Endorsing a Call to Action on empowerment of persons affected by mental ill-health and self-management of treatment and care

Dear colleagues,


We would like to thank all members who have already endorsed our latest Call to Action addressing empowerment of persons affected by mental ill-health and self-management of treatment and care.


As the deadline for endorsement is approaching, we would also like to kindly remind those who haven’t that there is still time to endorse this Call developed by GAMIAN-Europe with input from a wide variety of (mental) health stakeholders.


Please find attached the full version of this Call in this email.


Why have we developed this Call?


The burden and prevalence of mental health conditions is huge: 11 % of the European population experience mental disorders every year. The proportion of the national health budget devoted to mental health ranges between 4% to 13% across the EU.

Mental ill-health goes hand in hand with substantial stigma, costs and consequences that impact individuals, families and carers, health and social systems, society and the economy. As a consequence, there is an obvious need to address mental health conditions in the most effective way. Empowered patients, managing their own care and treatment, can support this need in many ways.


However, while the notion of and need for patient empowerment has been increasingly accepted when it comes to patients affected by physical health conditions, this is not the case for those affected by mental health problems; many individuals and organisations have highlighted the disempowering attitudes and behaviours towards people with mental illness which exist in society. The stigma attached to having a mental health issue – as opposed to having a physical health issue –  is pervasive and widespread.


Many people with physical health problems already self-manage their care and treatment and are seen as competent and capable to do so. However, when it comes to mental health, the competence of patients to self-manage their treatment and care is usually viewed as doubtful. However, most people with mental health problems, most of the time, do have the competence to self-manage their treatment and care.

This Call to Action therefore highlights what can be done to empower patients and to engage them as partners in care.  It underlines that patients should be seen as resource in this respect; and empowering patients will ensure the best possible ‘use’ of that resource, while putting patients at the heart of care provision.


Next steps:

If your organisation is happy to endorse the Call, please send us your logo, in order for us to add this to the document. Deadline is 7 September.


We would like to have the highest level of endorsement possible, in order to maximise the impact and visibility of this Call. Please feel free to put it on your organisation’s website and in your newsletters.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us – we will be happy to help.


With many thanks in advance for your interest and support,



Hilkka Kärkkäinen



60 rue du Trône | 1050 Brussels


Phone: 00.32 626.95.03



GAMIAN-Europe, a patient-driven pan-European organization, represents the interests

of persons affected by mental illness and advocates their rights

www.gamian.eu | Twitter: @gamiane