On 25 October 2021, Epioni organized a hybrid event at Innovathens / Technopolis City of Athens aimed at young carers who have parents with mental health challenges. The event was welcomed by MEP Mrs. Elena Kountoura and hosted notable speakers such as psychiatrists Dr. Orestis Giotakos who discussed the “care for my brain” perspective and Dr. Georgia Balta who presented the topic “Parents with mental illness: the place of the child”
The Director of the European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness EUFAMI, Mr. John Saunders, spoke about depression experienced by families.
Mrs. Stefania Buoni, President of the Italian organisation COMIP, talked about the children of parents with mental health problems and will give suggestions and good practices to support them.
The webinar was supported by the Society of Social Psychiatry P. Sakellaropoulos, Obrela, Edra, and the European Network of Active Living for Mental Health (ENALMH).
Sponsors: Lundbeck, Interamerican, and the Saronic Nephrological Center.
Communication sponsors: https://healthdaily.gr www.psychologynow.gr, www.iatronet.gr
The meeting was part of the Share4Carers project with the following partners: Dynami Zois, EPIONI, Gaziantep University, COMIP, Centre Neuro Psychiatrique Saint-Martin, EUFAMI and Fondazione Internazionale Don Luigi Di Liegro.
Elena Kountoura – Member of the European Parliament delivered the following speech:
First of all, I would like to congratulate the Greek Carers Network EPIONI for the organization of today’s event, which seeks to raise awareness about the multiple challenges faced by caregivers of people with chronic illness. From my current position as a Member of the European Parliament, but also throughout my political and professional career, and through my many years of voluntary work in organisations on social issues and the promotion of human rights, I am well aware of the difficulties you face and the unceasing struggle you are engaged in.
I want to congratulate each of you personally because your work and your contribution are invaluable, within the family and for the person you care for and require constant hard work, financial and emotional cost, personal sacrifice, and strong physical and mental stamina. The pandemic has left none of us unaffected, but even more so you who, as health
professionals, have been on the front line of these unprecedented health conditions. The impact of mental health is an extremely critical aspect of the multidimensional pandemic crisis, and the European Parliament has described it as a “silent pandemic”.
The European Union has called on the Member States to step up their work to adopt more dynamic policies to tackle mental health.
In this context, the State, the welfare state, and the health care system must focus on the specific needs you face as caregivers, both those created by the pandemic and those that existed before and have not been adequately addressed to date. And to implement at the national level the necessary institutional changes to ensure that you have adequate access
to services and structures to meet these needs, but also to implement targeted integrated support plans to ensure your rights to health, work, education, and training and overall in your daily lives. It is very important that you do not feel alone and lonely, and that there is a mechanism to support your own health and care so that you can continue to give to those in need.
On the occasion of my intervention today, I want to assure you that I personally and my office are standing by you to look together at the critical issues that concern you and to support your positions and proposals at the European level.
I wish you good luck with your work.
Elena Kountoura – Member of the European Parliament