NEWS:

 

ImpleMENTIS has been developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and the International Longevity Centre-UK working together with EUFAMI, the European Federation of Associations of Families of Persons with Mental Illness. It is designed to be an accessible online resource designed to help service users, carers, and advocacy groups review existing mental health policies and services and lobby for change.

Mental ill-health accounts for nearly one-quarter of the total burden of ill health in Europe, and is second only to cardiovascular diseases in its toll on morbidity. Yet despite this staggering economic and societal cost, services often remain under funded, outdated, and stigmatized, particularly for people with severe mental illness.

"Traditionally, governments have placed very little priority in investing for better mental health services" commented John Bowis, UK Member of the European Parliament. "Better policies and provision of services are urgently needed to ensure that people with severe mental illness are adequately provided and cared for. For example, countries in the European Region spend around 6% of health budgets on mental health on average, while mental ill-health represents 20% of the burden of disease. This discrimination is wholly unjustified."

www.ImpleMENTIS.eu contains useful data to support the development of materials to be used with the media and elected representatives, and provides suggestions as to how to target your mental health advocacy campaign and who to involve.

”Very often, advocacy groups for better mental health services and services users are isolated, stigmatized and ignored,” commented Ed Harding, joint website author. “ImpleMENTIS is designed to provide them with the solid facts: that modern treatments for mental illnesses are available and effective. There can be no excuse for inadequate mental health services in 21st Century Europe.”

ImpleMENTIS is coordinated by the International Longevity Centre UK, together with the European Federation of Associations of Families of Persons with Mental Illness, (EUFAMI), which works for the improvement in care and welfare for all people affected by mental illness. Currently the membership of EUFAMI is made up of 48 national and regional family organisations form 28 countries. For more information, visit www.eufami.org

The website will be translated into 11 different languages, with Hungarian, Polish, Italian and Portuguese available by early 2008.

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