The Together Under the Umbrella campaign was officially launched at the European Parliament during Brain Awareness Week with a cocktail event, hosted by Marek Plura MEP.
Eight MEPs attended on the night – including Helga Stevens, Chair of the EP Disability intergroup and Bogdan Wenta, the best-ever Polish handball player!
This event was the culmination of a two-day promotional visit to the European Parliament, building support for the campaign. 40 MEPs, the Belgian Health Minister and well-respected leaders in the field – such as Richard Morris OBE and Brain Prize winner – were photographed ‘under the umbrella’.
Organised by the European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA), the Together Under the Umbrella campaign provides a platform for people with neurological disorders to share their experiences and stories and thereby build a greater understanding of these conditions among the wider public. It reminds people that 1 in 3 Europeans may suffer with a brain disorder during their lifetime.
The campaign is supported by many organisations, including the European Brain Council (EBC), the Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks-Europe (GAMIAN) and the European Patients’ Forum (EPF).
To build on the political support, EFNA is now asking people to post a picture of themselves under an umbrella on social media using the hashtag #UnderTheUmbrella and linking to the campaign’s online hub. Here key messages, interesting facts, campaign resources and more details are available.
The campaign came about in response to demands by EFNA members to ‘brand the brain’ by grouping brain disorders under a common symbol.
It is linked to the European Brain Council’s Call for Action which asks:
- The European Commission to come forward with a European strategy to tackle brain disorders in a collaborative, integrated and comprehensive manner, as well as to further support European Union Member States and associated countries in their efforts to combat the impact of brain disorders.
- European Union member states and associated countries to implement public health programmes addressing brain health in a systematic way, making the best possible use of available resources in order to stimulate more and better co-ordinated brain research, and to foster strategies for prevention, early detection, diagnosis and adequate treatment.