ARFIE members at the EAMHID Congress in Helsinki

For several years now, several ARFIE members have been actively participating in the congresses of the European Association for Mental Health in Intellectual Disability (EAMHID), an association which maintains close cooperation contacts with ARFIE. Last year, the Congress took place in Helsinki, Finland, and was focused on “Best practices-Better life”. 600 participants from over 30 different countries took part, and used the opportunity to exchange research and professional practices related to mental health issues for people with intellectual disabilities.

APEMH has always enjoyd the opportunity to take part in the EAMHID Congress, and in 2023 a delegation attended the event, to present their innovative practices in the field and meet international partners from over 30 different countries.

Two staff members presented the “Design For Change” project of APEMH and Up_Foundation. This project attracted a great deal of interest from the public, and we hope to be able to continue developing the DFC idea.

Moreover, four Yolande asbl employees also took also part in the Congress. Christian Happ, Director of Yolande asbl, gave a talk on the role of palliative care in institutions for people with intellectual disabilities, and a  poster on the theme of “touch and proximity in the professional context” was also presented.

Other delegations from ARFIE member attended the congress: Les Genêts d’Or from Bretagne, MEDIANDER from Belgium, CREA from Florence, and tof course ARFIE with its Coordinator and President.

We want to express. Our gratitude to our Finns colleagues, or, as the Finns say, Kiitos, for the perfect organization, hospitality ….

All in all, the Congress was an enriching experience, with new contacts and in-depth exchanges between professionals in the field and many (young) researchers and experts (psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, professors, etc.) from the mental health sector.

With this in mind, ARFIE is calling on its members to continue to mobilize around these issues, and to invite them to take part in (even greater) numbers in the next Congress entiteld “Unleashing talent, embracing diversity”, scheduled to take place in Ghent (Belgium) from 18 to 20 September 2025. Here ARFIE will have a primary role in the organisation (co-organizer) and we hope to see all our member joining to present their best practices in the field. This will be an amazong opportunity for our them to showcase the richness of professional practices around subjects that are at the core of our businesses, such as co-production, the active participation of our users, and the promotion of experiences that foster the autonomy and self-determination of people with disabilities.

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