Economic Case Survey

Economic Case Study

EUFAMI’s Caring4Carers survey found that the majority of informal caregivers are women, caring for a son or daughter and spending an average of 22 hours a week in caregiving activities. The stress placed on informal caregivers can be significant. Approximately 40 percent report worrying about their own physical health, with nearly one third fearing that their role as a caregiver detrimentally impacts their physical health. The caregiver’s mental health may also be at risk: nearly one-in-three feel depressed. In addition to health stress comes financial stress and social isolation. This culminates in a sizable time investment, equivalent to a job, however often without adequate support structures.

The Economic Case for Caring is a project which builds on our Caring4Carers survey by looking at how 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.

EUFAMI, in collaboration with The London School of Economics, is looking to obtain credible evidence on the economic contribution of family/informal carers of persons with severe mental ill health (in particular schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression) in order to have compelling evidence to share with policy makers at European and national levels to encourage investment in caring 4 carers, i.e. investment in policies and services which support family/informal carers, and strengthen joint advocacy activities EUFAMI undertakes with other NGOs.

As part of this project research surveys will be carried out in 8 countries (Canada, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Spain and the United Kingdom).  The surveys have been commissioned and are 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 the surveys.

If you would like to complete one of the Surveys, please click on the icon showing your country flag:

Questions related to this project can be addressed to Margaret Walker, EUFAMI Executive Director, at

EUFAMI is grateful to Ferrer Internacional S.A., Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Lundbeck A/S and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Europe Ltd for grants received in order to enable EUFAMI to carry out this important work in collaboration with the London School of Economics.

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Interactive playbook launched to help support carers of people with schizophrenia

EUFAMI is excited to launch the ‘Schizophrenia – Carer Playbook’, a project supported by Janssen Pharmaceutica NV to provide guidance and advice to carers of those living with schizophrenia, helping them to navigate the struggles they may face. We understand and appreciate that being a carer is often far from easy, and can feel overwhelming at times. The internet provides a lot of information, and whilst this is good, the sheer volume available can be confusing and not all of it is reliable. In response to this, we decided to develop the ‘Schizophrenia – Carer Playbook’.

The content of this interactive PDF has been informed from the experiences of patients, carers and healthcare professionals, to offer tips and tricks covering a variety of topics. The playbook itself focuses around four patient/carer stories; we follow Marie, Álvaro, Klaus and Anna, as they share their experiences of preparing for appointments, deciding on treatment options, looking after their own wellbeing and tackling the stigma which is unfortunately so prevalent around schizophrenia.

At EUFAMI, we want to empower carers, giving them the tools they need to make the positive and profound impact they have on the person they care for, day in and day out. While schizophrenia is a chronic and long-lasting illness, we know that it is possible to live a good and fulfilling life with proper treatment and management. The role of carers is critical; with nine out of ten involved in reminding the people they care for to take their medication, over half making treatment decisions, and half regularly helping with the more practical parts of life, such as transportation and providing meals.

Research tells us that the health and wellbeing of carers can be negatively impacted by their role as a carer, however it doesn’t have to be this way. Knowing your limits and setting boundaries is key to stay well, and we hope that the advice contained within the playbook will help with this.

It is our hope that through the ‘Schizophrenia – Carer Playbook’, we can support those caring for the 21 million people worldwide who face schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia – Carer Playbook

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About us 1

EUFAMI was founded in 1992 after a congress, which took place in 1990 in De Haan, Belgium, where carers from all over Europe shared their experiences of helplessness and frustration when living with severe mental illness. They resolved to work together to help both themselves and the people they cared for.

EUFAMI is a democratic organisation, registered in Belgium as an international non-profit organisation. We have an ongoing commitment to improving care and welfare for people affected by mental ill health. We also enable our member organisations to act jointly at a European Level, combining their efforts and sharing experience.


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World Mental Health Day 2018 – Young People and Mental Health In a Changing World

Caring for a young person when they are affected by mental ill health in their late teens or early twenties carries with it some specific worries.

Will they be able to finish their education? How will their financial position be affected? Will they find it difficult to form healthy relationships? What will happen when I am too old to care for them?

Leaving school, leaving home, starting university and entering the world of work are major life changes which could trigger mental ill health in young people.

More than 75% of the caregivers who took part in our Caring4Carers survey were looking after their son or daughter.

Meanwhile, young carers are too often hidden, forgotten and ignored.

There is a huge risk that young people caring for a relative with mental ill health could become ill themselves.

We believe young carers must be given special attention because support has been found to dramatically improve their lives.

Supporting carers of young people, and strengthening their position is a key part of our mission at EUFAMI.

We are pleased to support World Mental Health Day 2018, which is highlighting young people and mental health in a changing world.

More information on this year’s theme can be found here:

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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” ( – 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 ( ).

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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