GAMIAN was founded in VENICE, in March
1997 by 12 Advocacy Groups or Associations whose activity was and
still is dedicated to helping and sustaining those who suffer from
Chapter Members were: Fondazione IDEA, Freedom from Fear,
Equilibrium, Club D&A, France Depression, Depression Alliance,
Hieronimus, OCD Foundation, National DMDA, Ananke, Obsessive Action,
Manic Depressive Fellowship-Wales.
During this meeting a Steering Committee (Carla Stanek Zen, Mary
Guardino (Chair), Paolo Lucio Morselli, J.P. Kummer, Rodney Elgie,)
was appointed with the aims of defining the by laws and the statute
of the organisation. GAMIAN members met again in VIENNA, in
September 97, where other Associations or Groups joined the
Following a meeting of the Steering committee in New York (USA) on
January 1998 the organisation was registered by Mary Guardino in the
State of New-York as GAMIAN Inc. in the same month.
On May 1998 the delegates of 5 European Advocacy Associations,
Charter Members of GAMIAN: P.L. Morselli (Fondazione IDEA); Rodney
Elgie (Depression Alliance); Dominique Attar-Levi, (France
Depression); Carla Stanek Zen (Club D&A); P. Kummer (Equilibrium)
who did not share the approach, the philosophy, the purposes and the
programs and the management of GAMIAN Inc. withdrew from
GAMIAN-Inc., and met in Paris where they founded GAMIAN-Europe.
In July 1998, GAMIAN-Europe was registered in ZUG, Switzerland.
MaryLou Selo (Equilibrium) was elected chair of the Steering
Committee composed by Carla Stanek Zen, Rodney Elgie, J.P. Kummer
and Paolo Lucio Morselli.
On October 1998 a first meeting of GAMIAN-Europe members took place
in Paris, in occasion of the ECNP meeting, where GAMIAN-Europe
organized a Symposium on “What the patients think”. During this
mini-convention other organisations joined GAMIAN-Europe.
In 2000, following the withdrawal of Equilibrium, and a process of
registration was initiated in Belgium.
In 2002 the Statutes of GAMIAN-Europe were, finally, approved in
Brussels, Belgium, by a Royal Decree of November 14, 2002. The Royal
Decree that gives juridical personality to GAMIAN-Europe, has been
published in the Moniteur Belge on January 15, 2003. Between 2006
and 2009 the statutes were reviewed and adapted to the new Belgian
legislation on International organizations. The actual statutes
were published in the Moniteur Belge of 11th august 2009.
From a network that was confined mainly to organisations operating
within the field of mood disorders, we have now developed a network
that includes all aspects of mental disorders and this permits
GAMIAN-Europe to present itself as a true Pan-European Advocacy
organisation operating across the whole spectrum of Mental
The success of the "GAMIAN-Europe/BEAM Survey”; (two reports have
been published in the prestigious International J. of Bipolar
Disorders) and of the “Training courses for Self-Help Groups
Leaders” in Moscow, coupled with the increasing attendance at our
annual Conventions underline the impact that GAMIAN-Europe is having
on the European scene.
Several of our Officers have been elected to the Boards of other
prestigious European Organisations (European Patients Forum,
European Brain Council, EFNA, etc.) and GAMIAN-Europe has also
become an “Affiliated Member” of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA)
, of the International Society of Bipolar Disorder (ISBD) and of the
International Society of Affective Disorders (ISAD).
Today we unite more than 80 member organisations from more than 30
European states, as well as Africa, North America and South America.
We also have many Individual members.
During the last years GAMIAN-Europe, through its membership, has
held more than 2300 public lectures, conferences and meetings on
topics related to mental disorders for patients, families and the
general public. We also collaborated with the media participating in
more than 750 TV programs and almost 2000 radio broadcasts. Over
3000 articles have been published, and 84 books were edited in
different languages. More than 400.000 information leaflets have
been distributed all over Europe.
In addition, 87 videocassettes, 95 audiocassettes and 10 films have