International consortium creates joint platform for sustainable health and care in Europe. Self-Care in Europeaims to boost collaboration, health literacy, and political focus to empower Europeans by and to self-care.
COPENHAGEN JUNE 1, 2019
The European map for engaging and empowering citizens just got a new landmark. “Self-care in Europe” – or SCiE – is a new non-governmental organization created by experienced partners from across Europe. The joint goal is to boost self-care into the political, structural, and organizational focus and to bridge theories into a practical engagement with European citizens – by showing, not telling, what self-care can do.
“Self-care as an action is a very old phenomenon; people taking active choices and caring for their health is nothing new. What is new is the need for integration and support of all these efforts into strategic policies, practical support, and long term efforts in society, cities, and our educational system too,” says Lars Münter, Communications Lead for Self-Care in Europe.
Action based campaign to empower locally
The consortium of organizations behind SCiE have worked to support self-care nationally and internationally for a long time – decades for some – and for the last couple of years also via a joint network platform called Self-Care Initiative Europe. This collaboration proved very successful in engaging stakeholders across Europe in both joint publications and reports, but also in the joint campaign Self-care Week Europe that reached millions in 2017 and 2018. And has now led to the creation of a formal, European organization to boost the issue further.
“Essentially, we are simply joining hands. People and organizations across Europe have been doing a lot of good groundwork for self-care – but the time has come to combine these experiences and efforts into a joint and holistic effort. The future, sustainable health in Europe needs self-care to become an integral part of public policy and strategy – and citizens across Europe wants the respect and autonomy to make health choices based on what matters to them,” Lars Münter adds.
A tool for all
Central to the work in SCiE is the concept of the Self-Care Continuum, originally coined by the Self Care Forum UK, meaning that self-care is important to respect, nurture, and support regardless of your current health state – there are almost always choices and actions that only you can take and choose for yourself. “We know that a lot of social and commercial determinants currently makes some of these choices quite hard, if not impossible to make. And clearly this is part of the task ahead of us.” Lars Münter emphasizes.
Self-care in Europe will be legally based in Copenhagen, but is truly a pan-European consortium with local partners in communities and cities – all working the expand the issue and movement to all of Europe, Lars Münter says; “Self-Care Week Europe has already shown how far and wide the message of empowerment and practical actions can reach – we expect to use all our joint experiences working nationally and internationally to create a self-care movement to match the needs of a sustainable future.”
Founding members of SCiE are DCHE – Danish Committee for Health Education (DK), Third-I (BE), Self-Care Factory (NL), EHFF – European Health Futures Forum (IE), CEmPaC – Centre for Empowering Patients and Communities (IE), Self Care Forum (UK), and Health Literacy Europe (NL).