EUFAMI’s Prospect Training Programmes

The European Federation of Families of People with Mental Illness (EUFAMI) is an international non-profit organisation which represents all family members of persons affected by severe mental ill health at European level so that their rights and interests are recognised and protected.

The Prospect Training programmes were originally developed in a project lasting 3 years between 2001 and 2004. The project successfully obtained funding obtained from the European Commission under the Leonardo da Vinci programme and from an educational grant from Eli Lilly and Company.

EUFAMI managed and coordinated the project with 14 member organisations and the project produced 3 training programmes and a common ground module for:

  • Family and Friends
  • Health Care Professionals
  • People with Self-Experience

The Prospect Training Programmes are considered unique because they are not based on “information giving” rather on the participants’ own personal experiences. The facilitators have first-hand experience from the group they facilitate. It is for example a family carer who facilitates the Prospect Family and Friends training programme. This peer to peer communication encourages the participants to share their own experiences in order to open up to new ways of thinking and perspectives. Prospect does not provide the answers but looks at the possible solutions.  By way of a structured group process, the participants are presented with ideas based on models of best practice and interactive exercises.

The global philosophy of the Prospect Training Programmes is to break the cycle of social isolation, limitation and discrimination and enable participants to embark upon their own a path towards “recovery”.

Since 2006 the Prospect Training Programmes have continued to be provided in various EUFAMI member countries. In 2019 EUFAMI successfully developed a new partnership with the Janssen EMEA Fund (Johnson & Johnson Foundation) which has enabled EUFAMI to work with the active Prospect members and update the Family and Friends Training Programme.

There are six EUFAMI member organisations taking part in the updating process:

FinFami Mielenterveysomaisten keskusliitto ry (Finland)
SALUD MENTAL ESPAÑA Confederación Salud Mental España (Spain)
Schizofreniförbundet Schizophrenia Association (Sweden)
ŠENT Slovensko Združenje  za Duševno Zdravje (Slovenia)
SYMPATHEA Celonárodní Organizace P?íbuzných Duševn? Nemocných (Czech Republic)
UNAFAM Union Nationale de Familles et Amis de Personnes Malades et/ou handicapées psychiques (France)

In March 2020, a Kick-Off Event was planned for the Prospect Plus Project.

Due to the Covid19 pandemic, this meeting could not take place face to face as was originally planned. The meeting adapted to the new circumstances and was held online.

There was initial reluctance to the idea of using an online virtual meeting platform as this was first-time experience for nearly all the participants. However, after daily sessions, spread over 3 days, the meeting proved to be very successful and created an initial concept for the updating process of the EUFAMI Family and Friends Prospect Training Programme.

Since the “Kick Off Event” there have now been a total 11 virtual online project meetings. A concept version of the updated training programme has been produced and is being now tested in the various project partner countries.

Once all the National Test Training Sessions have taken place and all evaluative feedback has been collected. The Project Partners will take part in an Evaluation Event where the updated version will be finalised. The Evaluation Event will take place in the first quarter of 2021.The platform for this meeting, due to the Covid19 measures and restrictions, has not yet been decided.

Once the updated version of the Prospect Family & Friends Training Programme is finalised, EUFAMI aims to continue the updating process for the:

  • Prospect Health Care Professionals Training Programme
  • Prospect People with Self-Experience Training Programme
  • and the Prospect Common Ground Module

During this process EUFAMI intends to continue providing a central coordination and management basis to raise the profile of Prospect activities in Europe and to:

  • Provide the EUFAMI Prospect Members with the support they need to continue organising Prospect in their countries
  • support new EUFAMI Members to organise the Prospect Training Programmes in their Countries – especially in east and central Europe.
  • Enable and provide the EUFAMI Prospect Facilitators with the opportunity to be able to access continued support and training