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Athena Network – Migrants’ wellbeing matters

“My name is nobody… if to survive you need to deny your identity, there cannot be mental health nor dignity…”

The Athena Network:
psychological and psychosocial support for immigrants in situations of trauma.

The Athena Network is a social support network in the area of health, and specifically in mental health, for immigrants experiencing trauma related to the migratory process.  There are increasing numbers of immigrants who experience migration-related trauma, and there is a deficit in social support for these individuals. The Athena Network is defined by 4 characteristics:

  1. The Athena Network is a non-profit entity.
    The name Athena evokes the figure of the Greek goddess who protected Ulysses in his long voyage, helping him overcome adversity and danger along the way.  Athena is the goddess of knowledge and humanism, which are fundamental values of society.
    The Network is made up of a group of health and mental health professionals. We have made a personal commitment to the often difficult, and sometimes tragic fate of millions of immigrants in the XXI Century.
  2. The Network is an initiative of various institutions with a long history of experience in the work of immigrant mental health, which include the Ulysses Syndrome Programme of the University of Barcelona, and the Health Initiative of the Americas of the School of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley. The Athena Network was launched at the World Psychiatry Association Conference, Migration, Mental Health and Multiculturalism in the 21th Century, in Barcelona, October 30th to November 1st, 2010.
  3. The Network aims to serve as a space for exchange of information and experiences of programs, research and initiatives that aim to improve and protect the mental health of these individuals.
  4. The Athena Network seeks to provide psychological and psychosocial support to immigrants in the areas of health and mental health, taking into account the extreme situations in which many immigrants find themselves.

The Network seeks to support interventions with those immigrants who experience situations of extreme trauma associated with the migration process. The migratory process is, for millions of people, a process that brings with it a level of stress that surpasses the individuals capacity and processes of adaptation to deal with it.  The Network specifically supports undocumented immigrants, who often find themselves in situations where their human rights are not recognized.

Specific objectives :
  1. To gather professionals, academics & other experts from different fields who provide support to immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees and are committed to contribute to these persons’ general wellbeing in the host countries;
  2. To raise awareness at all levels of society, for the rights of those who come from third countries to work for a better life, or in search for protection from war, persecution or extreme poverty, and consequently, promote their biopsychosocial wellbeing and integration;
  3. To advocate for migrant friendly laws and policies, based on respect for the dignity of all human beings;
  4. To work towards increasing the values of hospitality, solidarity, cultural richness, and wellbeing of migrants and refugees living in Western societies.
  5. To work together towards building healthy relationships between people in host societies and those who come; and thus, contributing to the creation of more compassionate societies;
Activities :
  • Formal and informal sharing of knowledge, experience, research and reflection among professionals, academics and experts on the area of mental health and migration from psychosocial & communitarian perspectives;
  • Create an official web site and social networks to disseminate best-practices, research & reflection;
  • Publishing the International Journal of Migration and Mental Health: from a psychosocial and communitarian perspective;
  • Hold an annual congress that gathers professionals, academics, experts, and public interested in the topic.


Congresses on Mental Health & Migration

“Dans son programme ‘Jeunesse et Culture dans le Développement Durable’, FaMiDo aborde de nombreux thèmes liés à la santé mentale des migrants, des expatriés et de la population européenne, qu’ils soient adultes, jeunes ou enfants.

Depuis plusieurs années, FaMiDo participe activement au réseau Athéna (RED ATENEA), réseau de soutien psychologique et psychosocial aux immigrants vivant dans des conditions difficiles.

Cela se concrétise, notamment, par la présentation des résultats de nos activités lors des différents congrès internationaux du réseau :

Familles du Monde asbl presented :


31th of October 2010

Barcelona (Spain)

‘La culture alimentaire dans la migration’

II CONGRESS – 1st of July 2013 – Lisbon (Portugal)

III CONGRESS – 18th September 2014 – Madrid (Spain)

Ávila : ‘La dimension interculturelle de la spiritualité dans la pastorale de la migration, sa présence dans le discours et son absence dans la pratique. Étude de cas pour la recherche de solutions (Familles migrantes en Belgique)

Madrid : ‘Intervention socio-éducative avec des jeunes et des familles migrantes d’origine latino-américaine en Belgique’

IV CONGRESS – 17th October 2015 – London (UK)

‘Jeunesse, Famille, Culture et Migration : dialogues interculturels, intergénérationnels pour l’inclusion sociale des jeunes migrants’

V CONGRESS – 19th November 2016 – Rome (Italie)

‘Construction de l’identité chez les enfants de couples mixtes’

VI CONGRESS – 12th October 2017 – Berlin (Germany)


VII CONGRESS – Saterday 20th October 2018
Brussels – Belgium

Familles du Monde organise ce congrès 2018 et a l’honneur de vous y inviter.

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