On 12 January 2016, a Joint Meeting of the European Parliament Interest Group on Carers and the Interest Group on Mental Health, Well-being and Brain Disorders has been held in the European Parliament, in Brussels.
The meeting aimed to address the issues faced by carers providing care to people affected by mental health disorders.
Basis for the meeting was EUFAMI’s recent ’Caring4carers’ survey on this topic, carried out by LUCAS, the Centre for Care Research and Consultancy of the University of Leuven. This survey, which has a strong focus on the experiences of carers for persons with severe mental illness, clearly demonstrates the areas where these need support.
Background to the survey is the fact that recent reforms in mental health care are seeing a gradual move away from hospital-based to community care; therefore the demands on family carers has increased. Over the past decades there has been some scientific survey-based research data documenting the carer burden. However, the research is limited, not recent and often based on single country examples. ‘Caring 4carers’ was specifically designed to address this evidence gap and assess the experiences of family carers in caring for a relative with severe mental illness, from an international perspective.
The joint Interest Group meeting served to:
- Inform participants of the outcome of the EUFAMI survey;
- Hear about the experiences of carers;
- Discuss what the EU level can do to ensure more awareness of this topic and more policy attention, both in existing initiatives as well as in future actions.
Please find the report of the Meeting here.