Dr Ionela Petrea

Dr Petrea is a senior international mental health expert with over 22 years of experience working with national governments, as well as 9 years at the World Health Organisation and 9 years as Head of the International Department of the Netherlands Insitute of Mental Health and Addiction, where she also served as Director of Institute’s WHO Collaborating Centre for Mental Health.

She is currently the CEO and co-founder of INSIGHT International, a mental health charity  based in the UK and the Netherlands that is partnering with national governments and health authorities to design and implement high quality and innovative mental health services. In addition, she Board Director, co-initiator and founding member of the European Network of Community Mental Health Service Providers (EUCOMS) currently having over 60 members from 25 countries.

Dr Petrea’s work focuses on international mental health policy, transformation of national mental health systems, capacity building, research and dissemination of good practices on mental health and well-being. She has led many international projects, as well as the EU Compass for Mental Health and Well-being, and has organised key international events on mental health (e.g. the 2016, 2017, 2018 European Fora for Mental Health).

Overall, Dr Petrea has operated in over 50 countries and has a far-reaching formal and informal network of contacts with influencers and decision-makers in national governments (often at ministerial level), international organisations, civil society, scientific communities & donor agencies across EMEIA.

Dr Petrea holds a PhD in medicine as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health and Policy from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her background education is in psychology, she has an MSc in International Health from the University of Copenhagen. She is fluent in English, French and Romanian, intermediate in Spanish, Italian and Dutch.