EUFAMI will be virtually present at the upcoming ECNP congress

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GAMIAN-Europe calls for concrete action to empower those affected by mental ill health

Empowering people affected by mental ill health is beneficial to individuals and their carers. It is also crucial for developing more patient centered, efficient and cost-effective health systems.

This is the key message of a comprehensive Call to Action launched by GAMIAN-Europe today.
The Call, developed with the direct input from a variety of leading EU-level and national (mental) health stakeholders, addresses what can be undertaken concretely to overcome the current pervasive disempowering attitudes and behaviours towards people affected by mental ill health.

GAMIAN-Europe, a patient-driven organisation advocating the rights of those affected by mental ill health, developed this Call as one of its priorities as the huge prevalence and impact of mental health conditions cannot be overlooked: 11 % of the European population experience mental disorders every year. The proportion of national health budgets devoted to mental health ranges between 4% to 13% across the EU.

Mental health conditions go hand in hand with substantial costs and consequences impacting on individuals, families and carers, health and social systems, the economy and society as a whole. As a consequence, there is an obvious need to address these conditions in the most effective and appropriate way. Empowered patients, managing their own care and treatment, can help address this need.

While the notion of and need for patient empowerment has gained ground for physical health conditions in recent years, this is not generally the case for those affected by mental ill health. Likewise, when it comes to physical health, patients are generally viewed as sufficiently competent to self-manage their treatment and care – as opposed to those affected by mental health problems. The Call therefore underlines that most people with mental ill health, most of the time, do have the competence to self-manage their treatment and care.

Clearly, perceptions and services should be changed to reflect the need for more empowerment and patient involvement in the field of mental health. The Call to Action urges the various different categories of stakeholders involved to take appropriate action to effect progress in their specific areas of expertise.

The Call to Action has already been endorsed by some 25 EU-level and national (mental) health-related organisations as well as by a number of MEPs. GAMIAN-Europe is now warmly inviting all interested organisations to also endorse the Call, as widespread support for its principles and recommendations will stimulate and facilitate implementation across the EU.

The Call to Action is available here: https://www.gamian.eu/wp-content/uploads/GAMIAN_Call_to_action_Final.pdf

Introduction of the Call and list of endorsers: https://www.gamian.eu/call-to-action-2609/

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Vacancy – Executive Director

The challenges for families affected by Mental Health problems are and will continue to increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic which is sweeping across the world, putting extra burden on such families. EUFAMI’s ongoing commitment is to improve care and welfare for people affected by mental health issues. This means that EUFAMI’s operational environment must play a very significant role when countries and families are tackling these extra mental health challenges. It is evident that the work environment is and will change from now on. New and innovative ways of working are being implemented. These changes will bring new and different challenges for all employers and employees and EUFAMI will be no exception.

EUFAMI is looking for someone to lead the day to day operations at EUFAMI. This person, who should be a self-starter and innovator, will have the title of Executive Director and will 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.

Salary and work details will be mutually agreed between EUFAMI and the successful candidate and will be commensurate with the position and experience of the candidate. The Executive Director will report to the EUFAMI President.

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UPDATE Prospect Plus

The Kick-Off Event

In March 2020 the Prospect Plus Kick-Off Event took place.

Originally this would have been a face to face meeting in the Netherlands. However sadly, due to the current worldwide influence of the Coronavirus, this became impossible. The meeting was therefore held with the use of ZOOM online video conferencing.

This was a first-time experience for nearly all the participants. Although there was an initial reluctance to the idea of going ahead with the meeting online, after 3 days of various sessions, all the participants were positive about the experience and the progress achieved.

So who were the participants?

Finland, France and Spain have all developed in recent years new training content for the Prospect Family & Friends Training Programme. The virtual meeting therefore looked at both the feedback and comments collected on the original Prospect Training Programme content from all participants and also the newly developed training content.

The objective of the discussions was to

  • A create a concept version of the EUFAMI Family and Friends Prospect Plus Training Programme which will be tested is 4 pilot countries.

The outcome of the meeting was a 10-page document listing further suggestions, recommendations and best practice. The work has now begun on incorporating these into a draft concept version of the training programme.

At present there is a new virtual meeting planned later in this month of April. The Kick-Off participants will then look at the concept draft and agree if it is ready for testing.

In terms of testing, no plans can be made right now. We are all holding our breaths and hoping that this Coronavirus time will soon be over.

Once it is possible to test, collect feedback and evaluate, the aim is still to finalise a EUFAMI Prospect Plus Family and Friends Training Programme. In 2021, the plan is to continue the updating process and focus on the Common Ground Module, the People with Self-Experience and the Health and Social Care Professionals Training Programmes.

We hope that this update finds you all well!

If you would like to make any comments, suggestions of have further questions, please contact Gwen Crawford on the email:  projects@eufami.org

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Prospect Plus Programme – Press Release

Leuven, 31st October 2019

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, the European Federation of Families of People Affected by Mental Ill Health (EUFAMI) is pleased to announce the launch of a new partnership with the Janssen EMEA Fund (Johnson & Johnson Foundation) which will enable EUFAMI to work with its members in updating its Prospect peer to peer Training Programme.

The updated programme, to be relaunched as PROSPECT PLUS, will be used to train facilitators who will then be able to implement the training programme at national level. PROSPECT PLUS aims to provide families and friends with much-needed tools to enable them to gain confidence, improve their coping skills, regain control and improve their quality of life. As was the case with the original Prospect Training programme, PROSPECT PLUS will be subject to ongoing qualitative and quantitative evaluation.

EUFAMI President, Miia Männikkö, welcomed the new partnership saying “The PROSPECT Training programme is of key importance to families and family carers. For many years now EUFAMI has hoped to be able to bring the PROSPECT content and materials up to date, and to include new and innovative components so it can be a state-of-the-art educational programme. This will benefit many families and family carers around the world. EUFAMI is excited to be launching this new partnership with the Janssen EMEA Fund (Johnson & Johnson Foundation), and excited to be able to start work on PROSPECT PLUS”.

Representing the Janssen EMEA Fund, Antonio Delgado, said “Through the Janssen EMEA Fund, managed by the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, we develop initiatives and partnerships to strengthen health systems by supporting and championing the people on the frontlines who are at the heart of delivering care. Mental Health disorders are the leading cause of disability in the world and family members are the primary caregivers of persons with mental illness. We need a comprehensive and coordinated response to managing mental health in community-based settings and family carers must be recognized and supported to improve long-term care patients’ health outcomes. I am proud that we are now building on Johnson & Johnson’s 60 year legacy of innovation in Mental Health and working collaboratively with EUFAMI to support family caregivers in Mental Health”.

Notes:
About EUFAMI
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.
For more information please visit www.eufami.org

About the Janssen EMEA Fund and the Johnson & Johnson Foundation
The Janssen EMEA Fund represents Janssen’s commitment to work with the Johnson & Johnson Foundation to support Innovative solutions that improve health and well-being in underserved communities. The Johnson & Johnson Foundation supports and champions the people on the front lines who are at the heart of delivering care. Together with our partners, we focus on building and strengthening a robust primary care health workforce – made up of capable, confident and resilient nurses, midwives and community health workers (CHWs) – so that they can provide quality care to the communities they serve.
About Prospect and PROSPECT Plus
Prospect is an innovative European training initiative which opens up fresh perspectives for individuals with direct experience of mental ill health, whether it be people with self-experience, their family and friends or health and social care professionals.
The initiative has produced three training programmes for participants belonging to each of the above groups, and a Common Ground Module for participants from all three groups.
Prospect is a project developed by the European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness (EUFAMI) which was initially brought together with the input from sixteen partner organisations and representatives of people with mental ill health, family carers, health and social care professionals from twelve European countries.
PROSPECT Plus will, in its first phase, enable EUFAMI and its member organisations to work on updating the first module of the programme, the one dedicated to family and friends.

About World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day celebrates awareness for the global community in an empathetic way, with a unifying voice, helping those feel hopeful by empowering them to take action and to create lasting change. World Mental Health Day 2019 focuses on suicide prevention. For more information please visit https://wfmh.global/world-mental-health-day-2019/

Download full press release

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