What is EMHA?2019-08-15T11:25:35+00:00

About EMHA

The European Migraine & Headache Alliance is a non-profit umbrella organization, that includes over 30 patient associations for Migraine, Cluster Headache, Trigeminal Neuralgia and other headache diseases, across Europe.

The Alliance was launched in 2006 and since then, being the development of European umbrella organizations a natural progression with more relevance for European nations. Our aim is to speak on behalf of and to advocate for the rights and needs of the 138 million people in Europe living with headache disorders.

EMHA is an active member of the European Federation of Neurological Alliances [EFNA], the International Association of Patient Organizations [IAPO], the European Patients Forum [EPF] and also works closely with organizations such as the European Headache Federation [EHF], European Brain Council [EBC] and others.

Organization chart

  • Patrick Little


    President of EMHA since 2018

  • Elena
    Ruiz de la Torre

    Executive Director, Company Secretary and Immediate Past President

    2016–Present: Executive Director, Company Secretary and Immediate Past President,, European Migraine & Headache Alliance (EMHA), Belgium

Patrick Little


Patrick Little has been a Board member and Treasurer of EMHA since 2016, very recently he has become President of the EMHA. He is CEO of the Migraine Association of Ireland (MAI) since 2008. During this time he has been involved in discussions with the health authorities in Ireland in drafting a Care Pathway for Headache as part of a Neurology Clinical Programme. He has played an active part in the discussions which led to development of The Governance Code for the Community, Voluntary and Charitable Sector in Ireland.

Patrick is also a Board member of the Neurological Alliance of Ireland, a member of the National Council of the Disability Federation of Ireland, and an active member of IPPOSI- the Irish Platform for Patients’ Organisations, Science & Industry which houses the EUPATI project.

Prior to working with MAI he lived in Scotland for 30 years where he worked in the NGO mental health sector. During that time he:

  • Represented the United Kingdom on two Pan-European projects on young people’s mental health. He was also the Scottish representative on a European project looking at Social Exclusion and Mental Health.
  • Was part of a group which helped the European Commission examine its relationship with the World Health Organisation in relation to mental health.
  • Carried out a Baseline Study for a Young People’s Mental Health Project in Vanuatu, South Pacific.
  • Was a member of the Scottish Needs Assessment Programme (SNAP) Core Working Group which completed a two-year review of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in Scotland.
  • Was a core member of a Planning Group which produced a Framework for the Prevention and Reduction of Suicide in Scotland.
  • Was a member of Scottish Government’s Planning Group for tackling Social Exclusion of people with mental health problems.
  • Was an active member of local Drug and Alcohol Action Teams.
  • Chaired and led the Scottish Self-Harm Forum for several years.

Ruiz de la Torre

Executive Director, Company Secretary and Immediate Past President

Advocacy Work Experience

2016–Present:   Executive Director, Company Secretary and Immediate Past President, European Migraine & Headache Alliance (EMHA), Belgium

About EMHA

The European Migraine & Headache Alliance (EMHA) is a non-profit, patient umbrella group which was launched in 2006. Since then, the Alliance has grown to represent patient groups from across the continent. At this moment, EMHA includes 30 Organizations from different Countries. Each year, on September 12th, the European Migraine & Headache Alliance organizes European Migraine Day of Action as well as an awareness Day on Cluster Headache at the European Parliament.

Together with their partner organisations, EMHA voices the views and concerns of headache patients across Europe. Their aim is to promote awareness and understanding of migraine and other primary headache disorders and seek improved access to appropriate diagnosis and treatment for all.

2015-Present :     Board Member of the Spanish Platform of Chronic Diseases
2005–2016 :        President, Asociación Española de Pacientes con Cefalea (AEPAC), Spain
2014–2015 :         Vice President, European Headache Alliance (EMHA), Belgium
2007-2012 :         Treasurer, European Headache Alliance (EMHA), Belgium


EMHA Statutes - French and English

Strategic plan

With the aim to serve to its mission, EMHA has developed a strategic plan focused in giving the tools and resources to all members of the organization in order to be stronger and more effective as we all row in the same direction.

In order to provide focus and direction to move from plan to action, we design specific projects in improving the lives of patients working actively with EMHA’s members, medical societies and gubernamental institutions to encourage an holistic approach to the understanding of headache disorders, knowing that patients will benefit from our efforts.

As a non-profit association, we encounter with the altruistic collaboration of our sponsors, the pharmaceutic industry. Thanks to them we can face own research and projects such as: Access to Care survey, Migraine at
Work, Cluster Headache and Work Life in the European Union survey, among others.


EMHA will like to provide information about the results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.


“Migraine is the third most common disease in the world, with an estimated global prevalence of 14.7% (that’s around 1 in 7 people)” . This means that we all should know many more people who suffer migraine, but the truths is we don’t as they don’t mention it.

In order to give voice and visibility to the affected ones, EMHA is trying to show up how extraordinary those sufferers are that try to live a normal life while they have to cope with their Migraine attacks without any help, support or recognition from the Society, becoming the voice of these extraordinary people in Europe.
Therefore EMHA is committed in:

  • Promote awareness, understanding and recognition of Migraine, Cluster Headache and other headache disorders.
  • Improve patients’ access to appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
  • Activate the Migraine Community to re-engage with the Healthcare System.
  • Provide reliable information to patients to give them appropriated tools to cope with their condition.
  • Voice the views and concerns of headache patients associations across Europe.
  • Give visibility to migraine, cluster headache and other headache disorders.
  • Inform and influence policy makers on headache disorders.
  • Work in partnership with other relevant organisations to promote common aims and goals.
  • Co-ordinate and add value to the efforts of national advocacy groups in Europe.
  • Provide hope for those affected by headache.

Organization Goals

To be the representative of all European Migraine and Headache associations, to help them to spread the voice of headache disorders, to be understood and recognized in all health systems, helping patients to be well informed and have equal access to appropriate diagnosis and treatment.


Being aware of our accountability in representing our members, to our sponsors and to the society in general, EMHA is committed to be transparent and respectful in all its actions.

EMHA since 2006


Number of Associations under the EMHA umbrella


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