Upcoming events


Mental health & resilience in times of polycrisis

22 March 2023, Brussels

War in Europe, rising energy costs, climate change, upcoming viruses,... one crisis has not yet ended and another one already seems to surge. In the last years, we have been facing a situation of poly-crises. How can the population at an individual and collective level cope with this new context, knowing that each crisis has an impact on mental health and that the burden is likely to become stronger with each accumulation? 

Despite multiple warning signals about the mental health of the population in general and of some groups in particular (such as youngsters and isolated people), the mental health research is still systematically underfunded in Belgium. We are still lacking targeted evidence-based interventions to strengthen mental health in citizens. 

To highlight the importance of investing in mental health research and developing long-term integrated prevention policies in Belgium, the Superior Health Council organizes the meeting "Mental health & resilience in times of polycrisis" on Wednesday March 22. A panel of renowned international and Belgian experts in this field will address these issues. Keynote speakers will set the stage with analyses of the economic impact of poor mental health.  In the afternoon, the most important burdens that we faced and/or are currently starting to face will be addressed during four thematic sessions: COVID-19, climate change, war/refugees and energy/economic crisis. Finally, we will conclude the day with a roundtable including key actors (policymakers, practitioners, patients).

When? Wednesday 22 March 2023 from 9 am to 4 pm
Where? Galilee Building, Avenue Galilée 5/2, 1210 Brussels (multimodal access plan)
Working language will be English for the keynotes and the thematic sessions and Dutch/French for the roundtable
Accreditation has been requested

Registrations are now open. Fill in the form via this link to reserve your seat.

Preliminary programme
Keynote speakers

Prof. Inez Germeys
KU Leuven

Research in mental health: Bridging the knowledge gap
Pierre Smith

Mental health in Belgium: current trends, determinants and burden
  David McDaid
London School of Economics

Economic impact of mental health
  Francesca Colombo (TBC)
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Cross-country comparison of mental health indicators

Four breakout sessions on 

  • COVID-19
Dr. Josefien van Olmen
Universiteit Antwerpen
Joachim Waterschoot
Universiteit Gent

Pandemic Concerns Impacting People’s Psychological Well-being: the Qualifying role of Basic Psychological Needs
Keenan Ramsey

Be-Prepared: Insights from a Dutch consortium taking a behavioral science to address the COVID-19 pandemic
Elise Derroitte
Christian Health Insurance Fund

Social Inequalities in Health


  • Refugees and trauma
Jonathan Everaerts
Doctors of the World

Mental health on the move
Redouane Ben Driss
CGG Vlaams-Brabant Oost vzw

Overview of psychological complaints of asylum seekers and refugees
Ilse Derluyn
Centre for the Social Study of Migration and Refugees (CESSMIR), Ghent University

Mental health of refugees, with a particular focus on young refugees: prevalence and possible interventions
Marie Dauvrin
Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre (KCE)

Are migrants merely semi-human, then?
Challenges of the health care system to meet the mental health needs of migrants


  • Economic/energy crisis
Saskia Decuman

Focus on mental health within health and disability insurance: state of play
Prof. dr. Piet Bracke
Health and Demographic Research (HEDERA) group, Universiteit Gent

Mental health and social inequality: myths and facts
  Prof. Tit Albreht (TBC)
National Institute of Public Health of Slovenia


  • Climate change
Prof. dr. Ann DeSmet
Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

The importance of the natural environment for mental well-being
Prof. Alexandre Heeren

On Climate Change and Mental Health: What Decision-makers, Healthcare Providers, and the Mental Health Community Need to Know to Promote Resilience and Adaptation


Panel discussion with people with lived experience and practitioners vs policymakers and funders

Registrations are now open. Fill in the form via this link to reserve your seat.

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