to actively advocate for the greater involvement of the marginalised communities in creating, implementing, and assessing legislative initiatives; offer personal experiences, feedback, and practical solutions.
  3. Increase the clarity and consistency of critical definitions related to racism, discrimination, and health equity. We will foster safe spaces to engage in respectful and inclusive dialogue and provide leadership and active engagement in EU actions to harmonise definitions.
  4. Collect more (health) equality data, disaggregated by indicators on multiple grounds of discrimination, and harmonise EU data collection. We will advocate for high-quality equality data by urging for proper resource allocation at both the EU and national levels; focus on leading and participating in initiatives that work towards standardising the collection of equality data throughout the EU.
  5. Strengthen existing EU anti-discrimination legislation by breaking down silos and boosting policy mainstreaming, transparency, reparative justice, and social participation. We will enhance cooperation with groups beyond typical network affiliations and take a proactive role in participatory initiatives aimed at incorporating EU policies more widely.


We are fully committed to our goal of ensuring accessible healthcare for marginalised people in Europe. By aligning with this Joint Statement and urging the European Commission to follow suit, we aim to promote a fairer, more just, inclusive, and overall, a healthier society.

The Joint Statement is available here.

NLO in Conversation, the film

We are delighted to announce that NLO in Conversation film is now available on our website.

NLO in Conversation is a textual, atmospheric film that reflects the feeling of isolation experienced by everyone during the pandemic but at the same time shows the ever-present sense of isolation for those in marginalised communities. The film consists of the experiences of NLO members, their members or spokespeople nominated by them. They talk passionately and accurately about the experience of their community during the pandemic and the revelatory understanding gleaned from this experience. The film is curated by videographer Alan Compton.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown with all urgency that existing inequalities amplify in times of crisis. The people interviewed for the film offer their experience and knowledge to help us learn from the pandemic and create more equitable, more resilient healthcare systems where nobody is left outside. 

The film aims to give policymakers, EU stakeholders and other interested parties a deeper understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted accessing health and social care for marginalised communities. It further gives examples of good practices and community engagement. 


‘Surviving not thriving’ : The outcomes of the youth dialogue on mental health and social inclusion

‘Surviving not thriving’

The outcomes of the youth dialogue on mental health and social inclusion

In December 2022, NLO, in collaboration with WHO Regional Office for Europe, hosted the Youth Dialogue on Mental Health and Social Inclusion. The event brought together youth representatives covering healthcare professionals, young people with lived experience of mental health conditions and services, representatives of marginalised groups, and other interested parties to discuss mental health and well-being among young people, with a focus on who is most at risk and left behind.

Interactive discussions gathered insights on the mental health interventions and support young people need, how they stay resilient to protect their mental health and well-being, and how youth communities should be engaged in policymaking. The dialogues offered a safe platform for participants to share their lived experiences prior to, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. It resulted in identifying key barriers, offered concrete solutions to better mental health and well-being in youth and also portrayed the worrying reality in which young people are 'surviving, not thriving'.

Over the past months, we have been working to prepare the discussion paper, and it is now available. The event participants are invited to share their feedback with us via email by 1 May 2023.

The discussion paper provides answers to the following questions:

  1. What interventions and support do young people want and need?
  2. How are young people staying resilient and protecting their mental health and wellbeing?
  3. How should youth communities be engaged in policymaking?

Please find here the discussion paper ‘Surviving not thriving’.




NLO`s answer to "A comprehensive approach to mental health"

The European Commission asked for evidence in their initative: "A comprehensive approach to mental health". The Nobody Left Outside Initiative submitted cross-community and community-specific recommendations:

Cross-community recommendations on mental health

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a serious toll on mental health and well-being and had an exceptionally detrimental effect on marginalised communities, who were already at a greater risk of poor health outcomes. There is an urgent need for real change through robust and ambitious EU action which prioritises the needs of the most impacted members of our society. The Nobody Left Outside Initiative (NLO) welcomes the EU’s initiative to improve mental health by integrating mental health into all relevant EU policies and to maximise the added value of EU policies in national and local efforts. We are glad to share three overarching recommendations and a call for advancing mental health in the EU by addressing mental health care disparities.

Address socio-economic determinants of mental health:

The mental health crisis in the EU requires a stronger focus on drivers of negative mental health and prevention-oriented approaches. Some of the most marginalised communities, such as people experiencing homelessness, LGBTI people, people who use drugs, prisoners, sex workers, undocumented migrants and children, are highly affected by socio-economic determinants of (mental) health, such as living wages, accessible housing, access to healthy and affordable food, health insurance. Food or housing insecurity has tremendous effects on physical and mental well-being and unhealthy, unsafe and overly long working hours contribute to this. Better mental health outcomes go hand in hand with improving living conditions and creating financial stability for all. Meaningfully addressing mental health among marginalised communities requires recognising and addressing the dimensions of mental distress that are symptom of depravation and social injustice.

Improve access to healthcare:

People in marginalised communities experience unequal access to mental health and social care services and sometimes lack information on their healthcare rights. On top of that, they can face stigma and exclusion from society and service providers. As a result, they suffer from chronic stress and are discouraged from seeking care. Healthcare systems and professionals need to be better prepared to meet their needs to enable access to affordable, tailored and non-discriminatory care. Services need to become more accessible, including reducing administrative burden of service users. Tools like the NLO Service Design Checklist help making health and social services more accessible.

Bring marginalised communities into the conversation:

Representatives of marginalised communities are not sufficiently involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of policies, programmes and services that affect them. There is a need for a continuous, structured engagement so that policymakers and public health institutions actively and directly inquire about the mental health challenges and needs of marginalised communities.

Public health services should work directly with community-led and community-based organisations in their decision-making to ensure policies and services are fit for purpose.

Please find here our full response including community-specific recommendations.




Join "Friends of NLO"


Friends of NLO is an informal network of interested policymakers and health stakeholders to explore policy solutions for designing inclusive health systems, support community input to policy development and discuss best practices to improve healthcare access for marginalised communities.

The Friends of NLO will be regularly informed about NLO`s activities, invited to events and receive NLO`s material such as the newsletter, open letters and recommendations. They further have the opportunity to reach out to NLO as a knowledge partner and expert on access to health and social care. When interested in including the point of view and the expertise of marginalised communities in health policy and advocacy work, the NLO secretariat will facilitate feedback and input from community representatives.

Members of Friends of NLO can be individuals such as policymakers, Brussels health stakeholders, patient representatives, industry representations, healthcare professionals, medical societies, representatives from marginalised communities, healthcare students, researchers, everyone interested in increasing access to healthcare for marginalised groups and creating inclusive health and social policies.

Please sign up here to become a Friend.




Nobody Left Outside of Healthcare Systems- join 'NLO in Conversation'

Lived experiences of marginalised communities during the COVID-19 pandemic

📌 Date: On 28 February, from 18h00- 20h00 CET
📌 European Parliament, SPAAK 7C50, 60 rue Wiertz, B-1047, Brussels
📌 Register here


The Nobody Left Outside (NLO) Initiative is delighted to invite you to the ‘NLO in Conversation’ film screening and discussion on 28 February at 18h00- 20h00 at the European Parliament in Brussels, Room SPAAK 7C50. The event is hosted by MEP Cyrus Engerer (S&D, MT) and Tiemo Wölken (S&D, DE). To attend the event, please register here.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown with all urgency that existing inequalities to health and social care amplify in times of crisis. Over the past months, the NLO initiative has been working to create ‘NLO in Conversation’, a textual, atmospheric film that tells lived experiences of marginalised communities during the pandemic. The film will give viewers a deeper understanding and thought for discussion on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted access to health and social care for some of the most disadvantaged members of our society.

Following the film screening, the NLO members will share their experiences, main advocacy asks in accessing healthcare and reflect on how the learnings from the ‘NLO in Conversation’ could inspire policy solutions. In the context of the upcoming European elections, the NLO members will call to include health equity in party manifestos to ensure its continuity and prioritisation during the next Parliament term.

The event will also launch Friends of NLO, an informal network of interested policymakers and health stakeholders to explore policy solutions for designing inclusive health systems, support community input to policy development and discuss best practices to improve healthcare access to marginalised communities. The event will be concluded with a networking opportunity.

For more information, please consult our website or contact us via


NLO develops recommendations on mpox


In the summer, the WHO Director-General declared the escalating mpox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. While everyone can catch monkeypox, not everyone is at equal risk. People who closely interact with someone who is infectious, including through sexual contact, are at greater risk for infection; particularly sexual partners, but also household members and health workers. Cases have been identified but not limited to communities of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men who have had recent sexual contact with a new partner or partners. 

As it is often the case with public health emergencies such as COVID-19, the impact of mpox has proven to be disproportionate on members of marginalised communities. In this view, NLO has been approached by the WHO Europe Office to share our input on mpox and has developed concrete recommendations, which is now available on our website.

NLO recommends: 

  • Facilitate early identification of cases through ready access to testing care, and treatment. Ensure access to comprehensive treatment and care for those with mpox, including management of other infections. The NLO Service Design Checklist helps service providers, policymakers and community representatives to design targeted and equitable health services;  
  • Public health services should work directly with community-led and community-based organisations in their decision-making to ensure policies and services are fit for purpose; 
  • Increase access to vaccination programmes by prioritising people living in crowded housing, sex workers, men who have sex with men, trans people, and other groups at higher risk. Contact tracing and exposure limitation are among other important measures; 
  • Develop clear, inclusive, non-judgemental and non-stigmatizing communication in prevention and information strategies and actions. Communication strategies should incorporate the use of targeted channels and communities themselves that directly reach marginalized individuals. 
  • Be mindful of the negative impact of criminalisation, stigmatisation and other discrimination on population health.  
  • Improve data collection to inform equitable health efforts. Closely evaluate possible reasons why mpox cases are decreasing, understand the different factors of this development and identify successful measures to be able to answer with a strong public health response to future health emergencies. 



                                                                                                                Picture credits: Maurizio de Angelis/Science photo library