Speakers

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Aferdita Tako

Agim Gjikopulli

Agnes Verbruggen

Aleksandra Milicevic-Kalasic

Andrei Gresita

Ariel Como

Besmira Zenelaj

Blerina Saraci Qirinxhi

Camelia Crismariu

Catalina Crisa

Claire McRae

Cornelia Adeola

Costin Cibea

Daniela Gaba

Danijela Stimac Grbic

Davor Mucic

Donald Goff

Donjeta Bali

Doriana Berberi

Dragos Alexandru

Enita Metaj

Ermira Dervishi

Eugjen Sotiri

Fatime Elezi

Felix Sisenop

Florida Dobi

Germain Weber

Giovanni de Girolamo

Gladiola Hoxha

Graça Maria Pereira Cardoso

Heinz Katschnig

Herta Agaj

Hiroaki Ambo

Howard H. Goldman

Jada Caja

Jana Chihai

Johan Bilsen

José Miguel Caldas de Almeida

Jutta Lindert

Kaloyan Stoychev

Ken Courtenay

Kleida Mati Ramizi

Laurant Kollcaku

Lavinia Duica

Lisa Dixon

Lorena Sila

Marija Jevtic

Martina Rojnic Kuzman

Melanie Bennett

Michael Noah Weiss

Mihai Bran

Mihai Mutica

Mihail Cristian Pirlog

Mohammed Alsbou

Monica Laura Cara

Nikolina Jovanovic

Norman Sartorius

Nureini Mohamed

Paula Sterkenburg

Petre Radescu

Rexhina Bajo

Robert Drake

Rumiana Dinolova

Sanja Harhaji

So Yayama

Sonila Bitri

Sonila Tomori

Svetlana Dimitrova

Tea Vukusic-Rukavina

Vaska Stancheva-Popkostadinova

Veronika Dimitrova

Vladimir Nakov

Yazan Al-Sarayrah

Aferdita Tako

MD, PHD, pediatrician neurologist at University Hospital Centar Mother Teresa and assistant professor of pediatrics at University of Medicine, Tirana. Her doctoral studies focus on the comorbidity of epilepsy in autism spectrum disorder and monogenic syndromes with autistic features. She is an active member of European and Albanian pediatric societies.

Agim Gjikopulli

PhD since 2016, pediatrician endocrinologist at University Hospital Center Mother Teresa, Neurology–Endocrinology-Gastroenterology service in Pediatric Department. Experienced clinician in pediatric endocrinology field, as well as in pediatric emergency and metabolic disorders. Master in Pediatrics and author of many publications in child endocrinology and metabolic disorders. Lecturer in Tirana Medical University and Member of Albanian Pediatric Association.

Agnes Verbruggen

Social worker, sociologist, lawyer, mediator. Lecturer at University College of Ghent, Belgium. Supervisor in the work field among with mobile mental health teams. Independent practice in mediation in private and labor situations. Author of several books on the topic of integrity and professional ethics.

Aleksandra Milicevic-Kalasic

Specialist in neuropsychiatry, holds a PhD on neuro-psychiatric disorders in the elderly and a master’s degree in neuropsychology. She is the founder of the Department of Mental Health and Pain Treatment at the Institute of Gerontology, Palliative Care, and Home Treatment, where she still works, improving systematical approaches for the elderly, disabled, functionally dependent people with psychiatric and neurologic disorders. Former Associate Professor at the Singidunum University – Department for Social Work since 2013, forensic expert since 1996, Professor at the Specialized Medical School in Belgrade in the period 2011-2014 and Fogarty fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr Milicevic-Kalasic worked as a National Counterpart for WHO Mental Health programs from 2003-2011. She has been the co-chair of the OAP section of WPA since 2013-2019.

Andrei Gresita

MD, PhD, Psychiatry Trainee and Research Assistant at the Center of Clinical and Experimental Medicine – University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova, Romania. He is member of a research team mainly focused on aging and post stroke recovery. He studies psychiatry as a resident doctor at the Clinical Neuropsychiatry Hospital of Craiova and aims to combine research with clinical medicine in the hope of discovering a treatment which will substantially improve the cognitive and motor deficit of patients who suffer from stroke. He plans on continuing his research as part of a post-doc program.

Ariel Como

Professor of Psychiatry at the Tirana Medical University, is currently clinical Head of Psychiatry Division, Department of Neuroscience, Tirana University Hospital Center Mother Tereza, Deputy Dean for Continuing Medical Education at the Faculty of Medicine, Tirana Medical University. Member of the Directors’ Council of postgraduate schools in Neurosciences and of the National Steering Committee on Reforming the Mental Health Sector, and member of working group on developing inter-sectorial strategy on Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Since 2010 is National Coordinator at the South East European Autism Network, and Scientific Director of the Tirana Regional Center on Autism.

Besmira Zenelaj

I graduated General Medical School in 2013 in Medical University of Tirana. In 2015 I started child and adolescent residency and graduated in 2019. Since 2019 I work as child and adolescent psychiatrist in the National Center for Children Treatment and Rehabilitation in Tirana. My role is to evaluate, diagnose and develop an individual education plan and medication treatment when necessary for children and adolescents with various mental health problems. Being a team leader, psychiatric assessment, development assessment, treatment planning, treatment outcomes and daily group meetings with psychologists, speech therapists, physiotherapists and parents are part of my everyday work. This last two year I started giving lessons on Neuropsychiatry as a part time lecturer for Speech Therapy students in the Faculty of Technical Medical Sciences, part of Medical University of Tirana.

Blerina Saraci Qirinxhi

She graduated with honors from the Faculty of Medicine in the field of general medicine, Tirana in 2010 and later graduated as a radiologist in 2015. Since 2016 Dr. Saraci is giving her contribution in clinical and academic activity in the University Hospital Center Mother Teresa, being attached to the Pediatric Hospital, the only one in the country. Dr. Saraci is also a lecturer in Radiology at the Faculty of Medicine in Tirana and also lecturer of Nuclear Medicine and PET CT at the Faculty of Aldent, Tirana. Dr. Saraci is an active member of WFUMB and EFSUMB certified by them in Ultrasonography Trainings and legal secretary of AUA.

Camelia Crismariu

Psychologist specialized in the field of Special Psychology and Special Education, with a master’s degree in Speech Therapy for Language and Communication Disorders at the University of Bucharest, in Applied Behavior Analysis at Clemson University and in Cognitive Psychodiagnosis and Psychological Counseling at the Ecologic University Bucharest. She started working with children with autism implementing applied behavior analysis techniques since 2009. In 2015, she started her collaboration with Help Autism association where she activates as therapist, coordinator for the individual intervention plans for children with ASD, evaluator and trainer of courses in ABA therapy.

Catalina Crisa

Specialist in Adult Psychiatry and Lecturer at the Department of Neurosciences, Discipline of Psychiatry and Pediatric Psychiatry, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iuliu Hatieganu Cluj-Napoca. Her research interests are devoted towards evaluation of the awareness of disease in psychiatric disorders, forensic psychiatry and the evaluation of psychiatric symptoms in neurodegenerative disorders, especially Huntington disease. Her expertise in the field of psychiatry is completed with courses in the field of psychosis and mood disorders at Maudsley Forum, King’s College London (2007), Mental Health Futures: Schizophrenia Masterclass, Madrid, 2013 and project European standards for competitive postdoc formation programs in the domain of advanced research and forensic psychiatry (2011-2013).

Claire McRae

BSc(Hons), PGCE, Microsoft Certified Educator and Academic Leader for Computing and Digital Technologies at New College Lanarkshire, Scotland. Graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2003 with her degree in Multimedia Technology went on to study Education with a Postgraduate Certification from the University of Strathclyde. Claire specialises in areas such as Social Media, Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security and Cloud Computing. She is a Mental Health First Aider in her institution and works closely with students aged 16+.  Claire has been invited to lecture in countries across Europe  on the topic of Social Media, with her research interests being related to the impact of Social Media on mental health.

Cornelia Adeola

Psychologist, psychotherapist, expert on the rights of people with intellectual and psycho-social disabilities, national trainer in mental health, within the MENSANA project; Master in Psychology, Re-master at the Nicholas C. Petris Center, University of California, Berkeley (USA).Clinical experience of over 18 years in the field of mental health (anxiety, depression, personality disorders, PTSD, complex traumas, addictions), outpatient and inpatient services, including with NATO military, in the Republic of Moldova and Netherlands. Professional skills: mentalization-based therapy, schema-based therapy, narrative therapy and narrative exposure therapy for trauma (NET), positive psychology, CBT, and positive CBT, human rights.

Costin Cibea

Registered psychiatrist since 2012, when he opened his own private practice in Bucharest. Currently employed on a fixed term contract as a psychiatrist, by the Psychiatric Unit of the Centre Hospitalier de Roanne in France. His areas of interest are psychotherapy and a phenomenological – existential focus. He had completed a training as psychotherapist, in the Existential Analysis method developed by Doctor Alfried Laengle and the Viennese School of Existential Analysis (GLE International).

Daniela Gaba

Psychologist, social worker, neurofeedback practitioner and trainer, lecturer in Social Work at the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest. One of her current research interests is in mental health social work, with a focus on the application of novel neuropsychological therapeutic methods to social work practice. She is co-founder and Research and Development Director of Neurofeedback Romania. She holds a PhD in Sociology (University of Bucharest), master’s degrees in social work (University of Bucharest) and International Development and Social Justice (St. John’s University), and bachelor’s degrees in social work and Psychology (University of Bucharest).

Danijela Stimac Grbic

MD, PhD, Specialist in Public Health with over 20 years of experience, Professor of Social Medicine and Organization of Healthcare at the Andrija Stampar School of Public Health – University of Zagreb, and Head of Department for Mental Health and Addiction Prevention in Croatian Institute of Public Health. She was a Research Technical Adviser on the EU Twinning project Ensuring optimal care for people with mental disorders for Croatia and she is senior researcher in the project RECOVER-e, associate at the EU Joint Action (JA) projects JADECARE and Tobacco and head of the EU-JA project ImpleMENTAL for Croatia. Since 2016, she is Croatian Focal Point for Alcohol at the WHO, and a member of the European Commission’s Working Group on National Alcohol Reduction Policies (CNAPA). She is the Head of the program of specialist training in public health medicine in Croatia and she has a prodigious national and international scientific activity.

Davor Mucic

Psychiatrist in Copenhagen with special interest in e-Mental Health, who established the Little Prince Psychiatric Centre where he developed telepsychiatry since 2000. In 2011 DM launched Telemental Health Section within EPA, and in 2015 he re-activated the Section on Informatics within WPA and is a board member of the section. He is Editor-in-Chief of Edorium Journal of Psychiatry and he published a number of scientific articles related to telepsychiatry development in Denmark. DM described a variety of e-Mental Health applications and services in the edited book e-Mental Health, published by Springer in 2016. Currently, he coordinates Expert Group on e-Mental Health within WPA aimed to propose a plan of action related to WPA response to the COVID-19 pandemic. DM is the author of WPA Telepsychiatry Global Guidelines (in press). For excellent service to the WPA, he has recently been awarded as an Honorary Member of WPA.

Donald Goff

Translational clinical researcher who studies and treats schizophrenia, former Director of the Schizophrenia Clinical and Research Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School prior to moving to New York in 2012 to become the Marvin Stern Professor and Vice Chair for Research in Psychiatry at New York University Langone Medical Center and Director of the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research. He earned his medical degree at UCLA and completed his internship in Internal Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and his residency in Psychiatry at MGH in Boston. His research fellowship in Psychopharmacology was completed at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston. He is the recipient of the Kempf Award for Mentorship in Biological Psychiatry from the APA; the Wayne Fenton, MD, Award for Exceptional Clinical Care; the Stanley Dean Award for Research in Schizophrenia from the American College of Psychiatrists and the Research Award from the APA. He is also a member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and Associate Editor for Psychiatry at JAMA.

Donjeta Bali

MD, PhD, Associate Professor at Medical University of Tirana. Since 2001 works in Oncohematologic Service, at Pediatric Department at University Hospital Center Mother Teresa, in Tirana, Albania. Author/co-author of oral presentations in national and international events in the field of healthcare, general pediatrics and pediatric oncohematology problems, of about 30 original publications and training manuals. General Secretary of the Albanian Pediatric Society since 2013, member of the Albanian Pediatric Association, Albanian Hematology and Transfusiology Association, European Hematology Association, Albanian Group of Palliative Care, and of the Task Force on Palliative Care in Albania. Participations as officer to the General Assemblies and Council of EPA/UNEPSA. She is involved in numerous  scientific activities in national and international level.

Doriana Berberi

As a Radiation Oncologist at the University Clinical Center of Kosovo, my professional life is characterized by continuously learning and challenging myself to improve and enhance my academic knowledge as well as my daily practice in this profession. After the Residency program in Clinical and Radiation Oncology at “Mother Theresa” University Hospital Center, in Tirana, Albania, I moved to Prishtina. As a relatively new professional from a small country, such as Kosovo, with middle income, together with my colleagues, we try to create a good, efficient work environment, for the patient and for the staff equally.

My work as an Assistant Professor at College of Medical Sciences Alma Mater Europea “Resonance”, in Pristina keeps me close to new generations of doctors who are eager to expand their knowledge in the field. Often the burden of cancer treatment becomes overwhelming for all parties involved, staff and patients both, so it is paramount to start including, detecting and treating mental health problems.

Dragos Alexandru

Graduate degree (Sep 2004) in both Medicine (followed by MSc in Management of Health Care Units) and Informatics (followed by MSc in Artificial Intelligence and Communications Technologies), PhD in Medicine (Sep 2012, Physiology). Specialist M.D. in Public Health and Management (Dec 2009). Junior Teaching Assistant (Oct 2005) and Teaching Assistant (Mar 2009) in the Department of Medical Informatics and Biostatistics of the University of Pharmacy and Medicine of Craiova. Contributions to many scientific papers from various fields of medical practice and research, published in international and national peer-reviewed journals, due to his involvement in Biostatistics.

Enita Metaj

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who finished her residency in May 2022 at the “Mother Teresa” University Hospital Center of Tirana. She graduated in General Medicine from the Medical University of Tirana in 2013.

After graduating in 2013, Enita worked for several years as a general practitioner in Tirana and Pristina and has three years of experience in the field of health management in Albania. Passionate about her profession, Enita constantly tries to increase her knowledge in the field by attending educational activities inside and outside the country. She has also always been active in Albania, being part of the editorial offices of the Newspaper of the Faculty of Medicine first, and the Bulletin of Medical Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine later. Currently, she is working as part of the professional team of Mia Clinic in Tirana.

Ermira Dervishi

She graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Tirana, Albania in 2001. Specialized in the pediatric gastro-hepatology field since 2010 works as a pediatrician gastro-hepatologist. She works with Gaucher disease in pediatric age and rare metabolic diseases. Problems of a functional nature in children have been her focus too, working with a multidisciplinary team in making a correct and accurate diagnosis and managing the problem from several angles. Her clinical interest is also feeding problems in children such as those with functional and organic character. After all the correct nutrition of the child to have an optimal growth is imperative for a pediatrician.

Eugjen Sotiri

University Lecturer Department of Neuroscience at the Tirana Medical University. Experienced psychiatrist at Emergency Unit, Psychiatry Division, Department of Neuroscience, Tirana University Hospital Center Mother Teresa. General Secretary of Albanian Psychiatric Association and Board member of Albanian Medical Institute. Member of the working groups for drafting psychiatric clinical treatment protocols and national screening protocol on depression, Ministry of Health.

Fatime Elezi

Lecturer of Psychiatry at the Tirana Medical University, is currently clinical Head of Emergency Unit, Psychiatry Division, Department of Neuroscience, Tirana University Hospital Center Mother Teresa. Head of Albanian Psychiatric Association and active member of European Psychiatric Association. Member of the working groups for drafting the Regulation of Mental Health in Albania and the curricula of the Faculty of Medical and Technical Sciences.

Felix Sisenop

MA in Sociology, PhD student on resilience, resilience trajectories and lifetime events. Works on population-based surveys on resilience, well-being and mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Florida Dobi

PhD since 2015, she is a child and adolescent psychiatrist with 15 years of experience in clinical work and specialized in infant neuropsychiatry at the National Neurology Institute Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy. Director of Albanian National Center for Children Rehabilitation and Treatment and a lecturer in Faculty of Medical and Technical Sciences in Speech Therapy Department. Member of the working groups for drafting mental health policies and clinical treatment protocols, Ministry of Health.

Germain Weber

Professor of Psychology at the University of Vienna, Faculty of Psychology, Department of Health, Development, Enhancement, Intervention. From October 2008 to September 2016 Prof. Weber acted as Dean of the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Vienna, and subsequently as Vice-Dean. At the Université du Luxembourg Professor Weber holds an associate professorship where he teaches clinical psychology on a regular basis. Further, Dr. Weber acts as president of Lebenshilfe Österreich, the major Austrian NGO offering systems of support for over 10.000 persons with intellectual disabilities and advocating for them on a national and European level. Since many years Dr. Weber is involved in European Union funded research projects on learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, aging and assistive technologies.

Giovanni de Girolamo

Head of the Unit of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Evaluation, IRCCS St. John of God Clinical Research Centre, Brescia, Professor, Faculty of Psychology, Lab on Psychology and Psychiatry, Catholic University, Milan, Professor, Post-Graduate School in Psychiatry, Medical School, University of Milan Bicocca. In 1977, he graduated with first class honors in Medicine the 2nd Medical School, University of Naples, with a Doctoral Thesis in Psychiatry. Former Scientific Director of the St. John of God Clinical Research Centre, he was involved as Principal Investigator in several international and national research projects, nowadays being the coordinator of a research team. Dr. De Girolamo is editor referee and member of editorial board of numerous international scientific journals. In 2016, he received the Award of the Physician Association of Salerno (Ordine dei Medici), and in 2019 he was nominated among the 80 Italian researchers most cited from all disciplines.

Gladiola Hoxha

Pediatrician at Emergency Unit in Tirana University Hospital Center after her Residency program in Pediatrics at “Mother Theresa” University Hospital Center, in Tirana, Albania.

Her fields of interest are rare diseases and metabolic disorders as well as child reanimation and child endocrinology.

She is trained in Muchopolisaharidosis, Phenylketonuria, and Rare diseases. Working in a pediatric emergency she is skilled in caring for a wide range of problems that require immediate medical help but also ease the pain and anxiety that a medical emergency can cause to children and families.

Member of Albanian Pediatric Association,  Albanian Gaucher Disease Association.

Graça Maria Pereira Cardoso

Senior researcher of the Chronic Diseases Research Center (CEDOC), NOVA Medical School, NOVA University of Lisbon, and of the Lisbon Institute for Global Mental Health. She received the European Association for Psychosomatic Medicine Frits Huyse 2017 Award, for a career commitment to Consultation Liaison Psychiatry. She was Invited Professor of the Department of Mental Health, NOVA Medical School, NOVA University of Lisbon. Founder and for many years Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Hospital Fernando Fonseca, Amadora, where she developed an integrated and assertive community psychiatry intervention, and consultation liaison services in the general hospital and in primary care. She created the first structured unit in Liaison Psychiatry in Portugal in Hospital Santa Maria. Her main research interests are in the fields of epidemiology, liaison psychiatry, and assessment of services for severe mental disorders.

Heinz Katschnig

Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry of the Medical University of Vienna, where he was Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy from 1991 to 2007. From 1978 to 2014 he was Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Social Psychiatry in Vienna. He has a longstanding research record, on, among others, the topics of health services research, epidemiology, public health, quality of life and life change events with a focus on mental health and physical comorbidity. He was work package leader of several EU-funded projects and of the Austrian COMET project DEXHELPP. His list of publications comprises more than 400 items. He was and is member of national (e.g. Advisory Board for Mental Health of the Austrian Ministry of Health), and international committees (WHO, European Commission, World Psychiatric Association) related to mental health policy and planning.

Herta Agaj

She graduated in the University of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine in January 2017. After graduation she has worked as a general practitioner in a private practice in Tirana. In May 2018 she has started the residency program for Psychiatry in University Hospital Center Mother Teresa in Tirana,

Hiroaki Ambo

Professor at Yamagata Prefectural University of Health Sciences, Japan, is PhD (Health Sciences), University of Tokyo (2005), Master of Health Sciences, University of Tokyo (2002), and Bachelor of Health Science in Nursing, University of Tokyo (1999). He is also Japan Registered Nurse License (RN), Certified Public Health Nurse (PHN), and Certified Psychiatric Social Worker (PSW) and Certified Clinical Psychologist. Member of Japan Academy of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Japan Academy of Public Mental Health, Japan Academy of rehabilitation for mental disorders, Japan Psychiatric Nurses Association (JPNA), Japan Nurses Association (JNA), and reviewer for Japan Journal of Nursing Sciences and Japan Journal of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing. Member of the Yamagata Committee of Suicide Prevention Board, of the Coalition for Higher Education for social work and care management, and Mental Health Education Instructor.

Howard H. Goldman

Professor of Psychiatry, MD PhD, Director of the Behavioral Health Systems Improvement Collaborative, University of Maryland School of Medicine. Howard H. Goldman received joint M.D. – M.P.H. degrees from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in social policy from Brandeis University in 1978. He is the author or co-author of more than 325 publications in the professional literature. Dr. Goldman was the editor of the journal Psychiatric Services from 2004 – 2016, and he served as the Senior Scientific Editor of the Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health from 1997-1999 for which he was awarded the Surgeon General’s Medallion. In 1996 he was elected to membership in the National Academy of Social Insurance, and in 2002 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine.

Jada Caja

Occupational Psychologist since 2011 at University Hospital Center “Mother Theresa”. In 2020 MSc. in Public Health with main interest is occupational burnout, stress management, working under pressure, under unusual situations, dealing with working environments, self esteem and life style. Until August 2022 worked in the Psychosocial Sector in UHC “Mother Theresa” managing and monitoring the psychosocial staff also organizing workshops for continuous education. Now she works in the Pediatric Department in Neurology – Endocrinology  – Gastroenterology service with foccus in children needs assessment, parents psychoeducation, social and task orientation.

Jana Chihai

Psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Associate Professor in Psychiatry Department of State Medical and Pharmaceutical University Nicolae Testemitanu in Chisinau, and senior Mental Health Advisor in Trimbos Institute Moldova, project MENSANA. President of National Society of Psychiatrists, Narcologists, Psychotherapist and Clinical Psychologists. She studied medicine and psychiatry, received psychotherapeutic specialization in European School of Psychotherapy, Socio- and Somatoanalyse in Strasbourg, France and Association of Integrative Psychotherapy and Clinical Psychology, Iasi, Romania. Since 2000 she promoted a new approach in mental health – Community-based services and is very implicated in mental health reform in Republic of Moldova.

Johan Bilsen

PhD, Professor of Public Health, Mental Health, Research Methods and Epidemiology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium.  He is head of the Mental Health and Wellbeing research group, and of the Department of Public Health at the VUB. He is board member of the Belgian Association of Public Health, and vice-president of the Public Mental Health section of the European Public Health Association. J. Bilsen has a long track record in social scientific research (quantitative-epidemiological as well as qualitative) in the field of public health, mental health and general wellbeing. His research is situated in different sub-domains, which include e.g. basic etiological studies, risk factors research, but also health services and policy research, focusing on both the broad population as well as certain vulnerable sub-populations or risk groups.

José Miguel Caldas de Almeida

Professor of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the NOVA Medical School, NOVA University of Lisbon. He has been associated for many years with the reform of mental health services both at the national and global levels. He was the founder of one of the first community based mental health services in Portugal, the Director of National Mental Health Services in Portugal, Coordinator of the Task-Force for the elaboration of the new mental health law passed in 1998, and the Coordinator of the National Mental Health Plan from 2007 to 2011. He was the Chief of the Mental Health Unit at the Pan American Health Organization, the Regional Office of the World Health Organization for the Americas, in Washington D.C. (2000-2005), and the leader of the EU Joint Action for Mental Health and Wellbeing (2013-2016). He is currently the President of Lisbon Institute of Global Mental Health.

Jutta Lindert

PhD, Professor of Public Health at the University of Applied Sciences Emden – Leer, Germany and is also affiliated as Visiting Professor at the Women`s Research Center at Brandeis University, United States. She has a long experience in Public Mental Health research, especially in the effects of social and physical environment and (relationships, violence, genocide and war) and its impact on mental health over the life course. Recently, she is working on COVID-19 pandemic and mental health outcomes. Additionally, she is Vice President of the Section on Public Mental Health of the European Association of Mental Health (EUPHA) and WHO-advisor for Mental Health and COVID-19. Currently, she is involved in several multicenter research-projects investigating mental health and resilience of vulnerable population groups.

Kaloyan Stoychev

Since 2013, Dr. Kaloyan Stoychev is head of the General Psychiatry and Drug Addiction Clinic at the Department of Psychiatry of Dr Georgi Stranski University Hospital in Pleven, Bulgaria. In the same year he has been elected Associated Professor in Psychiatry and Medical Psychology at the corresponding department of the Public Health Faculty of Pleven Medical University. He has over 60 publications in scientific journals and the scope of his research interests covers psychiatric epidemiology and comorbidity in particular, neurobiological including genetic underpinning of mental disorders, psychopharmacotherapy of mood, anxiety and substance use disorders. Dr. Stoychev is member of the European Psychiatric Association, American Psychiatric Association, European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Ken Courtenay

MB BCh MSc MRCGP FRCPsych FRCPEdin Consultant Psychiatrist in Intellectual Disabilities, London UK; Honorary clinical lecturer in University College London; President-elect European Association for Mental Health in Intellectual Disabilities. Dr. Courtenay served as Chair of the Faculty of Psychiatry of Intellectual Disabilities of the Royal College of Psychiatrists 2018 – 2022 and was founder of the Section MHID of the European Psychiatric Association. Dr. Courtenay’s clinical and research interests are in neurodevelopmental disorders, intellectual disabilities (ID) and offenders with ID.  Dr. Courtenay is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities.

Kleida Mati Ramizi

University Lecturer Faculty of Technical Medical Sciences at the Tirana Medical University. Medical Oncologist at Regional Hospital in Vlora city, and Scientific Social Media Officer of European School of Oncology. Actively involved in breast cancer and in psychological aspects of patients with cancer (psycho-oncology) as well as in personalized cancer medicine and patient education. President of Medical Institute of Albania.

Laurant Kollcaku

Graduated from University Hospital Centre “Mother Teresa” Tirana in the Department of paediatric specialty service, Endocrinology and Diabetology unit with specialization on paediatrician and subspecialty on Endocrinology and Diabetology. Actually, he is PHD candidate with Subspecialisation in Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology in the same university. He gives his contribution as paediatrician at the endocrinology department at University Hospital Centre “Mother Teresa” Tirana and in the same time as part time lecturer. He has participated at numerous and various national and international scientific conferences and conducted some studies in this field of interest.

Lavinia Duica

Associate Professor at Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Chief of the Clinic Department of the Dr. Gh. Preda Psychiatric Hospital Sibiu and residency coordinator. She has graduated University of Medicine and Pharmacy Craiova and Faculty of Psychology, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu; she has been trained in Psychiatry in Craiova and Sibiu and in Existential Analysis and Logotherapy Counselling and Psychotherapy School in Bucharest. She obtained her PhD at the Gr. T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iasi and participated at numerous national and international scientific manifestations and is the author of many scientific works. Her areas of interest are suicidal behavior, schizophrenia, affective disorders, mental health services and existential analysis psychotherapy.

Lisa Dixon

Edna L. Edison Professor of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center where she directs the Division of Behavioral Health Services and Policy Research and the Center for Practice Innovations (CPI) at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Dixon is an internationally recognized health services researcher with over 25 years of continuous research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the VA and foundations. As CPI director, she oversees activities for the New York State Office of Mental Health in implementing evidence-based practices in behavioral health programs throughout the state. Dr. Dixon assumed the role of editor-in-chief of the journal Psychiatric Services in January, 2017.

Lorena Sila

After she graduated the Medical School at University of Torvergata, Rome, she is following the Residency Program in Pediatrics in Tirana. Always loves working with children and their families, and focuses on the emotional well-being of her pediatric patients. Her research field is based on the interplay of environmental factors and genetics on allergic diseases in children; focusing on studies that can plausibly show a causal effect between policies to increase access and better health for children. She is an active member both in international and national teams for several research projects.

Marija Jevtic

  • Full professor at the Medical Faculty of the University of Novi Sad since 2014, expert in the field of public health (hygiene)
  • Research associate at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Center de Recherche sur la Santé Environnementale et Professionnelle, École de Santé Publique since 2016.
  • Primarius (2018).
  • Group analyst, full member of GASi Belgrade (Group Analytic Society Belgrade)
  • Systemic psychodynamic organizational consultant
  • Extraordinary member of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the Serbian Medical Association since 2019.

Specializations/training: Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), School of Public Health 2015/16; UNFPA Population, Development, Demography and Health, 2013; Leading Change, QueenMargaret University, Edinburgh, 2011; EU Policy health and environment, Brussels, 2009, 2010; Environmental Policy and Public Dialogue, Institute of International Health, Salzburg 2003.

Leader of Reflective Citizens in Novi Sad. Leader of the project Reflective Citizens in Novi Sad – for the new bridges among us (Foundation Novi Sad European Capital of Culture 2022).

Member: Serbian Medical Association, Association of Doctors of Vojvodina, Association for Public Health of Serbia, Association of Group Analysts Belgrade, Association of Psychotherapists ofSerbia, European Public Health Association (EUPHA), Group Analytic Society (GASi), International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations ( ISPSO), European Health Management Organization (EHMA), Scientific-Professional Society for Disaster Risk Management Serbia, Association of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Serbia (SRH Serbia).

President of the Section for Environment and Health of the European Public Health Association (2019 – 2022). Member of the Scientific Committee of the European Association for HealthManagement (2020-2023). EU Climate Pact Ambassador (2020).

Martina Rojnic Kuzman

Martina Rojnic Kuzman, Associate professor, M.D., Ph.D., at the Zagreb School of medicine, Zagreb University Hospital centre (ZUHC), Dept. of psychiatry. She is actively involved in clinical and research work with patients with psychosis, and lead projects such as RECOVER-E (LaRge-scalE implementation of COmmunity based mental health care for people with seVere and Enduring mental ill health in EuRopE) (2018-2022, Horizon 2020);  Biomarkers in schizophrenia – integration of complementary methods in longitudinal follow up of first episode psychosis patients (2015-2019, Croatian Science Foundation) and project mPIVAS:m-health Psychoeducational Intervention Versus Antipsychotic-Induced Side-effects, (European Union, Life Learning Programmes, Leonardo da Vinci Partnership), (2013-2015) resulting in the creation of mobile phone application for monitoring psychotropic medication side effects. She has published more than 90 expert and scientific papers, and serves as associate editor in journals European Psychiatry, International Journal of Mental Health Systems and Psychiatria Danubina. She is actively involved in professional associations as secretary general of the Croatian Psychiatric Association (CPA) (2014-), and Board member of the European Psychiatric Association (2017 – ), president of the European Federation of Psychiatry Trainees (2008-2011); president of the Croatian Section of Young Psychiatrists and Trainees, CPA (2005-2009).

Melanie Bennett

Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the Division of Psychiatric Services Research, University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is also a Research Health Scientist at the VA Maryland Health Care System. Dr. Bennett received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University. She is the author or co-author of over 75 publications in the professional literature.

Dr. Bennett’s research tests services in real world settings to improve health and support recovery. She has a particular interest in young adults in the early stages of mental illness with psychosis. She leads Training and Implementation Support for the Maryland Early Intervention Program, a state-funded center of excellence in early psychosis. She leads Connection Learning Health System, a regional hub in NIMH’s Early Psychosis Intervention Network.

Michael Noah Weiss

Associate professor at the Department of Educational Science / University of South-Eastern Norway and has a PhD in philosophy. In 2012 he received the Trilogos Diploma and for several years he practiced as a trainer and teacher at the Trilogos Institute in Zürich. Currently he is advisory board member of the Trilogos Foundation.

Mihai Bran

Psychiatrist, digital health enthusiast and co-founder of Inomedica, an NGO that promotes online information and education for both patients and medical specialists and co-founder of Atlas (atlashelp.app), the first platform for online video psychotherapy sessions.

Mihai Mutica

He has graduated Grigore T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy from Iasi. He has completed his PhD from University of Medicine and Pharmacy Craiova in 2016 and in present he is certified physician practicing psychiatry at Elisabeta Doamna Psychiatry Hospital, Galati, Romania. He is involved in numerous research and advocacy projects in mental health.

Mihail Cristian Pirlog

Associate Professor in Medical Sociology at the School of Medicine – University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova; Sociologist and Coordinator of the National Mental Health Program developed by Romanian Ministry of Health and Clinical Hospital of Neuropsychiatry of Craiova. President of Mental Health Association of South-Eastern Europe (MHASEE). He has been involved in many national and international research projects and clinical trials in the field of mental health. His research interests are in social and economic factors involved in psychiatric pathology and mental illness stigma.

Mohammed Alsbou

Professor in Clinical Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Mutah University, Jordan. He has a Bachelor degree in Medicine and Surgery from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, PhD from the University of Liverpool, and MSc from the University of Manchester in the UK. He is currently the Chairman of the Pharmacology Department at the Faculty of Medicine. He is the chairman of the Health and Hazzard Evaluation Committee at the Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA) and Head of the Pharmacovigilance Center for South Jordan at Al-Karak Governmental Teaching Hospital. He is chairman and a member in several committees at the Faculty of Medicine, Al-Karak Teaching Hospital and JFDA. He has many publications in national and international peer reviewed journals.

Monica Laura Cara

Specialist in Public Health and Management. Associated lecturer of the Public Health Department at University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova. Experience in social services management, working with children with mental illness as coordinator of a Community Services Complex (residential center and rehabilitation center for children with disabilities), under The General Directorate of Social Assistance and Child Protection Dolj, Romania. Special research interests in maternal fetal health, genetic and rare diseases, quality management in healthcare, mental health. Numerous scientific papers at national and international conferences. Member of European Public Health Association.

Nikolina Jovanovic

Reader/Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist at Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom. Her work is focused on improving perinatal mental health, developing and implementing psychosocial interventions, improving service user involvement, and exploring the association between architecture and mental health. Over the last ten years, Dr. Jovanović worked on a number of initiatives related to improving mental health care in Eastern Europe. She was the Chief Investigator on the EC-funded project IMPULSE (2017 – 2021), which focused on improving treatment of individuals with psychotic spectrum disorders in Eastern Europe. Dr Jovanović serves on the Committee of Education of the European Psychiatric Association. She has an honorary affiliation with University of Rijeka, Croatia.

Norman Sartorius

Professor N. Sartorius, MD, PhD, FRCPsych previously the Director of the Mental Health Program of the World Health Organization and President of the Wordl Psychiatric Association and of the European Psychiatric Association now serves as President of the Association for the Improvement of Mental Health Programs, a non-governmental organization located in Geneva. Professor Sartorius holds several professorial positions in Europe, the USA and elsewhere. He has published more than 500 papers in peer-reviewed journals and authored, co-authored, edited or co-edited more than 120 books.

Professor Sartorius’ main areas of interest at present are the comorbidity of mental and physical disorders, the reduction of the stigma of mental disorders and education of psychiatrists and other stakeholders in the field of mental health. In his previous positions he was the principal investigator of a number of international collaborative studies and projects dealing with schizophrenia and other major mental diseases, comorbidity of mental and physical illnesses,, health service development, and education of different categories of staff.

Nureini Mohamed

Nureini graduated from Medical school in China with Certificate of Honor. From young age he was always fascinated by how the human brain works and the amazing science behind it. Nureini is now medical resident in Psychiatry at Dr. Gh. Preda Psychiatric Hospital Sibiu, Romania.

His keen interest is in the effects of gut microbiota on mental health, having already written articles on this topic and presented the topic in conferences, he believes that, in the near future, Gut microbiota could help us further explain the pathology of mental illnesses while probiotics could soon be used as adjuvant treatment for depression and anxiety.

Paula Sterkenburg

Prof. dr. Paula Sterkenburg has a chair by special appointment at the Department of Clinical Child and Family Studies of the Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences and the Amsterdam Public Health (APH) research centre of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, in The Netherlands on ‘Persons with a visual or visual-and-intellectual disability, social relations and ICT’. She is a licensed psychologist/therapist and works at Bartiméus Department of Psychotherapy in Doorn. The theme of her PhD study was ‘Integrative Therapy for Attachment and Behaviour’. She has a very broad spectrum of experience from RCT studies to single case studies. Experienced in qualitative, quantitative research as well as mixed method studies. Studies most often field studies examining the effect or newly developed of adapted interventions focusing on attachment and social relations between parent/caregiver and child/client. Also how ICT can support the development of social relations or wellbeing of persons with ID and furthermore working on the development of assessment instruments. She received many awards and is the author and co-author of books, articles and other products such as serious games, apps, etc.

Petre Radescu

Counselor, psychotherapist, psychiatrist in Bucharest, since 2012; psychotherapy training since 2014. He has graduated Faculty of Medicine, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Craiova (2003) and he have become Psychiatric specialist – University of Medicine and Pharmacy Carol Davila, Bucharest (2011). Specialized training in logotherapy, existential analytical support and counseling, SAEL Romania (2009), existential analytical psychotherapy, SAEL Romania (2013), existential analytical psychotherapy, GLE International (2013). Master in Sports Performance, National University of Physical Education and Sport, Bucharest (2016), Doctoral studies – Performance in Sport, National University of Physical Education and Sport, Bucharest, 2015-2018.

Rexhina Bajo

An experienced Obsteter Gynecologist, works at “Queen Geraldine” University Hospital Obstetric Gynaecology in Tirana, Albania since 1993. She empathically cares for mother and child and has a lot of surgery experience. Being a Ph.D. since 2016 her interests expand in Fetal anomalies and CNS, Laparoscopy as a tool for minimal surgery, and maternal mental health as well.  Her field of expertise also includes prenatal congenital heart disease and neonatal reanimation. Working closely with psychiatrists and helping mothers cooping not only with pregnancy issues but also with emotional health as well, she has become one of the multidisciplinary team members working with women with postpartum mental health conditions. A member of the Word Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons and of the National Obstetric-Gynecology Association with many valuable publications in the field.

Robert Drake

MD, PhD, with more than 40 years of experience in psychiatric rehabilitation research. He is recognized internationally for his many contributions to transforming services toward greater alignment with client goals and the recovery process. He is co-developer of the IPS model of supported employment, one of the most successful and influential evidence-based practices in psychiatric rehabilitation.

Rumiana Dinolova

Psychiatrist, Chief Expert at the Mental Health Department of National Center of Public Health and Analyses, Sofia, Bulgaria. In 1995, she graduated in Medicine at the Medical University – Pleven, in 2004, she acquired Specialty in Psychiatry at Sofia Medical University, and in 2018, she defended her doctoral thesis on Adverse childhood experiences and risky health behavior among students in helping professions and medicine. She has held additional specializations in Kinki University, Osaka, Japan, Trimbos Institute, GGZ, Nederland, King`s College, London, UK. Member of Bulgarian Psychiatric Association, IERA and Bulgarian Medical Association. Secretary of the Sofia Psychiatric Society (2006–2008), Associate lecturer at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski and Southwestern University St. Ivan Rilski Blagoevgrad. Focal point for Bulgaria on the violence for the WHO.

Sanja Harhaji

MD, PhD, specialist in social medicine, graduated at the University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Medicine in 2006, completed her postgraduate master studies in 2011 and doctoral studies in the field of Public Health completed in 2016. She has been working at the Institute of Public Health of Vojvodina (Novi Sad, Serbia) since 2007 in the Centre for Informatics and Biostatistics in Health Care. She also works as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Medicine and Health Statistics with Informatics at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Novi Sad. She participated at the Fogarty Fellowship Research Training Program: Socio-Economic Determinants of Mental Health Service Delivery in South-Eastern Europe (2012-2015) provided by The University of California, Berkeley and Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

So Yayama

Specialized in education and research in psychiatric nursing and researcher in the field of dementia care and personal recovery support. Currently, his main research theme is the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). PhD in Nursing at Osaka University (March 2013), and MS in Health science (Osaka University, 2007). Since 2019 Lecturer at the Department of Nursing, Kansai Medical University, Osaka. Between 2015-2019, Lecturer and Associate professor at the Department of Nursing, Kyoto Gakuen University, Kyoto., and between 2010-2015, Assistant professor and Lecturer at the Department of Nursing, Senri Kinran university, Osaka. Member of Japan Academy of Nursing Science, Japan Academy of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, Japanese Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Japan Academy of Nursing Education, Japanese Psychiatric Nurses Association.

Sonila Bitri

Clinical Toxicologist, Addiction Medicine Toxicologist at American Hospital, Tirana, Albania since 2011.

Lecturer at the University of Medicine, Tirana, Albania. Consultant Expert in Health Care Services – World Health Organization.

On 2021 she finished her master studies on the cultural and social aspects of drug use disorder, at the Department of Sociology and Philosophy University of Turin, Italy.

Her field of expertise is Alcohol and Drug use disorder Diagnosis and Treatment, Prevention treatment programs, Dual Diagnosis, Motivational Enhancement therapy for Addiction. Member of the EUROTOX, European Psychiatric Association, and European Society of Biomedical Research on Alcoholism.

Sonila Tomori

PhD since 2015, child and adolescent psychiatrist at University Hospital Center Mother Teresa, Pediatric Department in Neurology-Endocrinology-Gastroenterology service. As a researcher in Albanian Rare Disease Center, her work is focused on psychiatric and psychologic aspects of patients with rare diseases and other comorbidities. Her clinical work consists in children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, psychosomatics and pediatric psycho-oncology. Lecturer in Tirana Medical University and one of the founders of Albanian Medical Institute.

Svetlana Dimitrova

She is PhD in psychology, graduate psychotherapist, certified member of the World Association of Positive Psychotherapy – Wiesbaden, Germany. She graduated Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski in 2003 and has a professional experience in a therapy field of counseling and clinical psychology with children and adults, works with crisis and anxiety disorders, addictions and eating disorders. She has practices in the family system and individual psychotherapy of children and adults and has specialized in the family and child psychology. She has published articles and reports in scientific journals and she has participated to international conferences, seminars and other scientific forums.

Tea Vukusic-Rukavina

Tea Vukušić Rukavina is an associate professor at the Department of Medical Sociology and Health Economics, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb. Since 2017, she is the Assistant Director for health promotion and public relations of the School of Public Health “Andrija Štampar” of the School of Medicine, University of Zagreb. Her areas of scientific and research interest are e-professionalism of healthcare professionals, promotion and prevention of mental health, qualitative methodology in health research, the relationship between the media and health, healthcare management and social marketing. She is a specialist in psychiatry.

She was educated in the field of health management at the Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA, USA. She was a project leader of the project “Picture of mental illness in Croatian, Czech and Slovak print media” (2009 – 2011) which was a part of the Finance and Mental Health Services Training in Czech Republic/Central Europe coordinated by the Global Center for Health & Economic Policy Research, University of California, Berkeley. From 2012 – 2016 she was a visiting faculty at the program Socio-Economics of Mental Health Delivery in SE Europe coordinated by University of California, Berkeley and Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

She participates in numerous domestic and international meetings, is the author of more than 70 scientific and expert papers and nine chapters in university textbooks and books.

Since 2019, she is the editor-in-chief of mef.hr, the journal of the School of Medicine, University of Zagreb. Currently she is the principal investigator of the research project of the Croatian Science Foundation “Dangers and benefits of social networks: e-professionalism of healthcare professionals – SMePROF project”, and a collaborator on the EU Horizon 2020 “Alliance4life_ACTIONS” project. She is a member of the Croatian Medical Chamber, the Croatian Psychiatric Society and the Mental Health Association of South East Europe.

Vaska Stancheva-Popkostadinova

Professor in Child Mental Health and Head of Department of Medical Social Sciences, Faculty of Public Health, Health Care and Sports, South-West University Neofit Rilski, Blagoevgrad. Bulgaria. Her experience and publications are in the field of child mental health: early childhood development, mental health promotion, child abuse and neglect-prevention and interventions, and play in children with disabilities. She is a member of International Society for Early intervention, International Society for Prevention of Child abuse and Neglect, International Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions, Bulgarian Union of Scientists. She was involved in various research and educational projects as a scientific coordinator for Bulgaria and expert in EU funded projects (FP6, FP7, DAPHNE, COST, Structural Funds). She is an author and co-author of more than 70 publications in national and international journals.

Veronika Dimitrova

Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski. She is co-author of the book Portraits of disappearing Sofia (2012), author of Governmentality of poverty. Hygiene and medicine in interwar years (2018) and coordinator of the research team of the project Mental health and social inequalities. Fields of interest: sociology of medicine, history of medicine and urban studies.

Vladimir Nakov

Psychiatrist, head of the Mental Health Department in the National Centre of Public Health and Analyses, Sofia, Bulgaria. He studied medicine at the Medical University – Pleven. Since 1998 he worked at several psychiatric hospitals as a psychiatrist. In 2002, he became a specialist in psychiatry. Since January 2015 he is defending PhD study in the field of social medicine. Since 2007 he has been working in the field of mental health promotion and prevention of mental disorders, especially of prevention of suicide in Bulgaria. He wrote over 40 publications for academic journals and book for suicides in Bulgaria. Dr. Nakov is a Governmental expert on dementia since 2018, member of the Section of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention on EPA and representative for Bulgaria. One of the founders of the Mental Health Association of South-Eastern Europe.

Yazan Al-Sarayrah

Senior Resident in Psychiatry Department in King Hussein Medical Center in Amman-Jordan. He has a Bachelor degree in Medicine and Surgery from Mutah University in Jordan. He Currently holds rank of 1st Lieutenant, Military Doctor in Royal Medical Services / Jordanian Armed Forces. He was Part of Psychological Care Team for COVID-19 Patients in Jordan. His fields of interest are in Research of Mood and Anxiety Disorders.