Our Projects

European Awareness Campaign
Connecting Sport & Physical Activity with Mental Health

ΜENS Project

«Life is like a bike. To keep your balance, you have to keep moving»: Albert Einstein combines in one sentence the laws of Physics with a life attitude. Another source of inspiration for the holistic approach of Mental Health through an active living, through the use of the positive effect that sport and physical exercise have on our daily mood and mental balance.

A link that aims to establish the five-month European Campaign “Life is like a bike” (February-June 2018) and will be held in parallel in 12 European countries, as the main goal of the MENS Project, the European project, which is co-funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus + program. MENS project is implemented with the involvement of 17 organizations, from 12 EU Member States, active in the field of mental health and / or sports and physical exercise.

The main objective of the MENS project, the coordinator of which is the organization “Social Cooperative Activities of Vulnerable Groups – EDRA” (www.edra-coop.gr) – is the establishment of the European Network of Active Living for Mental Health (ENALMH) highlighting the crucial meaning of the link between Physical Exercise and Sports for the prevention, the treatment and the rehabilitation in the field of Mental Health.

Campaign Material

Final Conference Material

Final Conference Minutes

The present volume is the final deliverable of the MENS project that includes the Minutes of the Final Conference which took place in Athens in June 14-15, 2018. For the policy papers a specific volume is published, including the 12 Policy Papers covering different aspects of the connection of Sport and Physical Activities with Mental Health.

Thus, in this booklet you will find the following selected materials of the Conference:

  • The detailed agenda of the Conference
  • The opening speech by the MENS Project Manager presenting the vision of the project and the overall initiative on the connection of Sport and Physical Activities with Mental Health.
  • An outline presentation of the MENS Project where a detailed description of the project development, the project aims and outcomes are provided.
  • A condensed presentation of the Research conducted during 2017 in 12 countries to collect data on the situation and connection between Sport and Physical Activity and Mental health field, throughout organizations and individuals across Europe, in order to prepare the Ground for the European Awareness Campaign that followed the next year.
  • The “Life is Like a bike” Awareness campaign
  • The Statutes of the European Network of Active Living for Mental Health (ENALMH) which is seated in Brussels, Belgium after its establishment on February 1st.

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The EU Compass for Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing

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Wahnsinn um drei Ecken (Madness around three corners)

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MENS Campaign – Life is a Bike!

The MENS Project – European Project on Sports and Mental Health has produced a video to encourage people to be more active in sports. An extensive survey (click here for the Executive Summary) carried out in the twelve countries that form partners of the MENS project clearly illustrated that physical exercise significantly contributes to mental health. The video is part of a campaign called “Life is like a bike – keep balance, keep moving!). The video in English can be viewed here. Click here to view the Press Release.

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Mental health sports event kicks off in Athens

The 1st Transnational Meeting of the European Project “EUROPEAN VOLUNTEER EVENTS for THERAPY through SPORTS”(EVENTS Project) took place on 23 & 24 November 2017, with the participation of 17 European Mental Health organisations from 14 countries (EUFAMI BE, First Fortnight IE, COOS Marche IT, OZARA SI, SPORIUM TR, CESIE Org IT, University of Kent UK, SSOI Rijeka CR, Fundacion Intras ES, Merseyside Expanding Horizons UK, ASOK LI, FOKUS Prague CZ, Red Cross Munich DE, Nadja Center Foundation BG, UNAFAM FR, Villa Montesca IT, ANARP PT). Greek Mental Health organisations were also involved.

The 1st European Sport & Physical Exercise Event for Mental Health, which is going to be held with the support of the Attica Region and the Municipality of Galatsi, is the culmination of the new strategy that highlights the independent and specialized approach of Physical Exercise and Sport as a critical and effective factor for a holistic intervention in the field of Mental Health. The “Social Cooperative Activities for Minority Groups – K.S.D.E.O. – EDRA” is the Project Coordinator.  It is an organization that has been taking action in the field of Mental Health since 2001 (www.edra-coop.gr ).

The first day of the meeting was hosted by the Kamini Cultural Center of Galatsi Municipality, where the General Secretary of the Municipality of Galatsi, Evangelos Kyriazopoulos, and ENALMH Vice-President, Alexandros Economou, referred to  the context of the association of their organisations with the objectives and the implementation of the EVENTS Project. In addition, all the participants visited Alssos Veikou, as the first 2 days of the 1st European Sport Event for Mental Health (7 & 8 September 2018) will be hosted at its premises. The completion of the three-day program and the closing ceremony (9/9/18) will take place at the Pedion Areos Park, with the support of the Attica Region.

The second day of the meeting, at Stanley Hotel Conference Hall, was devoted to the project’s communication strategy and the EVENTS connection with the European Awareness Campaign – starting in January 2018 – for a movement promoting an active lifestyle, sport for all, sport for the soul.

                        

 

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Commission diagnoses the state of health in the EU

Only by rethinking our health systems can we ensure that they remain fit-for-purpose and provide patient-centred care. This is what the 28 Country Health Profiles published on 23 November by the Commission, along with the Companion Report suggest. The reports provide an in-depth analysis of EU Member States’ health systems. They look at the health of the population and important risk factors, as well as at the effectiveness, accessibility and resilience of health systems in each EU member state. The reports clearly reflect shared objectives across the member states, and reveal potential areas where the Commission can encourage mutual learning and exchange of good practices.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “Spending only 3% of our health budgets on prevention, compared with 80% on the treatment of diseases, is simply not enough. We need better access to primary care so that the emergency room isn’t people’s first port of call. And we need to enshrine health promotion and disease prevention into all policy sectors to improve people’s health and reduce pressure on health systems. These are just a few of the diagnoses coming out from our 2017 State of Health in the EU report. By offering comprehensive data and insights, we aim to support national health authorities in tackling the challenges and in making the right policy and investment choices. I hope they will make good use of it.”

A lack of context-sensitive, comprehensive analysis has long been identified as a major obstacle for health policy makers. To fill this knowledge gap, this month the Commission completed the first two-year cycle of the State of Health in the EU.

Key findings

The Country Health Profiles were prepared in cooperation with the OECD and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. Five cross-cutting conclusions come forward in the Companion Report:

Health promotion and disease prevention pave the way for a more effective and efficient health system. Aside from the unbalanced investments in prevention, social inequalities need to be tackled, as illustrated by the differences in cancer screening or physical activity between people with higher and lower income and education.

Strong primary care efficiently guides patients through the health system and helps avoid wasteful spending. 27% visit an emergency department because of inadequate primary care. Only 14 EU countries require primary care referral for consulting a specialist; 9 other countries have financial incentives for referrals.

Integrated care ensures that a patient receives joined-up care. It avoids the situation we currently see in nearly all EU countries, where care is fragmented and patients have to search their way through a maze of care facilities.

Proactive health workforce planning and forecasting make health systems resilient to future evolutions. The EU has 18 million healthcare professionals, and another 1.8 million jobs will be created by 2025. Health authorities need to prepare their workforce for upcoming changes: an ageing population and multimorbidity, the need for sound recruitment policies, new skills, and technical innovation.

Patients should be at the centre of the next generation of better health data for policy and practice. The digital transformation of health and care helps capture real-world outcomes and experiences that matter to patients, with great potential for strengthening the effectiveness of health systems.

Next steps

Following the presentation to Health Ministries of all EU countries, national authorities can further discuss these reports with the experts of the OECD and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. The voluntary exchanges will be able to take place from the beginning of 2018 and help Ministries to better understand the main challenges and develop the appropriate policy responses.

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EUFAMI President Miia Männikkö marks 25th anniversary celebration

EUFAMI President Miia Männikkö speech (EUFAMI’s 25th  anniversary celebration)

PsycArt Gallery, 30 November 2017

“It is with great pleasure that I welcome you as EUFAMI’s President at this special moment in our history.

This year marks 25 years since EUFAMI was founded in 1992 with the aim of bringing together mental health and family carer associations from across Europe.

Today, we have 37 members in 23 countries.

Many representatives of those associations are here tonight, so thank you for your support.

We also have artists from 17 countries, not only from Europe but also from Israel and Alaska.

Some are here in person, such as Paolo Merloni, Caroline Rouques, the Artame gallery (who travelled from France), Anthony Fisher (from the UK), the Levy family (from Israel), Tamar Levi (from Alaska) and several artists from Belgium, including Sven (unik-id) who will be performing tonight.

Thank you for your generous donations and sharing your stories with us.

We’d also like to give special thanks to EUFAMI’s 91-year-old founding mother Gusta Frooninckx who unfortunately cannot be with us tonight.

She is a tireless campaigner for mental health and family carers… as well as an accomplished painter.

Her work – Wisteria in Yellow – is here tonight.  Thank you Gusta for your passion and drive.  Without you none of this would be possible.

The theme of tonight’s event is ‘Home’ which is very symbolic for us.  Over the past 25 years we have been campaigning for the process of deinstitutionalisation, which basically means getting people with mental ill health out of anonymous and dispiriting care homes and back into community-based care close to friends and family.

We have succeeded in that mission with deinstitutionalisation becoming the thrust of conversation across Europe, but more needs to be done to ensure that family carers get the support they need with greater work-life balance, better mobile services and financial assistance.  Let’s work together to make that a reality…

Finally, I would like to remind everyone that all the works here have been kindly donated by the artists to EUFAMI and are for sale.

The prices range from as little as 50 euros so please enquire with staff to see if you can bring an artwork to the office or home with you.

Thank you for supporting our cause and celebrating our 25th anniversary with us.”

PLEASE SEE ALL ARTWORKS HERE

PRESS RELEASE

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Tomáš Zdechovský MEP congratulates EUFAMI on 25th anniversary celebrations

We’re delighted to share with you a video sent by Tomáš Zdechovský MEP to mark our 25th anniversary art exhibition on the theme of ‘Home’ that opened in Brussels on 30 November at the PsycArt Gallery .

Please see audio script below.

Tomáš Zdechovský, Member of European Parliament congratulates…

We're delighted to share with you a video sent by Tomáš Zdechovský v Evropském parlamentu to mark our 25th anniversary art exhibition opening in #Brussels. Thank you for taking time out to listen to the needs of family carers of people with mental ill health. #mentalhealth

Geplaatst door EUFAMI op donderdag 7 december 2017

 

Topic:  EUFAMI 25th anniversary art exhibition opening on 30 November at the PsycArt Gallery in Brussels at 7pm (Rue Thiéfry 51-53 – 1030 Schaerbeek)

Congratulations EUFAMI for hosting this incredible event to celebrate your 25th  anniversary.I believe that art is a brilliant way to open up the conversation on mental health.

It’s fantastic to see so many artists from across Europe taking part, including from the Czech Republic.

We all know someone suffering from mental distress, probably even someone close to us. That person needs to know they are not alone.

According to the World Health Organisation, one in four people in the world will be affected by mental illness at some point in their lives.

This is not a statistic we can ignore.

We need to build a society that takes mental health as seriously as physical health, which includes the rights of informal carers.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for the excellent work you are doing to break the stigma on mental health and wish you continued success in the years ahead.”

Contact:   communications@eufami.org

 

 

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