Empowerment Leadership Meeting - 27th and 28th October 2010


Historically, people with mental health problems have lacked a voice. Neither they nor their families have been involved in decision-making on mental health services, and they continue to be at risk of social exclusion and discrimination in all facets of life. In a mental health context, empowerment refers to the level of choice, influence and control that users of mental health services can exercise over events in their lives. The key to empowerment is the removal of formal or informal barriers and the transformation of power relations between individuals, communities, services and governments.

The meeting

The WHO Regional Office for Europe in partnership with the EC Directorate for Health and Consumers will hold a Leadership Meeting on Empowerment in Mental Health, hosted by EUFAMI. This meeting in Leuven, Belgium will bring together local and national champions of empowerment and government representatives to discuss concrete opportunities for user and family carer empowerment and show examples of user empowerment good practice. The role of governments, communities and services will be discussed as well as the opportunities and challenges for mental health service users to become leaders and to create change. The results of the WHO-EC Partnership Project on Empowerment in Mental Health will be presented, and possibilities of implementation of the project outcomes in Member States will be discussed. Six briefing papers centering on key issues are developed for the meeting:

  • User self-management
  • User leadership in research
  • Family carer education
  • Quality assurance and monitoring of mental health services
  • Training of mental health workforce
  • Employment opportunities for people with mental health problems.

For information about the programme, accommodation and registration please see EUFAMI direct links below or go to the meeting website.