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.”



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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.”




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Over 100 people turn out to celebrate family carers with arts exhibition

EUFAMI celebrated its 25th anniversary between 30 November and 9 December with an arts exhibition for better mental health around the theme of ‘Home’ at the PsycArt gallery.  In total, over 100 turned out to celebrate the opening event and show their support for family carers.

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European artists descend on Brussels for mental health arts exhibition


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EUFAMI ‘Home’ exhibition brief

EUFAMI is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion we are organising an art exhibition to promote better mental health.  A total of 25 artists from across Europe are being selected by EUFAMI members and partners and curated by an independent panel, for an exhibition at PsycArt’s ‘Espace 51’ gallery in Brussels, opening on 30 November 2017 under the theme of ‘HOME’.

 What is EUFAMI?

 EUFAMI is the European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness.  Our mission is to represent all family members of persons affected by severe mental ill health at European level so that their rights and interests are recognised and protected.

 Why the theme ‘Home’?

 We believe that ‘Home is where the heart is’, not only a physical place of bricks and mortar, but also an environment where we feel comfortable and accepted, among people who have our best interests at heart.   Over the past 25 years, we have been constantly lobbying at an EU-level for a process of ‘deinstitutionalisation’, which involves getting people out of care facilities and hospices and back within the family and larger community.  We believe that this process should be accompanied by measures to support family and informal carers so they can have access to the kind of services and financial support they need to adequately care for a loved-one.

What artists are participating?

 Artists from across Europe, including the following:

Gaston Wuestenberg, Belgium

Gill Levy, Israel

Kalle  Becker, Germany

Anthony  Fisher, UK

Denisa Hrbáňová, Slovakia

Dolly Sen, UK

Lorenzo Ludi, Italy

Gusta Frooninckx, Belgium

Lisa Urban, Germany

 More will be published soon but you can get a complete picture with our  interactive map.

Can I participate?

 The short answer is ‘yes!’  The only thing that we encourage is a genuine interest in mental health.  You do not need to have first-hand experience of mental ill health to take part.

 What are artists set to gain from this?

 It is important to note that we expect artists to DONATE work to this exhibition.  We believe they will benefit from the following:


Your work will have the potential to be viewed by thousands of people across Europe.  The EUFAMI “HOME” exhibition is expected to attract high profile figures from the European Parliament, the Commission, NGOs, pharmaceuticals and the cultural field.  It is an excellent opportunity to build contacts and attract potential clients.  35 EUFAMI Member Associations from 22 countries are taking part allowing artists the opportunity to have their works viewed by a Europe-wide audience. The art work will also be promoted on EUFAMI’s and partners’ social media platforms. We’re hoping this exhibition will be a chance to put new artists on the map.


We have been receiving artworks from dozens of people across Europe from prominent artists and amateurs with an interest in mental health.  Some contributors have also taken the opportunity to share their own personal mental health story with like-minded people.  We believe a creative setting is the best way to get the conversation started on mental health and how to build a society that is better adapted. Only by telling the story of mental ill health (schizophrenia, depression, ADHD, OCD etc.), will society begin to accommodate and be more accepting of their needs.


By donating your artwork, EUFAMI will be able to raise funds to continue to advocate in the interests of people with mental ill health and their carers.

Who is responsible?

 The event is being run by EUFAMI Secretary General Aagje Ieven with the assistance of Paul Nolan (Communications Officer), Paulina Gono (EUFAMI’s events and fundraising intern), Rita Geerts (Administrator).  EUFAMI is working in collaboration with PsycArt’s curator Françoise Rolain.  Find out more about our staff.

Where is the art event being held?


Espace 51 Gallery

Rue thiéfrystraat 51-53

1030 Schaerbeeck

Tel: +32 474 54 01 38


When do I need to be there?

The opening event will be on the 30 November at 7PM.  Sign up HERE


Where do I send my work?

EUFAMI’s offices:

Diestsevest 100

B-3000 Leuven



 What info do I need to include?

 Name of artist / Name of artwork(s) / Date produced / Recommended price of the artwork(s) / Nationality / Country of residence / Website (if available) / Short bio


Please feel free to ask any other questions by sending an email to:










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Vacancy: Executive Director EUFAMI

EUFAMI wishes to invite applications for the post of:

Executive Director

To lead the organisation into its next phase of development, expanding and supporting its membership, deepening its influence in the field of mental health policy and building on its reputation as the advocate of family caregivers. This post is full time offered as a 2 year fixed term contract. Salary is negotiable and dependent on experience.

Role and responsibilities:

  • Reporting to the President, implement EUFAMI’s agreed Strategic Plan
  • Develop lasting financial stability through innovative and credible methods
  • Manage programme and project activities
  • Manage finance and human resources
  • Represent EUFAMI externally

The successful Candidate will demonstrate:

  • A successful track record in senior management in a comparable organisation
  • proven track record and expertise in fundraising and management of financial partnership with funders, both commercial and EU bodies/EU programmes
  • Good working knowledge and understanding of mental health issues and policies affecting European countries and organisations
  • Excellent all round communication skills and abilities, and management of partnerships with stakeholders
  • Ability to work effectively with a Board of Directors and President and with a network of member associations
  • Working Facility in two or more European languages (including English)

Please follow this link to view the advertisement, full brief, role description and person specification:

The application process will require submission of a full Curriculum Vitae; together with a statement as to how you would approach the role and the specific professional and personal attributes you would bring to it.

The closing date for applications is Monday 20 November 2017.

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Our tips for improving mental health at work

We have devised a series of tips aimed at improving mental health in the workplace to mark World Mental Health Day on 10 October, 2017.  The theme of this year’s awareness day precisely focuses on attitudes in the workplace towards mental health.

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EUFAMI to hold art exhibition

EUFAMI is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion we are organising an art exhibition to promote better mental health.  A total of 25 artists from across Europe are being selected by EUFAMI members and partners and curated by an independent panel, for an exhibition at PsycArt’s ‘Espace 51’ gallery in Brussels, opening on  30 November 2017 under the theme of ‘HOME’.  

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Mental health progress in central and eastern Europe is mostly ‘cosmetic’, says Lancet Psychiatry paper

Mental health progress in central and eastern over the past quarter of a century has shifted towards a greater emphasis on the  social aspects of mental health, but those changes may only be “cosmetic”, says a recently published Lancet Psychiatry review.  The study looks at 23 central and eastern European countries  (CEE), including Russia, containing approximately 342 million people.

Progress, it states, has been patchy due to insecurity in the region, citing civil unrest in former Yugoslavia, as well as natural disasters such as the earthquake in Armenia. Successful community projects, facilities, and services do exist in the region, it says, but were mostly developed by “enthusiastic individuals” and organisations with the support of international bodies rather than national governments.  The vast majority of health care in the region, it reiterates, remains centralised and based around (poorly resourced) psychiatric hospitals.

Experts from Bulgaria, for instance, reported that the mental health system has deteriorated.

“Therapeutic farms—a form of agriculturally oriented occupational therapy attached to psychiatric hospitals that existed before 1990—were abolished completely, and the system as a whole has been affected by frequent and chaotic changes in policies and financing, which are characterised by a general lack of interest in mental health care and underfunding.”

Total resources allocated to mental health are estimated to be around 3%  in most CEE countries, far below the 7% average in EU countries that were not part of the former eastern bloc.

For all the findings please consult the original Lancet Psychiatry paper.




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