Mental health consultants

WONCA is delighted to offer international consultancy services in primary mental health care, through its Working Party on Mental Health. Our consultants are an experienced and diverse group of family doctors with an interest in mental health.

Abdullah Al-Khathami, Saudi Arabia

Abdulah is a Consultant Family and Community Physician. He is Supervisor of the Primary and Community Mental Health Program and the Director of Postgraduate Family Medicine program in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. He is member of Saudi Psychiatric Association, editorial board member of the Journal of Mental Health in Family Medicine and vice-chair of the WONCA Working Party on Mental Health. His main research addresses mental health issues and family medicine teaching. He has been organizer and principle trainer in ‘train the trainers’ courses at national level. His dedication to improve Family Medicine by modifying the curriculum in the view of modern medical education principles has been highly appreciated by Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS) and the current revisions of Diploma and Board curriculum includes portfolio assessment. He has been appointed to Chair the Trainers’ Unit in Family Medicine-SCFHS.

Adekunle Joseph Ariba, Nigeria

Joseph is Chief Consultant and Head of the Department of Family Medicine, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital in Sagamu. He is Associate Researcher at the Center for Research in Reproductive Health Sagamu and Secretary for the Diploma Programme, Faculty of Family Medicine, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN). He is immediate past Faculty Secretary (NPMCN) and Internal Assessor (faculty examinations), NPMCN. He is past vice-president of the Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria and Secretary of the WONCA Working Party on Mental Health. His research interests are improving access to quality mental health care in primary care settings, prevention of maternal mortality in primary care and assessment of quality of services in primary care facilities.

Jill Benson, Australia

Dr Jill Benson, MBBS DCH FACPsychMed MPH, has been a General Practitioner for over 30 years. She is currently Director of the Health in Human Diversity Unit in the Discipline of General Practice, University of Adelaide; is the founding Medical Director of the Kakarrara Wilurrara Health Alliance in the remote Aboriginal communities at Yalata, Oak Valley and Tjuntjuntjara; and until recently was the Senior Medical Officer working with refugees at the Migrant Health Service in Adelaide, South Australia. From 2009-2012 she was a WHO consultant for the Pacific Islands Mental Health Network in Vanuatu. Recent publications include a book ‘Mental Health Across Cultures. A practical guide for health professionals’. She has been a member of the World Organisation for Family Doctors Working Party in Mental Health since 2007, and has published and presented at many national and international conferences on mental health topics, particularly in a cross-cultural setting. In 2012 she was awarded a Membership of the Order of Australia for her work in mental health and with refugees and Aboriginal people.

Christopher Dowrick, UK

Chris has over 20 years experience in primary care mental health. He is a family doctor and Professor of Primary Medical Care in the University of Liverpool, board advisor for Mersey Care NHS Trust, senior investigator for the English National Institute for Health Research, professorial research fellow in the University of Melbourne and member of the WONCA Working Party on Mental Health. He has over 200 research publications, with focus on depression, medically unexplained symptoms and improving access to primary mental health care. He delivers primary mental health care training to family medicine residents in Bahrain. He advises WHO on primary care aspects of new country work with mhGAP, including eastern Europe, central Asian republics and eastern Mediterranean region.

Sandra Fortes, Brazil

Sandra has been a psychiatrist since 1985, with experience in clinical practice, research and education in primary care mental health. She is Associate Professor of Medical Psychology and Mental Health in the University of Rio de Janeiro State (UERJ) in Brazil, with PhD in Public Health. She supervises Family Medicine, Psychiatry and Medical Psychology Residence Programs, having trained primary care professionals from Brazilian National Health System in primary care mental health. She works in mental health collaborative care (matrix support teams) with the Family Health Program and co-ordinates the Mental Health Outpatient Unit. She is head of the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Research in Primary Care, with publications in primary care mental health (including training and services organization), somatization, pain and mindfulness. She is member of the WONCA Working Party on Mental Health.

Luis Galvez, Spain

Luis has been a family physician since 1985 with clinical experience (rural practice 1983-85 and El Palo Health Center since 1985 to the present), research (master degree and clinical research in Epidemiology, PhD on epidemiological research) and education (responsible for the training of medical interns and residents from 1990 to the present). He was Vice President of the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (SemFYC) from 2003 to 2007 and member of the Ethic Committee of Clinical Trials in Carlos Haya Teaching Hospital in Málaga from 2001 to 2005. He is the current Chair of the WONCA Working Party on Mental Health. He has experience in organizing international medical conferences. In recent years, he has been involved in projects and a PhD thesis dealing with mental health problems in primary care.

Jane Gunn, Australia

Jane is a general practitioner and Professor of Primary Care Research at The University of Melbourne, Australia where she is Head of the Department of General Practice. She leads a research program in mental health and has provided research supervision and mentorship to students and practitioners from Australia, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Zambia. She is a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia; Chair of the Board of the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local; advisor to the National Prescribing Service and Visiting Professor in the Institute of Health & Wellbeing, The University of Glasgow, UK. She has over 130 peer-reviewed research publications and has delivered primary mental health care training in China, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

Michael Klinkman, USA

Mike is a practicing family doctor with more than 25 years’ experience in clinical practice, research and education in primary care mental health, health information technology, and healthcare systems design. He is a Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan (USA), directs the Great Lakes Research into Practice Network and the Jackson Health Network, and serves as Chair of the WONCA International Classification Committee and Deputy Chair of the WHO ICD-11 Primary Care Consultation Group on mental health. He is also a member of the WONCA Working Party on Mental Health. He has over 140 peer-reviewed research publications. His current work focuses on systems change to improve mental health treatment in primary care.

Gabrielle Ivbijaro, UK

Gabby is Professor and GP Medical Director in London, and specialist in primary care mental health and service re-design. He worked in collaboration with the WHO to produce a ground the breaking policy document ‘Integrating Mental Health into Primary Care’ (2008). He has published a range of articles in peer reviewed journals. He edited ‘Companion to Primary Care Mental Health’ (2012) an international collaboration of 110 authors from all continents, to promote access to and delivery of primary care mental health globally; this received a five star (100%) Doody’s Review. He chaired and completed the Case for Change for Mental Health for London, UK in 2011 and contributed to the Mental Health Service Pack in the European Union.

Christos Lionis, Greece

Christos is Professor of General Practice and Primary Health Care, and Director of the Clinic of Social and Family Medicine within the School of Medicine at the University of Crete. Christos has extensive experience in implementing educational and research initiatives within PHC with over 250 publications cited in PubMed. He is actively involved in the development of Primary Care and General Practice in Greece and leads a productive research group which is focused on multidisciplinary approaches to health care, and consideration of social and psychological factors affecting health. He has been member of the WONCA Working Party on Mental Health for many years. He has led multiple large scale collaborative research programs within Greece and the European Union including the development of National Greek Guidelines for depression and generalized anxiety disorder.

Juan Mendive, Spain

Juan is a family physician in Barcelona, Spain. He is been working in an academic primary care community centre for the last 25 years, combining his clinical duties with his training and research responsibilities linked to the University of Barcelona . He was international officer for the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (SemFYC) where he represented Spanish GPs in WONCA at both World and European level, where he was vice-president. He is a board and founding member of the European Depression Association and a board member of the WONCA Working Party on Mental Health. He has just finished his PhD research on primary prevention of depression in primary care, with special interest on cost-utility analysis considering health related quality of life

Donald Nease Jr, USA

Don is Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado – Denver, where he is Director of Community Engagement and Research for the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Family Medicine and Director of Practice Based Research at the Colorado Health Outcomes Program. Don’s work is dedicated to improving health from the level of individual doctor-patient interactions to community and population-based interventions. His research is conducted largely within communities and their primary care practices, most notably in the areas of Chronic Illness, esp. Mental Health, and Systems Change.

Henk Parmentier, UK

Henk is a South London GP with special interest in Mental Health, facilitating and conducting Primary Care research. He is member of the WONCA Working Party on Mental Health, member of the World Federation of Mental Health, co-editor of the Journal Mental Health in Family Medicine and visiting research fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. He is also on the executive committee of the charity Primary Care Mental Health & Education and an advisory board member of the European Forum of Primary Care. He is Primary Care Lead of the South London and South East Hub of the Mental Health Research Network, GP clinical Lead Out of Hours of Virgincare, and co-author of "Companion to Primary Care Mental Health”.

Evelyn van Weel-Baumgarten, The Netherlands

Evelyn has more than 20 years experience in clinical practice, research and education on clinical communication skills and on mental health. She is a family doctor and associate Professor at the Department of Primary and Community care at Radboud University medical center in Nijmegen. She is co-ordinator of the clinical communication program at the medical school. She has developed training programs in clinical communication skills with a broad variety of topics and for a variety of health care professionals and medical students. Concerning mental health her focus is on depression and on problem solving treatment. Her research covers the same topics and she has published peer reviewed papers, training manuals and book chapters on these subjects. She is a member of the WONCA Working Party on Mental Health, the Special Interest Group on Migrant Health Care and Travel Medicine, and President-elect of the European Association of Communication for Health Care (EACH).

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