Background: The relationship between mental health problems and employment is receiving growing attention across Europe as the cost of lost productivity is appreciated. Aims: This paper reports on the preliminary collection of data on employment of people with mental health problems and related economic issues in 17 countries participating in the Mental Health Economics European Network (MHEEN). Method: A questionnaire was developed with the Network partners and statistical and narrative data collected. These local and national level data were examined for patterns and trends. Results: Across Europe, the impact of mental health problems on lost productivity is substantial and growing. A range of policies have been developed to address this challenge, covering the spectrum of issues from workplace interventions promoting positive mental health to anti-discrimination laws to enable participation in the workforce. Conclusions: While much is being done, data and information on best practice across Europe are scarce. There is a need to share and collect this information to facilitate the sharing of best practice in Europe. Declaration of interest: The Mental Health Economics European Network Phase I was supported by a grant (SPC.2002397) from the European Commission, Health and Consumer Protection Directorate. There are no conflicts of interest.