MENS Project and Beyond. The opening speech at the final Conference of MENS Project

On June 14th, the final MENS Project European Conference took place at the Cultural Center of the City of Athens, where all the initiatives and actions developed within the projects implementation (January 2017 – June 2018) were presented. The MENS Project, is...

A big step towards the utilization of Sports and Physical Exercise for Mental Health

The final Conference of MENS Project, with the participation of European and Greek Mental Health and Sports Institutions A big step towards the utilization of Sports and Physical Exercise for Mental Health On June 14th, the final MENS Project European Conference took...

Life is like a bike campaign at Eὖ-gym Festival

Eὖ-gym, a gymnastic for all festival, hosted “Life is like a bike” campaign: KSDEO EDRA attended Ef Gym festival and shared with parents, kids and trainers the message for an active living. The Ef-Gym, which is organized by DAO Kamatero, was held on the 19th and 20th...

“MENS” Project

“MENS” Project aims to develop strong institutional procedures for the specific contribution of sports and physical exercise to the prevention, therapy and rehabilitation of the Mentally Ill at European level.


Due to four key reasons these procedures are currently in nil to low:


The stigma is still associated with current procedures and therapeutic intervention courses and the mental patients themselves.


The lack of widespread documentation of the importance and effects of sports in rehabilitation of mentally ill.


The lack of expertise of health professionals for the integration of sports activities in the current treatment concepts.


The absence of specific cross-sectoral policies to encourage the integration of sports activities in the rehabilitation processes of the mental patients.

Core target of the project is the establishment of a European Network aiming at the conjunction of Mental Health and Sport.


Within this frame main objectives of the project are:


The development of a documented and evidence based approach of the use of sports and physical exercise in the treat of mental illness (12 Policy papers)

The establishment of a European Mental Health Sports Network (mapping, statutes and founding Conference)

The public awareness on the necessity of a new specific approach on the conjunction of Sport with Mental Health within an EU wide Awareness Campaign


17 Organizations from 12 EU Member States acting in Mental Health and/or Sports & Physical Exercise fields.


Location: Aeschylou 5 str , Peristeri, Athens, Greece. P.C. 12134
Contact Person: Nikos Andreopoulos/ Pantelis Sarakiniotis
Email: /

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) School of Physical Education and Sport Science

Location: 41 Ethnikis Antistassis str, 17237, Dafne, Athens, Greece
Contact person: Kostas Karteroliotis

University of Kent – School of Sport and Exercise Sciences


Location: University of Kent,Medway Building, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4AG School of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Tel: +44 (0)1634 888858

Contact Persons: Dr. Sakis Pappous, Head of School




Location: Via Saffi, 4 – 60121 – Ancona – Italy

Contact persons:

Francesca Cesaroni

Mara Morici





C/ Martín Santos Romero, 1

47016 Valladolid (Spain)

Contact person:

Sara Marcos Ispierto


European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness (EUFAMI)


Location: Diestsevest 100, B–3000 Leuven, Belgium

Contact person: Aagje Ieven



Location: Segmenler Mahallesi Cumhuriyet Caddesi no:84/19 Golbasi-Ankara, TURKEY

Contact person: Seyfettin Adanir

Association “Olimpikas”


Location: Šiauliai reg. Lithuania

Contact person: Laimonas Milinavičius


Moira Kobse


T: 00386 (0)2 2380 652

OZARA ZAVOD MARIBOR, Ulica Heroja Šaranoviča 27, 2000 Maribor, SI- Slovenia


Contact person of organization:

Mr. Alen KOČIVNIK, director


T: 00386 (0)2 2380 670

Rijeka Sports Association for persons with disabilities

Verdijeva 11/3
51000 Rijeka

Fondazione Hallgarten Franchetti Centro Studi Villa Montesca


Location: Villa Montesca, Città di Castello, Perugia, Italy

Contact person: Virginia Marconi



Location: Rua Coronel Almeida Valente 280, 4200-030 Porto, Portugal

Contact person: Raquel Simões de Almeida


First Fortnight


Location: First Fortnight, 12 Earl St South, Dublin 8, Ireland

Contact person: Edel Doran


Merseyside Expanding Horizons


Location: The Joseph Lappin Centre, Mill Lane, Old Swan, L13 5TF

Contact Person: Stacey Robinson, Psychologist/Transnational Programme Manager




Via Roma, 94
90133 –  Palermo
ItalyTelephone: +39 091 6164224
Fax: +39 091 6230849

► Contact person:

Stefania Giambelluca

Fokus ČR, z.s.


Location: Czech Republic

Contact person:  Hana Hanibalova


17 Organizations from 12 EU Member States acting in Mental Health and/or Sports & Physical Exercise fields.


Mapping Task

A first step of the networking process was the mapping, which was carried out by all partners and its aim was to map organizations and entities from several target groups which operate in the fields of Mental Health and/or Sports & Physical Ability and that , in cases, have successfully achieved a connection between them with respective practices/policies etc.

It took place from February 2017 till  September 2017 and organizations from all 28 EU Member States & Turkey(Partner Country) were mapped.

The target groups were:

  • Public or Private entities operating in the field of Mental Health (NGO’s, Hospitals, Boarding Houses, Other Structures etc.)
  • Organizations & Entities operating in the Physical Activity/ Sports sector, (associations, teams, clubs, sport federations etc.)
  • Research and educational institutions the field of interest of which is connected with the project’s objectives and aims
  • Local Authorities  (Municipalities, Regions) which follow specific politics on the subject OR implement a respective practice
  • Policy & decision makers – State Authorities

Hundreds of entities were mapped. Any interested parties can visit the following link for brief results of the process:

Foundation of the European Network of Active Living for Mental Health (E.N.A.L.M.H.)

The Constitute General Assembly for the foundation of the Network took place in Prague in June 2017, with the final incorporation deed being realised on February 1st, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium, where the legal seat of the Network is based.

Therefore one of the main outcomes of the project was succesfully delivered, with the network being active since its very beginning as it has already acquired a PIC Number and taken part in a few proposals under open EU calls concerning Mental Health & Sport/ Physical Exercise. For more information on the Network and its actions, one can visit the website: 

Active Living for Mental Health

The E.N.A.L.M.H. Network and M.E.N.S. Project are parts of the “Active Living for Mental Health” Movement (, which was initiated with the launch of M.E.N.S. and is still growing rapidly across Europe, with more than 35 organizations which operate in the fields of Mental Health and Sports/Physical Exercise having joined at least one of its activities.

Awareness Campaign

The key factor for the success of the present initiative is the mobilization of the relevant stakeholders, the field experts and the general public towards the necessity of a specific strategy and action that will provide a creative, productive and efficient framework for the conjunction of Sport and Physical Exercise with Mental Health.

The understanding of this necessity can come only as a result of am EU wide Awareness Campaign which is the tool to reform well established perceptions and create a new inspired mentality.

In order to insure the success of the campaign the first step will be the conduction of a research in order to map the mainstream ideas, to identify non-covered needs of the Mental Health field and to explore new forms of Sport and Physical Exercise activities able to contribute to the project’s goal. The research will be implemented according a specific methodological approach.

Policy papers

One of the main objectives of the project is the development of several policy papers in order to provide a comprehensive and persuasive argument justifying the contribution of sports, physical activity, and exercise for the prevention, therapy, and rehabilitation of individuals with Mental Illness in the European continent.

Twelve policy papers will be developed by the partners of this initiative to act as a decision-making tool and a call to action for the target audience. More specifically, the policy papers will explore some of the evidence claiming that sports, exercise, and physical activity play an important role in terms of both preventing, as well as treating, mental health problems.

Also, they will provide recommendations and a framework for the application of several sports, exercise and physical activity models specifically applied to individuals either with (treatment) or without mental health problems from the ‘general’ population (prevention).

Overall, the policy papers will be driven and targeted on the development of practical, implementable, and comprehensive recommendations in which sports, exercise, and physical activity models would be applied as adjacent or supplementary to medications and clinical therapies.

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