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WHO WE ARE

Our vision

A Europe where everyone’s mental health and wellbeing flourish across their life course.

Our mission

To lead in advancing a human rights, community-based, recovery-oriented and psychosocial approach to mental health and well-being for all.

Mental Health Europe is a European non-governmental network organisation committed to the promotion of positive mental health, the prevention of mental distress, the improvement of care, advocacy for social inclusion and the protection of the rights of (ex)users of mental health services, persons with psychosocial disabilities, their families and carers.

 

MHE works closely with the European Institutions and international bodies to mainstream mental health in all policies and end mental health stigma. Mental Health Europe represents associations and individuals in the field of mental health including users of mental health services, professionals, service providers and volunteers.  Together with its members, MHE formulates recommendations for policy makers to develop mental health friendly policies. MHE places users of mental services at the centre of its work to ensure the voice of people who have experienced mental ill health is heard across Europe.

37

years of advocacy

73

member organisations

30

different countries

6

Strategic priorities

Strategic Priorities

A human rights-based approach to mental health

✓ Increase the commitment and capacity of policy and decision makers, and other relevant actors to understand and apply a human rights-based approach to mental health.

✓ Strengthen compliance with international human rights standards at national and European level.

✓ Improve awareness and knowledge of human-rights compliance practices in mental health.

✓ Foster the elimination of coercive measures in mental health services.

The psychosocial model to mental health

✓ Foster and facilitate the implementation of inter-sectoral long term cooperation, strategies and policies – ‘mental health in all policies’.

✓ Strengthen evidence on promising approaches and practices of the application of the psychosocial model.

✓ Advance policies and practices to reduce social and economic inequalities impacting mental health.

✓ Better policies on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, as well as improve knowledge of effective models among stakeholders.

✓ Foster awareness and uptake of effective policies and practices linking environmental issues and mental health and wellbeing.

Accessible, high-quality, recovery-oriented mental health services in the community

✓ Improve parity of esteem and integration of physical and mental health across European education and healthcare systems.

✓ Expand provision of holistic, recovery-oriented, community-based services.

✓ Foster uptake of effective digital approaches and tools for mental health.

✓ Further the decrease of the biomedicalization of mental health and the uptake of recovery approaches.

Co-creation with experts by experience, their supporters, service providers and other actors

✓ Increase co-creation in policy and services development, implementation and evaluation across the European region.

✓ Ensure peer support and expertise by experience in mental health services are acknowledged and valued, including through funding and employment.

✓ Expand co-creation with European and national networks of experts by experience.

✓ Improve representation of experts by experience and their supporters within MHE membership and other relevant organisations.

✓ Strengthen the establishment and capacity of national organisations representing experts by experience and their supporters.

Mental health-related stigma and discrimination

✓ Strengthen understanding of impact of mental health stigma and discrimination in educational, employment, health and social care settings
and law enforcement.

✓ Increase responsible and non-stigmatising media coverage of mental health.

✓ Improve public attitude towards mental health and the reality of people with lived experience.

Sustainability and impact

✓ Increase diversification of funding streams and reinforce governance, management and evaluation systems.

✓ Expand engagement with experts by experience, their supporters and peer networks within mental health.

✓ Increase and diversify membership at national level and support alliances under MHE umbrella.

✓ Increase capacity of MHE members in advocacy, service provision and communication.

MHE’s Strategic Plan 2022-2025: ‘Bridging Policy Making and Human Experience’

 

MHE launched a new strategy on 14 October 2021 outlining some of the most urgent mental health priorities including tackling discrimination and securing equal access to services. MHE has led the mental health movement across Europe for over 35 years taking a human rights, recovery based approach. MHE’s new strategy reinforces a psychosocial and recovery approach to counterbalance the over-reliance on a medical model of mental health. There is a need to move beyond urgency-driven medical solutions and instead adopt a public health, human rights, recovery oriented psychosocial approach to mental health. This is why we have renovated our commitment to work in a holistic way that puts human rights and people with lived experience at the centre of our actions.

 

MHE has consistently positioned itself as a key actor working towards the implementation of human rights principles and obligations in mental health. MHE will intensify it’s work in:

  1. Human rights
  2. Co-creation
  3. Intersectionality
  4. Focus on categories more at risk
  5. Education and digitalisation

 

READ MHE’S STRATEGIC PLAN

Meet the board

Meet the MHE Board Members, who support the work of the Secretariat with passion and commitment.

Catherine Brogan

President, Deputy CEO at Mental Health Ireland

Kristijan Grđan

Vice President, Association for Psychological support, Croatia

Stefaan Baeten

Treasurer, Vlaamse Vereniging voor Geestelijke Gezondheid (VVVG), Belgium

 “Mental Health for me is about having a positive outlook on life.”

“Respect for freedom, self-determination and meaningful social participation are determinants of mental health wellbeing.”

“Mental Health is sharing Hope.”

Paul Bomke

Secretary, Dachverbands Gemeindepsychiatrie, Pfalzklinikum, Germany

Wieteke Beernink

Member of the Board, De Nederlandse GGZ, The Netherlands

Andrej Vršanský

Member of the Board, League for Mental Health, Slovakia

“It is important that we talk more about health and hope, instead of focusing on mental illness.”

Eva Leutner

Member of the Board, Pro mente Austria, Austria

Pino Pini

Member of the Board, Associazione Italiana per la Salute Mentale (AISME), Italy

Sanna Vesikansa

Member of the Board, Mental Health Finland and The Finnish Central Association for Mental Health, Finland

“The miracle of man has many faces. I want to be an ambassador to help the “diversity of being“ to be accepted.”

Meet the Staff

Claudia Marinetti

Director

Liuska Sanna

Head of Operations

Laura Marchetti

Policy Manager

Fatima Awil

Policy & Knowledge Officer (Education, Youth and Vulnerable Situations)
Claudia Marinetti is director at Mental Health Europe (MHE) and has extensive expertise in the areas of health and its social determinants, well-being and equity. With over 10 years of experience in management, policy, advocacy and research, Claudia has worked across sectors to improve the well-being including approaches based on human rights, access to quality services, HiAP, and social inclusion. Prior to joining MHE, she worked for EuroHealthNet, a not-for-profit partnership working on public heath, disease prevention, health promotion, and inequality reduction. She has also worked for K.U.Leuven and briefly for the University of Oxford’s Centre for Criminology. Claudia is a graduate of the University of Padua (Italy) and holds a PhD in Social and Applied Psychology from the University of Oxford (UK).
claudia.marinetti[at]mhe-sme[dot]org
Liuska worked for over 16 years in rights-based international and European networks mainly in the health sector and in organisations focusing on children's and women’s rights. She initially worked in the field of sexual reproductive health and rights with International Planned Parenthood Federation – European Network (IPPF EN) and subsequently as Programme Manager at the European Patients’ Forum. She worked prominently on patient involvement and empowerment, health inequalities, research and medicines’ development, eHealth and Health Technology Assessment (HTA). Recently Liuska has been the Director of the End Female Genital Mutilation European Network and holds experience in association management. Additionally, she has expertise in strategic planning, programme development and management, policy and advocacy work, membership development and capacity building.
liuska.sanna[at]mhe-sme[dot]org
Laura is from Italy and holds a Master of Arts double degree in European Studies from the University of Groningen and the University of Strasbourg. She was also the recipient of a scholarship to study overseas at Osaka University in Japan. Prior to joining MHE in 2017, Laura worked for various Brussels-based NGOs and collaborated with different EU institutions and international agencies, notably in the social and human rights sectors. More specifically, she has focused on the rights of persons with disabilities, de-institutionalisation, economic and social rights, including the right to work and inclusion in the labour marker as well as health and safety in the workplace. At MHE, Laura leads the network’s work on social policy and coordinates the work of the policy and advocacy team to ensure the achievement of strategic objectives.
laura.marchetti[at]mhe-sme[dot]org
Fatima is Somali and grew up in the United Kingdom. She has a background in human rights research, policy and advocacy with NGOs. Prior to joining Mental Health Europe, Fatima worked as the Advocacy and Policy Officer for End Female Genital Mutilation European Network and later as project Coordinator for Our Narratives Yet Xplained (ONYX) Hub. As well as being an intersectional feminist, Fatima is an experienced speaker and advocate, with over nine years of experience in advocacy and campaigning. She also co-founded Youth For Change in 2014, a global youth-led network, working in partnership with organisations and governments to tackle gender-based violence and create positive change for young people. Fatima holds a BA (Hons) in Law and Human Rights, and an LLM in International Law and International Relations.
fatima.awil[at]mhe-sme[dot]org

Jackie Mellese

Communication Manager

Margi Marchetti

Junior Communication Officer

Francesca Centola

Policy & Knowledge Officer (Health, Digitalisation and Environment)

Vivian Hemmelder

Research & Project Officer
Jackie has wide-ranging experience in B2B marketing communication in both the corporate and non-profit world. She initially worked in market research (agency and client side) in various sectors. For the last 10 years, Jackie has worked in communication in adult and paediatric oncology non-profit associations. Boosting the reputation of the organisations and contributing to the success of their projects, she developed and executed the communication plans, took care of multi-channel content creation, managed media relations, and coordinated the dissemination of EU-funded projects. She is passionate about healthcare, the role of the mind-body connection in health and illness, mindfulness and its mainstreaming into healthcare and society, as well as the need for better awareness about mental health. Jackie holds a BA in Business Management from Vesalius College (VUB) and an MBA from The Open University.
jackie.mellese[at]mhe-sme[dot]org
Margi's background is in media and entertainment. They focus on the representation of minority groups, queer storytelling and gender equality issues. After developing significant experience as a host and interviewer in the entertainment industry in Milan, they moved to Estonia to attend a joint Master's in Literature, Visual Culture and Film Studies from Tallinn University and the Estonian Academy of Arts. Meanwhile, they worked with Tallinn University as a YouTuber and live host. Margi puts their LGBTQ+ and Mental Health advocacy at the centre of their presence on social media, fighting the stigma related to both topics and their intersections. They are vocal regarding their own lived experience with mental health conditions and consider it a crucial part of their identity. Margi identifies as non-binary and they use they/them pronouns.
margi.marchetti[at]mhe-sme[dot]org
Francesca holds a master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomatic Studies with further specialisation in International Protection of Human Rights. She has been working for EU membership-based networks since 2011. In her last job, Francesca was Coordinator of the activities with and for young carers at the European association Eurocarers. She advocated for changes in policies and practices across Europe to enable children with caring responsibilities to thrive. She ensured that every activity about young carers was co-designed with them (experts by experience), by facilitating a working group made up of 30 young carers from different countries. In her position as coordinator of a Horizon2020 project aimed at strengthening the resilience of adolescent young carers, Francesca gained in-depth knowledge about mental health. Eager to advocate for a right to health which includes mental health, she joined MHE in January 2022. An Italian mother tongue, she also speaks English and French.
francesa.centola[at]mhe-sme[dot]org
Vivian is Dutch and has a background in neuroscience. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Amsterdam and her Master’s degree at Harvard University. After working in several labs in the Netherlands and in the US, Vivian switched careers to public sector consultancy by participating in the Dutch National ThinkTank, where she focused on improving vocational education. Vivian worked for public sector consultancy Andersson Elffers Felix (AEF) during 2017-2021 where she started incorporating her own personal experiences as a user of mental health care in her consultancy work, and founded an own initiative (together with Rasila Hoek) called Gek van ggz. Vivian currently divides her time between MHE and the Dutch International Mental Health Hub (part of the Nederlandse ggz), of which she is the coordinator.
vivian.hemmelder[at]mhe-sme[dot]org

Joseph O'Sullivan

Junior Communication, Membership & Events Officer
Joseph was born in Brussels and he has an academic background in business communication. His passion for changing mental health policies across Europe stems from working within primary mental healthcare in the UK, where the challenges and realities of service provision and the struggles of service users became apparent to him. He gained knowledge and experience of EU affairs and human rights advocacy through an EU law and human rights minor. Joseph has a personal passion for digital health, believing it to be a crucial tool toward developing more accessible, personalised and effective treatments for many areas of health, including mental health. Joseph aids in communicating the important work done by MHE’s policy team to a wide and diverse audience, as well as providing support in the organisation of MHE’s events.
joseph.osullivan[at]mhe-sme[dot]org

Meet the Senior Policy Advisors

Nigel Henderson

Understanding Mental Health, Recovery Services, All Policies

Jan Pfeiffer

Deinstitutionalisation, Structural funds

Dominique de Marné

Youth

Gabor Petri

Social Policy

Meet the Honorary Advisors

Josée van Remoortel

Stijn Jannes

Bob Grove

Committees & Taskforces

Mental Health Europe Committees and Taskforces support the Secretariat on specific issues including human rights, new membership and financial questions.

1

Membership

The Membership and Accreditation Committee supports the work of MHE with membership recruitment, advice on membership applications, reviews of the statutes and internal rules and makes proposals in relation to the membership fees.

2

Finances

The Finance Committee ensures that MHE’s financial situation is given the necessary attention and secures the transparency of the accounts.

3

Human rights

The Committee on Mental Health and Human Rights supports MHE’s work on human rights and ensure that human rights are mainstreamed in all MHE’s activities and projects and that appropriate actions are taken when the human rights of people with mental health problems are violated.

Mental Health Europe Taskforces work on specific issues related to mental health. They support the Secretariat’s policy work on a regular basis. The Beyond the Biomedical Paradigm Taskforce (BBP Taskforce) is a group of experts working on the change of culture within mental health services in Europe. The BBP Taskforce works with the Secretariat on trying to shift the mental health sector away from the purely biomedical approach to mental health. Experts call for a key shift in mental health culture which considers and involves the views, rights and lived experience of mental health service users.

Who we work with

MHE collaborates and contributes to a constructive dialogue with European policy makers and other international bodies including the United Nations, the Council of Europe as well as the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization.

European Commission

Collaborating with the European Commission is at the heart of MHE’s work. This collaboration includes our participation in various civil dialogues, two of the most important being the High-level Group on Disability and the Group of Governmental Experts on Mental Health. MHE also shares expertise and input about mental health policy with the EU Commission when required.

World Health Organisation

Mental Health Europe has an observatory Status with the World Health Organization

Council of Europe

Mental Health Europe has a consultative status with the Council of Europe and contributes to the Council of Europe coalition of INGOs.

United Nations

Mental Health Europe’s core human rights work concerns the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). MHE attended the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and had our concerns reflected in a number of recommendations.

European Parliament

Mental Health Europe works closely with the European Parliament and its Members
through the MEPs affiliated to our Coalition for Mental Health and Well-being.

European organisations

Mental Health Europe maintains close relationships with other European organisations active in the field of health, disability and social affairs at European level. This collaboration is key to ensure good networks of contacts and mainstream mental health in all policies. Mental Health Europe is member of the following European organisations:

  

International Labour Organization

Mental Health Europe is member of the mental health working group
of the International Labour Organization – Business and Disability.

 

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