Report from EFNA’s ‘Advocate for Neurology’ Workshop


May 2013 has been designated by the European Commission as ‘European Month of the Brain’ [EMOB].

We, at the European Federation of Neurological Associations [EFNA], want to ensure that neurology patient groups across Europe are ready to take advantage of this Month. So, we invited patient representatives from National and European neurology patient groups to participate in a free two-day capacity building workshop in Brussels this February.

Philippe Cupers of DG Research at the European Commission gave the opening address and outlined the objectives for the Month, which are:

  • To showcase EU-supported achievements in the area of brain research and healthcare
  • To mobilise policy makers in Member States and Associated Countries to better coordinate and optimise resources allocated to brain research and healthcare
  • To lift taboos associated with mental health issues

On Day 2 we welcomed MEP Nessa Childers – one of the co-chairs of the EU Parlimentary Group on Mental Health, Wellbeing and Brain Disorders. MEP Childers listened to and commented on the presentations of strategies to disseminate our key messages to relevant audiences. EFNA will use the feedback to draft our advocacy strategy for European Month of the Brain and beyond.

There were also presentations from top experts on the more practical aspects of running an awareness event/campaign – especially in these challenging times of limited resources. These included – How to:

  • Fundraise in a climate of austerity
  • Manage, engage and retain volunteers
  • Organise a successful event on a budget

These presentations can be downloaded via the link at the top of the page.

It is hoped that the presentations and networking opportunities provide will encourage groups at a National and European level to organise events to mark European Month of the Brain 2013 – and ensure that the patient is positioned centrally throughout.

EFNA will be coordinating a Calendar of Events organised by patient groups to celebrate EMOB. You can download the Events Submission form HERE and return by email to: for inclusion on our website and bi-monthly newsletter.

Access the Official European Month of the Brain website here