The European Federation of Families of People with Mental Illness
January 14, 2014
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
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Connie Magro is Vice-President of the European Federation of Associations of Families of the Mentally Ill, www.eufami.org. Kevin Jones is the Federation’s Secretary General. They talk about their lives, careers, experience with family caregiving and their work with the Federation. They describe the history, work and help for family caregivers provided by the Federation and its member Associations. They explain the Federation’s work with the European Union and the World Health Organization. The provide examples of projects focused on children and adolescents, adults living with schizophrenia, and young persons and adults living with depression and related conditions. They discuss the Federation’s plans for 2014, and say what they would like to see happen at the level of the European Union. They highlight what they would like to see done to strengthen the Federation’s member Associations, and to see done by the member Associations to strengthen their members’ services.
Family Caregivers Unite!
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Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.
Dr. Gordon Atherley
Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.
Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.