About us


The Institute has the ambition of generating innovative knowledge, building capacity and providing technical collaboration to governments and non-governmental organisations in the areas of:


Mental health and social determinants


Mental ill health and chronic diseases


Mental health policy and services organisation


Mental disabilities and human rights

The activities of the Institute will be driven by a public health approach. Scientific evidence and public interest will represent the two main driving forces of its moral and technical commitment. The Institute will rely on funding from sources that have no commercial interests.

The main activities of the Institute will consist in:

  • Developing epidemiological and services research
  • Offering training to individuals and institutions
  • Providing technical assistance to countries and non-governmental organisations
  • Promoting or joining international collaborative networks for research, training and technical cooperation


Founding Members

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is a Portuguese private institution of public utility whose statutory aims reside in the fields of arts, education, and science.
 Established in 1956 as a Portuguese foundation for the whole of humanity, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation stands out as one of the most important European foundations.

The Foundation undertakes a vast range of activities structured around its headquarters in Lisbon (Portugal) and its delegations in Paris (France) and London (the United Kingdom). It grants support to projects and programmes both in Portugal and abroad.

NOVA Medical School/Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

The Department of Mental Health of the NOVA Medical School/Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa is one of the most active university departments in Europe in mental health policy and services research, development, evaluation and training. The Department conducted a significant number of studies on the epidemiology of mental disorders and on the evaluation of policies and services, and participated in important European projects (on prevention of depression and suicide, effectiveness of treatment for people with severe mental disorders, and quality of mental health services, among others).

At the policy level, the Department had a key role in the implementation of the national mental health policy, plan and legislation in Portugal and has extensively collaborated with WHO, European Union and other international organisations in global mental health initiatives.

It has a leading role in the Gulbenkian Global Mental Health Platform and the EU Joint Action for Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública (ENSP)/National School of Public Health

Established in 1966, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública (ENSP) is a pioneer institution in public health education in Portugal and in Europe. ENSP provides post-graduate teaching and research in health related areas, namely in public health and health policy and management.

Faculty at ENSP cover many different disciplines such as Epidemiology and Statistics, Environmental and Occupational Health, Health Promotion, Health Policy, Management of Healthcare Organisations, Health Economics, Sociology of Health and Health Law. ENSP receives annually about 170 new students for courses with one or more years duration, including doctorates, masters and specialisations. Additionally, about 200 other students attend short courses. ENSP students have diverse educational backgrounds, which include medicine, nursing, pharmacy, health technologies, economics, management, law, psychology and others.

Governing Bodies

Executive Board

José Miguel Caldas de Almeida – President

Benedetto Saraceno – Secretary-General

Manuela Silva – Secretary

General Meeting Board

Joaquim Gago – President

Manuel Gonçalves Pereira – Vice-President 

Maria Eduarda Costa – Secretary

International Scientific Committee

Jorge Soares – Chairman of the Scientific Committee Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal 

Aart Schene – Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Alberto Minoletti – School of Public Health of University of Santiago, Chile

Alvaro de Carvalho – National Program of Mental Health, Portugal

Angelo Barbato – Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Milan, Italy

Angelo Fioritti – Mental Health Services, Bologna, Italy

Antonio Leuschner – University of Porto, Portugal

Crick Lund – University of Cape Town, South Africa

Dainius Puras – University of Vilnius, Lithuania

Emiliano Albanese – University of Geneva, Switzerland

Francisco Torres González – University of Granada, Spain

Gabriel Ivbijaro – World Federation for Mental Health, London, UK

Graça Cardoso – NOVA Medical School, NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal

Grayson Norquist – Emory University , USA

Harry Minas – University of Melbourne, Australia

Helen Killaspy –University College London, UK

Itzak Levav –University of Haifa, Israel

Joaquim Gago – NOVA Medical School, NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal

John Mahoney – University of Melbourne, Australia

Jordi Alonso – Institute of Public Health, Barcelona, Spain

José Luis Ayuso – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

Julian Eaton – Basic Needs, Togo

Julian Perelman – National School of Public Health, Lisbon, Portugal

Lakshmi Vijaikumar – Sneha Suicide Prevention Center, Chennai, Índia

Manuel Gonçalves Pereira – NOVA Medical School, NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal

Michael King – University College London, UK

Miguel Xavier – NOVA Medical School, NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal

Nasser Loza – Behman Hospital, Cairo, Egypt

Nino Makashvili – University of Tblisi, Georgia

Pedro Gabriel Delgado – Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rafael Sepúlveda – Ministry of Health, Chile

Rangaswami Thara – Schizophrenia Research Foundation, Chennai, Índia

Ricardo Araya – London School of Hygiene and Tropical Diseases, UK

Roberto Mezzina – Department of Mental Health, Azienda Sanitaria, Trieste, Italy

Ron Kessler – Harvard Medical School, USA

Sandra Saldivia – University of Concepción, Chile

Sérgio Gulbenkian – Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal

Shekhar Saxena – WHO, Geneva

Soumitra Pathare – Center for Mental Health Law and Policy at the Indian Law Society, Pune, India

Stelios Stylianidis – EPAPSY, Athens, Greece

Victor Aparicio Basauri – Servicios de Salud, Asturias, Spain