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.”



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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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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: communications@eufami.org










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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: https://www.networxrecruitment.com/Jobs/Advert/1063514.

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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