Main Topics

Title of conference: Managing mental health system complexity

Complexity is one of the main characteristics of mental health systems that have to include many closely interrelated and interdependent components in order to respond in a coordinated way to the needs of users and carers in the different settings. Managing this complexity requires a comprehensive and collaborative network of services that allows physical and mental health to be addressed together. Promoting partnership, cross-disciplinary and inter-organisational collaboration are increasingly needed to fight fragmentation. Management of mental health systems’ complexity, including innovations in working effectively across cultural, clinical and interdisciplinary borders, is one of the key challenges in mental health provision.


Opening: Martin Knapp (UK) | ENMESH Board Member (
"Meeting complexity with complexity: reflections on mental health economics"

Closing: Guadalupe Morales Cano (Spain) | Director at Fundación Mundo Bipolar; Board Member of Mental Health Europe (gm@
"Human Rights First! From ill person to citizen"


The Conference programme will be organised around the theme and the below main topics. To address these different topics we already have an impressive and diverse group of key-note speakers confirmed.

1. Mental health care, from theory to outcome

Supporting recovery at the individual, family and community levels, including new theories about mental health issues (e.g. diagnosis validity, continua models), novel interventions and service models, e-health and online approaches, collaborative working approaches, peer-led research and services, engaging successfully with families and informal carers, new assessment and monitoring methodologies (e.g. measurement approaches, wearable technology)

Benedetto Saraceno, Italy (
"Barriers to and implementation of comprehensive mental health care"

Pim Cuijpers, Netherlands (
"The digital society and the ‘Dodo Bird’: how can psychological treatment reduce the disease burden of depression?"


2. Managing systemic complexity

Public mental health and epidemiological approaches, harnessing big data (e.g. health insurance), managing organisational boundaries (e.g. primary and secondary care, pharmacy, housing, social support, criminal justice), impact of funding arrangements, addressing dual diagnosis and multi-morbidity challenges, evidence-based policy, using improvement / implementation science to support the implementation of innovation, improving human rights, influencing social determinants, advocating for social change.

Mojca Urek, Slovenia (
“The right to have a say” in the whirlwind of delayed deinstitutionalization: participatory and advocacy practices as the essential tool for transforming services.

Julian Perelman, Portugal (
"A new financing model for the Portuguese mental health system."

3. Access inequities

Universal coverage, economic factors, access to mental health care (e.g. national comparisons across Europe), impact of different funding systems, measuring and addressing barriers to access (e.g. low resource settings, difficult to reach groups, language barriers, gender and other sociodemographic characteristics, societal stigma, anticipated discrimination), stigma in health professionals, coercion, case mix analysis of in-system access inequities, national and international inequalities (e.g. Gini coefficient and mental health).

Sara Evans-Lacko, UK (
"The role of stigma in perpetuating barriers to healthcare and reinforcing inequalities"

José Miguel Caldas de Almeida, Portugal (
"Improving access to integrated mental health services in community-based settings in the EU countries"


4. Cross-cultural learning in mental health

Working with minority groups, personalized medicine, co-production methodologies, global mental health, working across borders to meet transnational needs (e.g. mental health consequences of human trafficking / refugees / migrants), international comparisons, responding to the challenges of economic austerity through institutional transformation, interdisciplinary research.

Crick Lund, South Africa (
"Mental health in low and middle-income countries: How can we develop services in diverse low resource settings?"

Bernd Puschner, Germany (
"Peer support and recovery from a cross-cultural perspective"

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