Governance

EUFAMI is governed by its Board of Directors

 

Miia Männikkö, President, FINFAMI, Finland

Martine Frager-Berlet, Vice President, UNAFAM, France

Per Torell, Secretary, Schizofreniförbundet, Sweden

Bert Johnson, Treasurer, Rethink Mental Illness, UK

André Decraene, Officer, Similes VI, Belgium

Connie Magro, Officer, Mental Health Association, Malta

John Saunders, Officer, Shine, Ireland

Kenneth Lien Steen, Officer, Norway

Spyros Zorbas, Officer, Greece

 

NOTE:  Our Board of Directors are all non-remunerated volunteers.  Please consult our Code of Conduct for Board members.

 

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EUFAMI’S position on early intervention in psychosis

This statement reflects the views of families and friends of people with mental illness in the fundamental importance of early intervention in psychosis.

INTRODUCTION

Adolescence and early adulthood are a high-risk period for developing a mental illness.
Generally, young people between the age of 14 up to 30 years, who experience psychological disturbances, difficult functioning and distorted relations with family and friends, may display social withdrawal, lack of motivation and risk of loss of life opportunities.

The early phase of psychosis ( including the period of untreated illness), from the earliest signs to two years after a first psychotic episode, is a critical period influencing and affecting long-term biological, psychological and functional outcomes. A failure to intervene efficaciously in this fundamental period, has huge and significant negative consequences in terms of reduced capacity to reach the emotional, social and vocational potential of the young person, enormous stress and suffering for the family, as well as wider social and economic costs. Inadequate treatment after a first episode could result in a chronic condition.

In accordance to recent research, EUFAMI believes that Early Intervention in Psychosis, can significantly reduce the risk of further psychotic episodes and of suicide attempts during this critical period. This preventive approach, intervening assertively in the early stages of psychosis, alters the progress of the illness, shortens the duration of untreated psychosis and lowers the very high level of distress of the patient and his family.

People in the early stage of psychosis, are best treated by assertive Multi- Disciplinary Early Intervention Teams delivering psychological, psychosocial and pharmacological support.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • National governments should include the development and delivery of early intervention services in their public health priorities.
  • International organisations and policy-makers should continue to articulate the universal principles of Early Intervention in Psychosis and seek for a consensus document on the subject, adopting the principles of mental illness prevention and mental health promotion in their campaigns.
  • Families should be supported and trained during the early phase in order to promote health-seeking behaviors and reduce the delay in diagnosis and treatment initiation. Well-trained and knowledgeable families are in a unique position to be able to recognize emergent symptoms of psychosis and encourage early contact with medical services.Community Care services should should cooperate with General Practitioners ,services for Early prevention in Psychosis and families in order to be more effective . G P’s require more training in recognizing and treating early psychosis and in supporting families.
  • Evidence-based ‘Best Practices’ in E I P, which have proved to be cost-effective as well should be acknowledged as such.
  • Governments should raise the public awareness about the dangers of illegal drugs, alcohol, substance abuse and self-medication in their role as triggers.
  • Health Services should focus on the situation of parents and siblings of a mentally ill person. They too, go through periods of great stress, which must be taken into account in order to prevent the onset of a mental illness among them.
  • Persons who are responsible for the education of young people, such as teachers, school headmasters and sport coaches, should be informed about the risk factors of psychosis and its early signs. Information campaigns on psychosis and mental illness, should be given in Secondary Schools.

Educational programmes should be developed to promote and deliver, to the general public, increased levels of public awareness, in order to reduce stigma on mental illness, which often prevents young people from seeking help, and to prevent bullying at school and on social media.

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Members

EUFAMI Members are national and regional organisations that support family carers and people with mental illness throughout Europe.

EUFAMI has 35 members in 22 countries.

EUFAMI has members in 19 countries of the 28 member countries of the EU.

EUFAMI is a federation of 30 family associations and 5 other mental health associations.

 

 

ARAP – Associazione per la Reforma dell’Assistenza Psichiatrica (Italy)

Ariadne – Verband Ariadne – für die psychische Gesundheit aller (Italy)

BApK – Bundesverband der Angehörigen psychisch Kranker (Germany)

Bedre Psykiatri – Landforeningen Pårørende til Sindslidende(Denmark)

ENCONTRAR+SE – Association to Support People with Severe Mental Illness (Portugal)

SALUD MENTAL ESPANA -Confederación Salud Mental España (Spain)

FamiliarMente – Portuguese Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Ilness Experience (Portugal)

FinFami – Omaiset Mielenterveystyön Tukena Keskusliitto Ry (Finland)

HPE – Hilfe für Angehörige Psychisch Erkrankter (Austria)

HUMANA – Združenje Svojcev pri skrbi za Mentalno Zdravje (Slovenia)

KINAPSI – Siblings of People with Mental Health Problems (Greece)

KIPRODIPSA – Advocacy Group for the Mentally Ill (Cyprus)

LSPŽGB – Lietuvos Sutrikusios Psichikos Žmonių Globos Bendrija (Lithuania)

MHA – Mental Health Association (Malta)

MindWise – (N. Ireland)

New Choices (Russia)

OZMA – The National Forum of Families of People with Mental Illness (Israel)

Rethink – Mental Illness (England – UK)

Schizofreniförbundet (Sweden)

Shine – Supporting People Affected by Mental Ill Health (Ireland)

Similes Vl – Federatie van Vlaamse SIMILES kringen v.z.w. (Belgium)

SIND – Landsforeningen SIND (Denmark)

SOPSI Athens – Panhellenic Association of Families for Mental Health (Greece)

Stichting Labyrint~in Perspectief (Netherlands)

SYMPATHEA – Celonárodní Organizace Příbuzných Duševně Nemocných (Czech Republic)

UNAFAM – Union Nationale des Amis et Familles de Malades Mentaux (France)

UNASAM – Unione Nazionale delle Associazione per la Salute Mentale (Italy)

VASK – Vereinigung der Angehörigen von Schizophrenie-/ Psychisch Kranken (Switzerland)

Vereniging Ypsilon (Netherlands)

Affiliate member associations

HAFAL – for Recovery from Serious Mental Illness (Wales – UK)

EDRA – Services in the Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Sector (Greece)

METIS Europe asbl (Belgium)

OZARA – Nacionalno Združenje za kakovost Življenja (Slovenia)

ŠENT – Slovensko Združenje  za Duševno Zdravje (Slovenia)

 

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Our Mission

EUFAMI, currently registered and based in Belgium, is a not for profit Federation, comprising national and regional family organisations from across Europe.


Mission

EUFAMI’s mission is to represent all family members of persons affected by severe mental illness at European level so that their rights and interests are recognised and protected. 


Vision
EUFAMI’s vision is that every person affected by mental illness and their family members receives the understanding and support they need to participate in their community as he or she chooses, and shares in the social, economic and political rights of that community, without exclusion or discrimination.

 

Principles
The central role and rights of family members in the care and treatment of people with mental ill health should be fully acknowledged and provided for throughout Europe.

Family carers should be acknowledged as equal partners with professional staff and the person with mental ill health in decisions relating to the planning and delivery of treatment and care.

State mental health care should be adequate to enable family members of people with mental illness to make their choice without regard to any feelings of personal obligation.

Families and individual family members have a right to choose and define the role they are willing and able to play  This must include the right not to be involved directly with their relative’s care, or to be involved in planning services, campaigning and monitoring services.

Families should not be discriminated against or held responsible legally or financially for their family member directly affected by mental ill health.

People with mental illness should be cared for in an appropriate environment and provided with all necessary health and social services.

The needs of all family members for support and understanding should be recognised and fully provided for.

It is the human right of all people with mental illness and their families to share as fully as they can in the opportunities, enjoyments and responsibilities of everyday living.

Aims and objectives

To support member associations in their efforts to improve standards of treatment, care and quality of life of people with mental illness and their family carers and friends.

To engage in the development of family movements in countries where such movements are currently weak or do not exist.

To involve member associations closely with the development of EUFAMI activities.

 

To help member associations combine their efforts at regional and European levels and to reach out to promote the aims and objectives of families.

To deepen EUFAMI’s influence and enhance its reputation with key international bodies, clinical associations and healthcare professionals to ensure that the concerns of family carers are always fully recognised.

To lobby European policy makers to continue their efforts to improve mental health and social care services as a human right in each member state so that a more equitable situation will result across the continent.

To campaign for adequate resources to be provided for services and support for people with mental illness and their families.

To identify examples of good practice in the field of mental illness and communicate them appropriately throughout Europe.

To promote and, where appropriate, participate in research into the causes and management of mental illness and its treatment.

To engage in public awareness programmes and campaign for changes in public attitudes so as to help remove stigma and discrimination against people with mental illness and their family carers.

To develop and strengthen partnerships between EUFAMI and other organisations having purposes and objectives which are similar to those pursued by EUFAMI.

In all ways to defend the rights of people with mental illness and their families.

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