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Our mission

We advocate for positive mental health and wellbeing and for the rights of people living with mental ill health. We raise awareness to end mental health stigma and discrimination.

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.


years of advocacy


member organisations


different countries


Strategic priorities

Strategic Priorities

Ensure a human rights-based and recovery-centred approach to mental health

✓ Engage with and influence the EU Institutions, the Council of Europe and other key stakeholders on the monitoring

and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

✓ Raise awareness of stigma and discrimination around mental health through communication tools and a dedicated campaign.

✓ Lobby for review and reform of diagnostic models which are not human rights or recovery compliant.

✓ Actively support the empowerment of people with lived experience of mental ill health, including users and ex-users of services.

✓ Raise awareness of and promulgate the recovery model amongst members, key stakeholders and the general public.


Parity of esteem: valuing mental health equally with physical health

✓ Advocate for equal funding in mental health and physical health.

✓ Ensure the mainstreaming of mental health in all policies, including economic,education, social and employment policies,
with a particular focus on poverty and social inclusion, through policy and communication tools.

✓ Promote positive mental health and wellbeing in all policies and wider prevention strategies, particular prevention of suicide.

✓ Promote a holistic vision of health and a better knowledge of the intertwining of physical health and mental health.

Promote better mental health at work

✓ Engage with EU Institutions through policy and communication tools, on the economic and social costs of mental health issues at work.

✓ Through the EU Alliance on Mental Health in All Policies, create a broad network of NGOs, service providers, insurers, trade unions and corporates to influence policy makers.

✓ Advocate for and collate data on good quality employment opportunities for all, including people with psychosocial disabilities who are long-term unemployed.

Advocate for better community based care

✓ Deliver training on DI to the EU Institutions to raise awareness and influence key decision makers.

✓ Engage with National governments on the transparent and sound use of structural funds to enable the process of DI.

✓ Deliver an updated research project mapping institutionalisation in Europe.

✓ Create and facilitate formal and informal networks between our members to exchange best practiceson community based care.

Strengthen and consolidate MHE’s networks

✓ Diversify funding streams.

✓ Create and consolidate informal and formal networks amongst our members to share best practices and
develop joint projects where possible.

✓ Deliver flexible and responsive capacity building for members.

✓ Develop a membership strategy.

✓ Set up accountability mechanisms with transparent processes in line with best practices in good governance.

✓ Create informal and formal alliances with other European mental health organisations.

✓ Position MHE as the European voice of mental health.

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

Darina Sedlakova

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

Sanni Lehtinen

Member of the Board, MIELI, 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


Liuska Sanna

Head of Operations

Laura Marchetti

Policy Manager

Fatima Awil

Policy & Knowledge Officer
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).
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.
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 the Osaka University in Japan. Prior to joining MHE in 2017, she 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.
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.

Jackie Mellese

Communications Manager

Jennifer Oroilidis

Communications Officer

Francesca Centola

Policy & Knowledge Officer

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.
Jennifer is from Germany, with an academic background in International Communications Management. After completing her Bachelor of Arts at The Hague University (The Netherlands), Jennifer gained practical insight into EU advocacy as a trainee for the European Federation of Journalists, advocating for press freedom and journalists' rights. During her studies, Jennifer was also project manager of Enactus HHS – part of an NGO network using entrepreneurial action to create economic opportunities for people in need. As assistant editor of Newscoop, a global news platform, Jennifer has reported from Brussels, Melbourne and The Hague in the fields of mental health, human rights, climate change and international politics. She is also an Orygen Global Youth Mental Health Advocacy fellow and takes part in a programme for young people from across the globe who are passionate about youth mental health and want to create change in the mental health landscape of their country.
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.
Vivian Hemmelder 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, she 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.

Niklas Hlubek

Policy & Projects Assistant
Niklas is from Germany and has an academic background in psychology. After completing his Bachelor of Science at Erasmus University Rotterdam (The Netherlands), he worked as a Research Assistant at the Max-Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig (Germany) and the Department of Clinical Neuropsychology at University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany). He obtained a Master’s degree in Psychological Research from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) where he specialized in the field of Global Mental Health and Youth Mental Health in relation to social inequalities and policy research and processes. Currently, he finishes a Master’s degree in Social Policy and Public Health at Utrecht University (The Netherlands), expanding his knowledge of policy and intervention processes with the aim to apply these to the field of public mental health.

Meet the Senior Policy Advisors

Nigel Henderson

Understanding Mental Health, Recovery Services, All Policies

Jan Pfeiffer

Deinstitutionalisation, Structural funds

Dominique de Marné


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.



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.



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


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.