GAMIAN-Europe in Brain Innovation Days 2023: Pioneering Discussions on Mental Health


The third edition of Brain Innovation Days (BIDs) took place on the 26-27 October 2023 in Brussels. With the main topic being the “The Brain in the 21st Century”, BIDs’ focus was on building resilience and better brain health for future generations and improving our brains’ adaptability to an ever-changing environment.

GAMIAN-Europe played a pivotal role in this year’s Brain Innovation Days by contributing to two high-impact sessions on the integration of artistic activities as an innovative approach on mental health and on patient involvement in cross-disciplinary work.

Artistic activities for Mental Health – “Museum Prescriptions”

Moderated by Lisa Burke, this innovative panel discussed how museums are becoming novel additions to traditional tools of mental healthcare. Notably, Geert Dom of the European Psychiatric Association and Rémi Foulon from Brussels City joined the conversation alongside GAMIAN-Europe President, Péter Kéri. By shedding light on the success of “museum prescriptions” offered in Brussels since September 2022, the panelists underlined the importance of art as therapy for conditions like depression, stress, and anxiety.

The impact of such non-conventional therapies is profound and often under-recognized. GAMIAN-Europe strongly supports the integration of art as tool for people with mental health conditions: our project Vibrant Mind is a perfect example of such practices, not only offering a temporary relief but enriching peoples’ lives and broadening their perspectives.


Making Patient Engagement Truly Meaningful in Chronic and Complex Mental Health Conditions

In partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim, the platinum session aimed at deepening the involvement of patients in cross-disciplinary work. Alongside Péter Kéri, the panel featured Alice Medalia from Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Vanessa Pott of Boehringer Ingelheim, and John Saunders from the European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness (EUFAMI).

The panelists unanimously agreed that patient participation in care pathways and research in mental health is crucial, moving beyond tokenistic engagement. Researchers, clinicians and pharmaceutical companies should not miss the opportunity to collaborate and co-create solutions, by putting patients’ input in the forefront. GAMIAN-Europe seeks to be the voice of patients’ in mental health and advocates that patients’ involvement can be transformative in the approach to chronic and complex conditions. It’s a matter of dignity, quality, and effectiveness in health care.


 Find out more about Brain Innovation Days 2023 here.


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