Bundesverband der Angehörigen psychisch erkrankter Menschen e.V.

Guidelines of the Federal Association of Families of People with Mental Illness on collaborating with commercial enterprises and funding bodies

Preliminary remarks

In order to maintain the independence of the Association and guarantee that the interests of the self-help community of the families of people with mental illness, also in collaboration with partners, are placed first, guidelines for collaborating with commercial enterprises and funding bodies are set out below. These were debated with the State associations and adopted with binding effect by the general assembly in Munich on 24 June 2012. In doing so, the BApK also affiliated itself with the "guiding principles of self-help for working with public bodies and private entities, organizations and commercial enterprises, particularly in the health system" of BAG Selbsthilfe (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Selbsthilfe von Menschen mit Behinderung und chronischer Erkrankung und ihren Angehörigen e.V. - German National Association of Self-Help for disabled or chronically ill people and their families) and Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband (Welfare Association) with its FORUM for chronically ill and disabled persons. The BApK participates actively in providing support and advice to its members in implementing these guidelines.

The BApK fulfils its mission to provide help for self-help independently of the interests and any influence from politics or business.

The social mission of the BApK is to improve the life situation of the mentally ill and their families, continuously and on a lasting basis.

The assignments and projects undertaken by the Federal Association of Families of People with Mental Illness are funded to a large extent by the subscription fees of its members, supporting members, funds provided by the statutory health insurance companies, project-related sponsorship and donations. The BApK recognises the danger that in many cases sponsors seek to influence its work either directly or indirectly. The BApK fulfils its mission appropriately while maintaining its neutrality and independence.

Changing social and health policies, restrictions on public funding, the growing number of mentally ill people in Germany and the growing number of tasks associated with it are forcing the BApK to look for complementary funding channels.

General principles

  • Any collaboration between the Federal Association of Families, the State associations and the local clubs and groups on the one hand and a commercial enterprise or funding body on the other must comply with the objectives and duties set out in the statutes of the Federal Association, State associations, clubs or groups, and serve these interests. Supporting memberships serve to shape long-term collaboration. In addition, support for special projects and current priorities in family self-help psychiatry is desired.
  • Any collaboration, supporting membership or support from companies or funding bodies must be disclosed and treated in an effort to maintain transparency. As soon as payments are made, benefits in kind or not inconsiderable material contributions, clear conditions for both contracting parties must be defined in writing that can be unambiguously assigned from a tax perspective. Total funding amounts from commercial enterprises and funding bodies are published once a year and the sponsors named.
  • The charitable status of the Federal Association, State associations and local clubs and groups must not be put at risk by any form of collaboration.
  • With all collaborations, the BApK pays particular attention to ensuring that any termination of the support cannot endanger its continued existence nor the core area of the Association's statutory work. Insofar as more than half the funding for BApK projects stems from one or more commercial enterprises or funding bodies, they will be publicly identified in a suitable form.
  • Passing on the addresses of members of State associations, local clubs or groups, supporting members or subscribers to the members' magazine to external parties who express an interest in receiving them, is subject to data protection and is not permitted.
  • Full-time employees and functionaries of the BApK will maintain their independence by not accepting any funds intended to serve private purposes. They will declare their independence in writing on assuming any role in the BApK.


  • In collaborations with commercial enterprises and service providers, care must be taken to ensure clear separation between the company's product advertising on the one hand, and information from the BApK on the other. Advertising by commercial enterprises must always be labelled as such.
  • The BApK itself does not advertise products or give product recommendations. It also does not participate in companies' product advertising.

Events and publications

  • In planning informational events or brochures for patients funded with the financial support of commercial enterprises, the BApK will take care to ensure that facts are portrayed and treated on the basis of scientific insights. The sponsor will be named in a suitable manner. The BApK takes care to ensure its neutrality and independence - also in organisational matters: the choice of conference location, the framework, schedule and the contents of events will be determined by the BApK. Moderation must be shown in calculating travel expenses and fees.
  • Speakers or authors who are employed with a commercial enterprise or funding body or are financially dependent upon them, will not be deployed uncritically or one-sidedly, and the connection will be made public.

Use of logo

The use of the name and logo of the Federal Association of Families of the Mentally Ill requires the explicit agreement of the Federal Association. In special collaborations, the BApK will allow them to be used on the following conditions:

  • A written collaboration agreement will be concluded that clearly describes the rights and obligations of both parties. The existence of the collaboration agreement and its subject must be made public.
  • The products and contents must be presented to the BApK sufficiently in advance and made available for inspection. If the "collaboration with the Federal Association of Families of the Mentally Ill" is to be highlighted in the public presentation, the BApK must have a say in the process and decisions will be taken jointly.
  • The BApK logo must be used in a way that is faithful to the original. Deviations from or changes to the otherwise usual presentation of the BApK are not permitted. An exact description and specifications for using the logo are available in the business office of the Federal Association.


  • The BApK welcomes any research efforts aimed at improving the situation of mentally ill people. It participates in decision-making processes and selection procedures regarding research funding, when requested, also relying on the expertise of the families concerned.