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.

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.

 

If your organisation wishes to endorse this Call to Action, please send an email to secretariat@gamian.eu or eu.liaison@gamian.eu

Members of the European Parliament endorsing the Call

  • Tomas Zdechovsky (CZ)
  • Nessa Childers (IRL)
  • Sirpa Pietikainen (FI)
  • Katerina Konecna (CZ)
  • Helga Stevens (UK)
  • Teresa Griffin (UK)
  • Marek Plura (PL)
  • Brando Benifei (IT)
  • Romana Tomc (SV)
  • Marian Harkin (IRL)
  • Julie Ward (UK)
  • Jose Inacio Faria (PT)
  • Francesc Gambús (ES)

Organisations endorsing our Call to Action

EU-level organisations:

  • European Patients’ Forum (EPF)
  • Council of Occupational Therapists for European Countries (COTEC)
  • Eurocarers
  • European Brain Council (EBC)
  • European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA)
  • ADHD-Europe
  • European Association for Clinical Psychologists and Psychological Treatment (EACLIPT)
  • WHO Collaborating Centre
  • European Psychiatric Association (EPA)
  • European Multiple Sclerosis Platform (EMSP)
  • European Specialist Nurses Organisations (ESNO)
  • European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA)
  • Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME)
  • Health First Europe (HFE)
  • European Men’s Health Forum (EMHF)
  • European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP)
  • Expert Platform on Mental Health focus on Depression (EPD)
  • European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness (EUFAMI)
  • European Forum for Primary Care (EFPC)

 

National organisations:

  • Ups & Downs (Belgium)
  • Kolumbus (Czech Republic)
  • ADHD/ADD Belgium
  • Anoiksis (The Netherlands)
  • Genetic Alliance (United Kingdom)
  • EDRA (Greece)
  • Advocacy Group for the Mentally Ill (AGMI) Cyprus
  • EPIONI (Greece)
  • Richmond Foundation (Malta)
  • LIBRA (Sweden)
  • Ozara (Slovenia)
  • Awakening Foundation (Hungary)
  • The Israeli Mental Health Association (ENOSH)
  • Open the Doors, Open the Hearts (Slovakia)
  • Liga Romana pentru Sanatate Mintala (Romania)
  • OPGanG (Belgium)
  • ADHD Hellas (Greece)
  • Aktionsbündnis Seelische Gesundheit
  • Hafal (United Kingdom)
  • POSOPSI (Greece)
  • SOFPSI IMATHIAS (Greece)
  • SOFPSI N.SERRON (Greece)
  • Spanish Society of Legal Psychiatry
  • Spanish Society of Clinical Psychiatry
  • ENCONTRAR+SE