International Master in Primary Care Mental Health


NOVA University of Lisbon (UNL) is a public university with internationally recognized research and teaching in a large range of areas (Economics and Management, Law, Medicine, Public Health, Tropical Medicine, Sciences and Technology, Social Sciences and Humanities, Statistics and Information Management, Technological Biology and Chemistry). The university has over 18.000 students, more than 4.000 of whom in Masters and PhD Programs.

NOVA Medical School, has a strong commitment to primary care mental health, standing among the top centers in the country both in mental health and family medicine teaching and research.

The Department of Mental Health conducted most of the key studies on psychiatric epidemiology and mental health services research in the country (e.g. the national mental health survey and several European studies on the effectiveness of policy and services). The Department was also responsible for an International Master in Mental Health Policy and Services and has extensively collaborated with WHO, European Union and other international organizations in global mental health initiatives. Members of the Department are currently leading the Gulbenkian Global Mental Health Platform and the European Joint Action for Mental Health and Wellbeing.

The Department of Family Medicine is a nationally recognized leader in education and research. Its faculty includes some of the most influential professionals in the organization and implementation of Family Medicine in Portugal The Department is led by Professor Isabel Santos, one of the leaders of the first and unique 12 months in-service training program in the country, which trained 3750 GP´s, who also was one of the authors of the first Competency Training Booklet for the three year Vocational Training Program, and Scientific Committee Chair of the European WONCA 2014 Conference held in Portugal. The Department also benefits from the expertise of Professor Luis Pisco, the leader of one the most important reforms of primary care in Portugal. Members of the Department are also involved in the development of Family Medicine out borders, particularly in Portuguese spoken countries, Angola, São Tome e Principe, Cabo Verde and Brazil. The department also has International Faculty Members who are experts in primary care mental health and psychiatry and who have contacts with a number of international colleges and faculties including NGO’s.

The Department’s main areas of interest in research include: care processes, governance, health care professionals and organization, outcomes, and quality improvement with International Faculty members having specialist expertise in service re-design, collaborative care and primary care mental health transformation.

Mental health is an integral part of health and health and social services provision, but has received inadequate attention by policy makers and also by society in general. Mental disorders impose an enormous disease burden and an increasing obstacle to development in countries around the world.

Studies estimate that at least 10% of the world’s population is affected and that 20% of children and adolescents suffer from some form of mental disorders. In fact, mental disorders accounts for 30% of non-fatal disease burden worldwide and 10% of overall disease burden, including death and disability. Many people with mental health conditions can be successfully managed in primary care and community settings as long as staff have appropriate skills and training. This Masters Degree programme is designed to overcome some of these challenges that prevent people from receiving evidence based practice in primary and community care and support the realisation of universal health coverage.

The overall goal of this International Master’s degree program is to train the primary care and community workforce in mental health. This will improve and promote mental health skills in primary care, provide participants with knowledge and skills in mental health promotion and prevention, support earlier recognition and diagnosis and management of common mental disorders in primary care, support personal recovery in mental health, provide practitioners with enhanced skills to enable them to better manage mental health comorbidity and complexity in a primary care settings and also provide participants with opportunities to develop their skills in research methodology, project management and service re-design.

The aims of the Master’s degree program are:
• To improve clinical skills in mental health in the primary care setting;
• To improve clinical skills in mental health in the primary care setting;
• To understand values based practice and the ethical health care;
• To promote and support mental health advocacy;
• To support skill mix within the primary care setting;
• To enable participants to better integrate mental health into primary care;
• To support holistic primary care practice;
• To use and implement appropriate primary care mental health guidelines;
• To improve the mental health skills of the primary care work force;
• To recognise that primary care is often the first point of contact for many patients with mental health problems, and for their families;
• To recognise the central role of a stepped care model to deliver the best outcomes by recognising the limitations of primary care and the specialist role of secondary care in supporting integrated care;
• To improve access to evidence based mental health in primary and community care;
• To improve knowledge and skill in carrying out research, audits and service route design.

The programme will be delivered in English during three one week long residential sessions supported by on-going work-based clinical exposure using a personal case load, an e-learning portfolio and access to International Faculty Members and Tutors. Each student will be allocated a personal tutor and mentor during the course of the programme. The course will be delivered using lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars, essays, core reading materials, core assessment of knowledge, competency and skills acquisition in the field of primary care mental health and a reflective log. The first residential session will take place on 6 -11 February 2017, the second on 15 - 20 May 2017 and the third on 13 -18 November 2017. Between the residential sessions, students are required to participate in e-learning teaching activities, and to complete homework assignments related for each of the modules that will be posted on the web. The successful attendance of the 3 modules in the first year of the degree, with 60 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System), will award a Diploma from the NOVA University of Lisbon. Successful candidates are then able to progress to the Master’s degree with the award of a further 60 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System).

The dates of the residential sessions are:
• 6-11 February 2017
• 15-20 May 2017
• 13-18 November 2017

Professor José Miguel Caldas de Almeida, is Professor of Psychiatry at the NMS|FCM-UNL. He was the Chief of the Mental Health Unit at the Pan American Health Organization, the Regional Office of the World Health Organization for the Americas, in Washington D.C., from 2000 to 2005. He was Temporary Adviser for WHO in Africa, Europe and Latin America, and the Coordinator of the European Union Joint Action for Mental Health and Wellbeing (2013-2016).

Professor Gabriel Ivbijaro MBE is Visiting Professor to the NMS|FCM-UNL. Professor Ivbijaro’s publications include Integrating Mental Health into Primary Care: A Global Perspective (2008) and The Companion to Primary Care Mental Health (2012). Professor Ivbijaro is a practising family doctor and a specialist in primary care integration and population mental health whose contribution to the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom was recognised by the Queen in 2012 and is an International Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). He is the current President for the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) and Chair of the World Dignity Project designed to fight mental health stigma.

Professor Miguel Xavier, is Professor of Psychiatry and the current President of the Scientific Board at NMS|FCM-UNL. He holds a position of Senior Consultant at the Hospital São Francisco Xavier, in Lisbon, with a long track-record of collaboration with Primary Care. He has been involved in collaboration with WHO, namely for the areas of mental health services evaluation and implementation of policies. Besides his academic work, he is a member of the National Program for Mental Health, a task-force from the General Directorate of Health, responsible for implementing the National Mental Health Plan in Portugal.

NOVA Medical School Faculty
Professor JM Caldas de Almeida
Professor Gabriel Ivbijaro
Professor Benedetto Saraceno
Professor Miguel Xavier
Professor Isabel Santos
Professor Graça Cardoso
Professor M. Gonçalves Pereira
Professor Bernardo Corrêa
Professor Luis Pisco
Dr. Idalmiro Carraça
Dr. Luis Sardinha
Dr.ª Georgina Maia
Dr. Joaquim Gago
Dr. Miguel Talina
Dr. António Neves
Dr.ª Teresa Ventura
Dr. José Nunes
Dr. Edmundo Sá
Dr. Jorge Brandão
Dr. Rizério Salgado

International Faculty
- Professor Sir David Goldberg, Emeritus Professor Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
- Professor Michelle B Riba, Department of Psychiatry, University, University of Michigan, USA
- Professor Allan Tasman, Schwab Endowed Chair in Social, Community and Family Psychiatry, University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA
- Professor Tawfik A M Khoja, Director General Executive Board, Health Ministers Council for Cooperation, Saudi Arabia
- Professor Igor Svab, Department of Family Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Professor Sandra Fortes, University of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil
- Professor Norman H Rasmussen, Department of Family Medicine and Psychology, Mayo Clinic & Mayo College of Medicine, USA
- Professor Christos Lionis, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Greece
- Professor Todd Edwards, University of San Diego, USA
- Dr. Carlos Augusto de Mendonça Lima, Clinique Les Toises, Lausanne, Switzerland
- Dr Henk Parmentier, Family Doctor and GPSI in Mental Health, London,
- Dr. Lucja Kolkiewicz, Associate Medical Director for Recovery and Well-Being, East London NHS Foundation Trust, UK

General Information

Duration 4 semesters
1st year ECTS
Residential Sessions
Dates: 6–11 February 2017; 15 -20 May 2017 & 13-18 November 2017
2nd year ECTS
Entry Requirements
Holders of a Bachelor degree or legally equivalent qualification in the field of Medicine, Nursing, Psychology, Social Sciences;
• Currently working in a clinical setting;
• Knowledge of English is mandatory.
Prescribing rights will be based on the national legislation underpinning the individual participants professional code of conduct.
Enrollment deadline
30 November 2016
Admission procedures
The duly completed admission form may be submitted until 30 November 2016, together with:
a) Certified copy of graduate/postgraduate degree;
b) Curriculum vitae;
c) A written statement of purpose of no more than 250 words;
d) Letter from sponsoring organization (if applicable).
Selection criteria
a) Classification in academic degrees,
according to the European scale of comparability;
b) Global assessment of the CV;
c) An interview of the candidate can be made by the Scientific Board of the programme (by phone, if the candidates live abroad).
The Course will run with a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 35 students.
A limited number of fellowships will be available, covering part of the fees of the course.

Information and Registration
NOVA Medical School
Faculdade de Ciências Médicas -UNL
Divisão Académica (secção de Pós-Graduação)
Campo Mártires da Pátria, 130 · 1169-056 Lisboa - Portugal
Tel. +351 21 880 30 66 · Fax +351 21 880 30 68
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Application Form