GAMIAN-Europe calls for concrete action to empower those affected by mental ill health

Empowering people affected by mental ill health is beneficial to individuals and their carers. It is also crucial for developing more patient centered, efficient and cost-effective health systems.

This is the key message of a comprehensive Call to Action launched by GAMIAN-Europe today.
The Call, developed with the direct input from a variety of leading EU-level and national (mental) health stakeholders, addresses what can be undertaken concretely to overcome the current pervasive disempowering attitudes and behaviours towards people affected by mental ill health.

GAMIAN-Europe, a patient-driven organisation advocating the rights of those affected by mental ill health, developed this Call as one of its priorities as the huge prevalence and impact of mental health conditions cannot be overlooked: 11 % of the European population experience mental disorders every year. The proportion of national health budgets devoted to mental health ranges between 4% to 13% across the EU.

Mental health conditions go hand in hand with substantial costs and consequences impacting on individuals, families and carers, health and social systems, the economy and society as a whole. As a consequence, there is an obvious need to address these conditions in the most effective and appropriate way. Empowered patients, managing their own care and treatment, can help address this need.

While the notion of and need for patient empowerment has gained ground for physical health conditions in recent years, this is not generally the case for those affected by mental ill health. Likewise, when it comes to physical health, patients are generally viewed as sufficiently competent to self-manage their treatment and care – as opposed to those affected by mental health problems. The Call therefore underlines that most people with mental ill health, most of the time, do have the competence to self-manage their treatment and care.

Clearly, perceptions and services should be changed to reflect the need for more empowerment and patient involvement in the field of mental health. The Call to Action urges the various different categories of stakeholders involved to take appropriate action to effect progress in their specific areas of expertise.

The Call to Action has already been endorsed by some 25 EU-level and national (mental) health-related organisations as well as by a number of MEPs. GAMIAN-Europe is now warmly inviting all interested organisations to also endorse the Call, as widespread support for its principles and recommendations will stimulate and facilitate implementation across the EU.

The Call to Action is available here: https://www.gamian.eu/wp-content/uploads/GAMIAN_Call_to_action_Final.pdf

Introduction of the Call and list of endorsers: https://www.gamian.eu/call-to-action-2609/

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Joint Election Statement


 

WE join forces to improve mental health – will YOU join US?

As patients, family members and healthcare professionals, we join forces to amplify the voice of the mental health sector and call on YOU to join us.

Good mental health is crucial for personal, social and economic development

Why:

  • Mental ill health affects more than one in six people across the European Union in any given year, with a total cost of over EUR 600 billion – or more than 4% of GDP – across the 28 EU countries (Health at a Glance, 2018).
  • Mental ill health can affect persons at any age and in a variety of forms (e.g. depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD…).
  • Mental ill health has costs and consequences that impact individuals, families and carers, health and social systems, society and the economy.
  • Poor mental health is consistently associated with unemployment, less education, low income or standard of living, poor physical health, adverse life events, poor quality of life and stigma.
  • Social and economic inequality and exclusion are both a cause and a consequence of mental ill health.

 

Despite the above, mental health has been accorded relatively low priority. There is an urgent need for better and wider understanding of mental health and for effective action.

 

WE join forces to improve mental health – will YOU join US?

Patients, families, family carers and health professionals have now joined forces to ensure that:

  • patients and their families are at the centre of all aspects of healthcare provision;
  • integrated and person-centred care and treatment is available, accessible, affordable, appropriate and of high quality, and that unmet needs are addressed;
  • awareness, knowledge and understanding of mental ill health is increased;
  • the rights of those affected by mental ill health are developed and enforced;
  • cooperation and communication between all stakeholders involved is strengthened;
  • mental health becomes a mainstream element in all EU policies with an impact on health;
  • patients, families, carers and health care professionals are pro-actively involved in EU and national policy and service development, including safe and digital health solutions;
  • the value and contribution of families and carers is recognised and taken account of in policy development (e.g. work/life balance) and future policy scenarios;
  • training in, education on and understanding of mental illness of (health) professionals is improved and harmonised.

Most importantly: as there is no health without mental health, we work towards ‘parity of esteem’: valuing mental health equally with physical health.

 

WE join forces to improve mental health – will YOU join US?

The MEP Alliance for Mental Health works towards these objectives;

We call on you to support its work and join today by clicking HERE

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Economic Case Spanish

Estudio de caso económico

This research survey has been commissioned and is being conducted by at EUFAMI, the European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness, Leuven, Belgium. The London School of Economics and Political Science, in London, UK are working with EUFAMI to analyse and summarise the findings from this survey.

Please read the information provided below carefully. If you have any questions or concerns at this point or in the future, please feel free to contact Margaret Walker, Executive Director at EUFAMI. Email: executive.director@eufami.org or by telephone: + 32 468 17 71 48

Purpose of survey

Unpaid (informal) care provided by family members and other unpaid carers is an important element of any mental health system, yet too often these contributions are not fully recognised or appreciated. Policymakers are unlikely to be aware of the extent of the cost if they had to replace all of this ‘informal’ care with formal mental health services and support.

The results of this survey will be used to help estimate all of the value to society of informal caring for people with mental health needs to inform national and local policymaking, strengthen public awareness of the contribution of informal carers and advocate for greater recognition of mental health carers and their support needs. To do this we are inviting you to participate in this online survey of your experiences of caring for a person with poor mental health.

Your participation

To be eligible to participate in the survey you should:

  1. Be 18 years or older;
  2. Care for someone aged 18 years or older;
  3. Care for someone with at least one severe mental health condition (other than dementia and learning difficulties). You do not have to be their main carer or live at the same address.
  4. Not be employed to provide your caring role (i.e. formally paid a wage for caring). You can still participate in the study if you receive a government benefit such as the Carer’s Allowance.

The survey should take no more than 20 minutes to complete and includes multiple choice and open-ended questions about you and the person you care for, your caring role, any support and services you receive, as well as the impact caring has had on your life. Please note that you do not have to finish the survey in one go; you can save your responses and come back to it at a later time. You can also go back and change any of your answers at any time until you submit the questionnaire, but once this is submitted it will no longer be possible to change your responses.

All responses will be downloaded onto a secure computer server. All information you provide will be treated in a confidential manner and will be kept securely by EUFAMI for up to 10 years. We are not asking for any personal identifiers such as your name or address in order that survey responses are anonymous and all identities protected. The information will only be shared by EUFAMI with researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in the UK so that they can use it in their research on the value of caring. It will also be securely stored by the LSE for up to 10 years. This will give EUFAMI and the LSE time to undertake further analysis and to publicise the results of the survey with decision makers and through academic publications.

Further information

For further information on this survey please go to the EUFAMI website http://eufami.org/ where there is a list of frequently asked questions. You can also anonymously post additional questions about the survey which EUFAMI will then respond to. If you are having technical issues with the online questionnaire – please follow this link to print a paper-based version of the document. This can be posted to EUFAMI, Diestsevest 100,B – 3000 Leuven, Belgium.  . If you want to find out about the final results of this study without any obligation to participate in the survey you can also subscribe to a mailing list: info@eufami.org. You will be notified when survey results are published in a report written by the LSE team and EUFAMI in 2019 as well as in other papers and reports.

This study has received ethical clearance from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Read more >

Economic Case French

Étude de cas économique

This research survey has been commissioned and is being conducted by at EUFAMI, the European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness, Leuven, Belgium. The London School of Economics and Political Science, in London, UK are working with EUFAMI to analyse and summarise the findings from this survey.

Please read the information provided below carefully. If you have any questions or concerns at this point or in the future, please feel free to contact Margaret Walker, Executive Director at EUFAMI. Email: executive.director@eufami.org or by telephone: + 32 468 17 71 48

Purpose of survey

Unpaid (informal) care provided by family members and other unpaid carers is an important element of any mental health system, yet too often these contributions are not fully recognised or appreciated. Policymakers are unlikely to be aware of the extent of the cost if they had to replace all of this ‘informal’ care with formal mental health services and support.

The results of this survey will be used to help estimate all of the value to society of informal caring for people with mental health needs to inform national and local policymaking, strengthen public awareness of the contribution of informal carers and advocate for greater recognition of mental health carers and their support needs. To do this we are inviting you to participate in this online survey of your experiences of caring for a person with poor mental health.

Your participation

To be eligible to participate in the survey you should:

  1. Be 18 years or older;
  2. Care for someone aged 18 years or older;
  3. Care for someone with at least one severe mental health condition (other than dementia and learning difficulties). You do not have to be their main carer or live at the same address.
  4. Not be employed to provide your caring role (i.e. formally paid a wage for caring). You can still participate in the study if you receive a government benefit such as the Carer’s Allowance.

The survey should take no more than 20 minutes to complete and includes multiple choice and open-ended questions about you and the person you care for, your caring role, any support and services you receive, as well as the impact caring has had on your life. Please note that you do not have to finish the survey in one go; you can save your responses and come back to it at a later time. You can also go back and change any of your answers at any time until you submit the questionnaire, but once this is submitted it will no longer be possible to change your responses.

All responses will be downloaded onto a secure computer server. All information you provide will be treated in a confidential manner and will be kept securely by EUFAMI for up to 10 years. We are not asking for any personal identifiers such as your name or address in order that survey responses are anonymous and all identities protected. The information will only be shared by EUFAMI with researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in the UK so that they can use it in their research on the value of caring. It will also be securely stored by the LSE for up to 10 years. This will give EUFAMI and the LSE time to undertake further analysis and to publicise the results of the survey with decision makers and through academic publications.

Further information

For further information on this survey please go to the EUFAMI website http://eufami.org/ where there is a list of frequently asked questions. You can also anonymously post additional questions about the survey which EUFAMI will then respond to. If you are having technical issues with the online questionnaire – please follow this link to print a paper-based version of the document. This can be posted to EUFAMI, Diestsevest 100,B – 3000 Leuven, Belgium.  . If you want to find out about the final results of this study without any obligation to participate in the survey you can also subscribe to a mailing list: info@eufami.org. You will be notified when survey results are published in a report written by the LSE team and EUFAMI in 2019 as well as in other papers and reports.

This study has received ethical clearance from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Read more >

Economic Case Survey

Economic Case Study

This research survey has been commissioned and is being conducted by at EUFAMI, the European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness, Leuven, Belgium. The London School of Economics and Political Science, in London, UK are working with EUFAMI to analyse and summarise the findings from this survey.

Please read the information provided below carefully. If you have any questions or concerns at this point or in the future, please feel free to contact Margaret Walker, Executive Director at EUFAMI. Email: executive.director@eufami.org or by telephone: + 32 468 17 71 48

Purpose of survey

Unpaid (informal) care provided by family members and other unpaid carers is an important element of any mental health system, yet too often these contributions are not fully recognised or appreciated. Policymakers are unlikely to be aware of the extent of the cost if they had to replace all of this ‘informal’ care with formal mental health services and support.

The results of this survey will be used to help estimate all of the value to society of informal caring for people with mental health needs to inform national and local policymaking, strengthen public awareness of the contribution of informal carers and advocate for greater recognition of mental health carers and their support needs. To do this we are inviting you to participate in this online survey of your experiences of caring for a person with poor mental health.

Your participation

To be eligible to participate in the survey you should:

  1. Be 18 years or older;
  2. Care for someone aged 18 years or older;
  3. Care for someone with at least one severe mental health condition (other than dementia and learning difficulties). You do not have to be their main carer or live at the same address.
  4. Not be employed to provide your caring role (i.e. formally paid a wage for caring). You can still participate in the study if you receive a government benefit such as the Carer’s Allowance.

The survey should take no more than 20 minutes to complete and includes multiple choice and open-ended questions about you and the person you care for, your caring role, any support and services you receive, as well as the impact caring has had on your life. Please note that you do not have to finish the survey in one go; you can save your responses and come back to it at a later time. You can also go back and change any of your answers at any time until you submit the questionnaire, but once this is submitted it will no longer be possible to change your responses.

All responses will be downloaded onto a secure computer server. All information you provide will be treated in a confidential manner and will be kept securely by EUFAMI for up to 10 years. We are not asking for any personal identifiers such as your name or address in order that survey responses are anonymous and all identities protected. The information will only be shared by EUFAMI with researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in the UK so that they can use it in their research on the value of caring. It will also be securely stored by the LSE for up to 10 years. This will give EUFAMI and the LSE time to undertake further analysis and to publicise the results of the survey with decision makers and through academic publications.

Further information

For further information on this survey please go to the EUFAMI website http://eufami.org/ where there is a list of frequently asked questions. You can also anonymously post additional questions about the survey which EUFAMI will then respond to. If you are having technical issues with the online questionnaire – please follow this link to print a paper-based version of the document. This can be posted to EUFAMI, Diestsevest 100,B – 3000 Leuven, Belgium.  . If you want to find out about the final results of this study without any obligation to participate in the survey you can also subscribe to a mailing list: info@eufami.org. You will be notified when survey results are published in a report written by the LSE team and EUFAMI in 2019 as well as in other papers and reports.

This study has received ethical clearance from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Read more >

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