International Conference on Urban Mental Health

You are invited to join our first International Conference on Urban Mental Health #ICoUMH hosted by the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. More information coming soon, but for now, save the date and register below.

When: October 7 (Please note, there are invitational meetings on October 6 and 8 as well. More information can be found below).
Where: The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) at The Trippenhuis.

Conference Day with Keynote Speakers and Parallel Sessions

Who should attend?

The conference is open to practitioners, academics, policymakers, students, supporters, and allies who are interested in sharing best practices and learning more about mental health in the city, with a focus on interdisciplinary research with complexity science as a backbone.

The purpose of this conference is to bring together professionals and interested associates to a one-day knowledge exchange conference.

This conference aims to:

1. Forge a dialogue with researchers across various domains from a complexity science perspective

2. Discuss strategies for modelling mental health in the city

3. Share best practices for developing interventions to improve mental health in the city

The day’s keynote speakers are as follows (more information to come):

  • Prof. Dr. Laura Bringmann (Assistant Professor of Psychometrics and Statistics at the University of Groningen)

  • Prof. Dr. Sandro Galea (Dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at Boston University School of Public Health)

  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg (Professor in the Medical Faculty Mannheim at Heidelberg University)

  • Prof. Dr. Andrea Wittenborn (Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University)

  • Prof. Dr. Ron Dahl (Director of the Institute of Human Development at UC Berkeley)

Sandro Galea, MD, MPH, DrPH

Sandro Galea, a physician, epidemiologist, and author, is dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at Boston University School of Public Health. He previously held academic and leadership positions at Columbia University, the University of Michigan, and the New York Academy of Medicine. He has published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature, and is a regular contributor to a range of public media, about the social causes of health, mental health, and the consequences of trauma. He has been listed as one of the most widely cited scholars in the social sciences. He is past chair of the board of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health and past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. Galea has received several lifetime achievement awards. Galea holds a medical degree from the University of Toronto, graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow.

Laura Bringmann, Ph.D.

In her research, Laura Bringmann aims to bridge the gap between different fields including statistics, philosophy, methodology and clinical psychology. Her research career has included prolonged stays at seven universities in four countries (The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, USA). In 2019, she obtained a prestigious VENI grant focused on new network models to detect changes over time in psychiatric disorders. In 2018, she was elected as a member of the Young Academy Groningen, an interdisciplinary group of talented young scientists. In her lab (LaBlab; Laura Bringmann’s intensive longitudinal data lab), she currently works with four PhD students. Laura Bringmann is also the initiator and organizer of the biannual Dutch-Belgian meeting “Dynamical Network and Time Series Models (DynaNeT)”, which brings together over 40 researchers from statistical and clinical fields.

Andrea Wittenborn, Ph.D.

Dr. Andrea Wittenborn is Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University. She is Director of the Couple and Family Therapy Doctoral Program and holds an appointment in the Division of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. Her programmatic research seeks to improve outcomes of interventions for depression. As a clinical researcher, she tests interventions that target interpersonal mechanisms of depression. She also tests the implementation of effective interventions for depression. She is currently leading a multi-site study of the implementation of Collaborative Care in family medicine practices for depression among pregnant and post-partum women. In addition, her research explores methods for personalizing treatment for depression. She uses a systems approach to understand the complex etiology of depression and test interventions for diverse patient profiles in simulation studies.

Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Ph.D.

Prof. Meyer-Lindenberg is Director of the Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Institute, based in Mannheim, Germany, and Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University of Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany. He is board certified in psychiatry, psychotherapy, neurology. Before coming to Mannheim in 2007, he spent ten years as a scientist at the National Institutes of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA. His research interests focus on the development of novel treatments for severe psychiatric disorders through an application of multimodal neuroimaging, genetics and enviromics to characterize brain circuits underlying the risk for mental illness. He is the author of more than 480 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and is continuously named as one of the most highly cited scientists in the world ( He is the Editor-in-Chief of the new Journal of the ECNP Neuroscience Applied.

Ronald E. Dahl MD

Ron Dahl is the Director of the Institute of Human Development and

Distinguished Professor, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley. He is a pediatrician and developmental scientist with more than 30 years of experience leading interdisciplinary research teams advancing understanding of child and adolescent development, behavioral/emotional health in youth, adolescent brain development, and the clinical, public health, and policy implications of this work. A central goal of his current research focuses on the vulnerabilities and opportunities being created by rapid changes in the ways information technology is influencing learning and development. He was the Founding Director of the Center for the Developing Adolescent and served as President of the Society for Research in Child Development

Why the focus on urban mental health?

There is much to gain from urban mental health research. Urban living is on the rise: more than 50 percent of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to rise to 66 percent by 2050. Urban environments are characterised by features that make city life not only economically attractive and exciting, but also more challenging and stressful than rural environments (‘urban stress’). This environment influences mental health. Therefore, the Centre for Urban Mental Health benefits society by using joint approaches to new interventions and policy-making focused on the promotion of mental health.

Please Note: There is an invitational conference on October 6 and October 8.

Day 1 (October 6): Joint Expert Meetings in the afternoon

Day 2 (October 7): Full Day Congress

Day 3 (October 8): Workshops in the morning (to be announced)

More information to be announced!