Mental Health  and Social Exclusion

European net-working for People living in condition

Extreme Poverty and with severe Mental Health problems


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SMES - Europa

is an European Network of professional and voluntary people working at interface of health and social field, for people living in conditions of poverty / extreme poverty, connected with health and mental health problems.

The European SMES project began in 1992 in Rome as a result of the 1st European seminar (Dec. 1992) on the appalling neglect and abandonment mentally ill people living as homeless in extremely poor health and social conditions.

SMES was constituted in 2001 as International non profit Association (AISBL Belgian law 1919)

Working  for

The  person, who is  at the centre, his dignity, his fundamental rights, his voice,  his needs, his life.

People living in  extreme poverty  condition on the streets, shelters, squats, with specific attention to :

  • mentally ill people without adequate assistance,

  • young people at risk losing their profitability,

  • elderly people who have been abandoned: as homeless at home

  • undocumented migrants, asylum seekers and refugees at risk of rejection and exclusion.

How do we work ?

SMES from daily experience of front-line workers and service users in  different European country :

  • Promote respect of human rights, dignity and wellbeing for people living in extreme social and health poverty

  • Facilitate access to citizenship rights, to social & health services improving physical, mental and social well-being

  • Promote inclusion, participation and solidarity with a special attention for homeless people

  • Raise awareness of best practices networking  with other European bodies in related areas

Main  Focus

  • Improve conditions  the physical, mental and social conditions / wellbeing of homeless and socially excluded people and so to promote the respect of their human rights, individual dignity and social inclusion.

  • Networking : improving synergies and opportunities of working together, workers of health and social sector, public and private

  • Education and training: permanent & continuum, promoting exchanges and evaluation

  • Exchanges and study visits between projects in different European countries

  • European seminars where professionals, volunteers and service users from across Europe meet together with local policy makers and administrators

  • Europe-wide programme of service improvement concerning  accessibility  -  integration  health & social  sustainability  - prevention 

  • Heightening of awareness for all civic society trough adequate information with media

  • Lobbying and advocacy.






imagine our society

without homeless...

it possible  !..

Poverty,  social exclusion,   homelessness   in Europa, despite national differences, 

it's a structural and political problem of our European society.

  • Number of people living below the poverty line and in social exclusion in the Union is unacceptable...

  • When the person has lost everything, and  also hope on the future, them does not remain other that to survival on the street where he will be: without  right  -  home   -   health   -   hope  and  ... DIGNITY

  • These persons remain as a constant challenge and a troubling  sign not only of the economic crisis, but also  of values crisis which underpin our democracies - values such as the social cohesion, the solidarity based on  respect of individual rights, the equitable access to resources and services.

  • Homelessness is an affront to every value that we assign to the concept of CITIZENSHIP. 
    Homeless, are among the most marginalised in our communities  

  • All persons have the RIGHT to the best available mental health care, which shall be part of the  social  care  system.

  • The stigma  and  discrimination, related to the mental disease, are long-lasting 


are far from being eradicated  in Europe

Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity  It is an act of justice !

It is the protection of a fundamental human right,   the  Right to Dignity and a Decent Life

While poverty persists, there is no true  freedom       (Nelson Mandela - London 3/2/2005)

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