dr. Ionela Petrea

Programmamanager B
Department Trimbos International
+31 (0)30 - 2959(214)
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Ionela Petrea is proposed as the Project Leader. She is a public health professional with 18 years of experience at national and international level working in health systems with focus on mental health. Her key responsibilities have included providing technical expertise and leadership, policy development and implementation, research, building and coordinating international partnerships, working in or with LMICs, management and coordination and resource mobilisation.

At national level, she has worked in governmental structures (Ministry of Health of Romania as well as with child protection services and police) and civil society organisations, at international level she has worked for almost 9 years at WHO EURO. Since 2010, she has joined Trimbos Institute, the Dutch Institute of Mental Health and Addiction, and head its International Department and I am the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre. At European level, she has led the EU Compass for Mental Health and Wellbeing (2015-2018), and co-led the WP on Prevention of Depression and Suicides and Mainstreaming of E-Mental Health within the EU Joint Action for Mental Health and Wellbeing (2013-2016). At international level, she has led various country-based internationally-funded research and implementation projects on reforms of mental health systems, governance, economic and health service evaluations. Her background education is in psychology-sociology, with further studies in International Health (MSc), Medicine (PhD) and Public Health and Policy (Post-graduate Diploma).

Inspiration and mission

Over the last 10 years, her work at WHO, at LSHTM and at Trimbos has focused on increasing the knowledge base and the improvement mental health services. She has led a 42-European countries assessment of mental health systems which covered all functions of the health system: governance, human resources, service delivery, financing mechanisms. She wishes to improve the shared understanding and definition of key concepts such community-based mental health services at international level, which hinders implementation of good quality services for people with mental health problems.

Working on...

  • Director of the WHO Collaborating Centres dissemination at international level of good practices, with particular focus on mental health systems reforms, clinical guidelines, e-mental health, mental health economics, treatment, recovery and reintegration of people with severe mental illness; and mental health of older people.
  • Senior Non-Key Expert (SNKE): Policy and Legal Advice Centre (PLAC II), Serbia. Providing assistance to the competent national bodies in elaboration of the national Strategy on mental health policy and the Action Plan as regards new demands in the process of deinstitutionalisation of special psychiatric hospitals, by a means of establishing a network of community based mental health services.
  • Scientist: Suicide Prevention & Implementation Research Initiative (SPIRIT) in India and Bangladesh (funder: U.S National Institute of Mental Health U-19 hub on mental health implementation research in South Asia) (2018-2022).
  • Project leader: LaRge-scalE implementation of COmmunity based mental health care for people with seVere and Enduring mental ill health in EuRopE. (funder: Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, European Commission) (2018-2021).
  • Project leader: Atmiyata Gujarat- Promoting wellbeing, reducing distress and improving access to mental health care through self-help groups and farmer’s clubs in rural Gujarat: Transition to scale project. (funder: Grand Challenges Canada and Mariwala Health Initiative) (2016-2019).
  • Project leader: MENSANA Project-Reform of Mental Health Services in Moldova (funder: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) (2018-2022).
  • Member of the Working Group for the WHO European Mental Health Action Plan & involved as WHO Collaborating Centre in the implementation of the WHO Global & European Mental Health Action Plan
  • Leader of the EU Compass for Mental Health and Wellbeing (2015-2018) which delivered the last 3 years the European reports on country profiles and analysis of Member States and stakeholders activities, produced annual brochures of good practices and published scientific papers.
  • Co-leader of the Workpackage on Prevention of Depression and Suicides and Mainstreaming of E-Mental Health within the EU Joint Action for Mental Health and Wellbeing (2013-2016).
  • Initiator, founding member and host the Secretariat the European Network of Community Mental Health Service Providers (EUCOMS).
  • Supervise PhD’s students in Moldova and Netherlands as co-supervisor.

Hipple Walters, B., Petrea, I., & Lando, H. (2018). Tobacco Control in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Changing the Present to Help the Future. Journal of Smoking Cessation, 13(4). doi:10.1017/jsc.2018.4