EFNA participation in PATHWAYS Project

The final conference of the PATHWAYS project took place on March 20th, 2018 at the European Parliament in Brussels.

PATHWAYS is an acronym of: “Participation To Healthy Workplaces And inclusive Strategies in the Work Sector”, which is a 3-year EU-funded project to develop innovative approaches to promote the professional integration and reintegration of people with chronic diseases and improve their employability.

The project consortia’s recommendations were presented during the final conference and are also available here: http://www.easpd.eu/sites/default/files/sites/default/files/Projects/pathways_final_policy_recommendations.pdf

During the event, EFNA’s Executive Director – Donna Walsh – spoke about how the work of PATHWAYS aligns with EFNA’s efforts on the topic of access to employment. This is one of the focus areas of our MEP Interest Group on Brain, Mind and Pain.

Speaking after the event, Donna said: ‘We are pleased to see neurology finally featured in these discussions on chronic disease at the EU level. Due to the fluctuating nature of many neurological disorders, those affected and their employers often face a complex challenge in adapting the working environment and ensuring the flexibility that is required to support those with neurological disorders to find, stay in or return to work.’

‘However, it is essential, that supports are put in place across the EU because 1 in 3 people will have a brain disorder during their life – costing the EU economy almost 800 billion euro annually. Over 40% of this cost is indirect and related to absenteeism, presenteeism and so on. And many neurological disorders occur in the most productive years of life. So, if we want to keep people at work for longer, we need to act now before this socio-economic problem gets too big to solve.’

The outcomes of the PATHWAYS project will be taken-up in the new Joint Action on chronic diseases, CHRODIS PLUS, in which EFNA is a collaborating partner on Work Package 8 – chronic disease and employment.

For more on EFNA’s work in this area, see: www.brainmindpain.eu