Wietse Tol endowed professor to the chair of ‘Global Mental Health and Social Justice'

18 November 2021

The Executive Board of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has appointed prof. dr Wietse Tol as its endowed professor to the chair of ‘Global Mental Health and Social Justice’. This chair has been endowed by ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre and is embedded within the Athena Institute of the VU’s Faculty of Science and co-hosted by the VU’s department of Clinical, Neuro and Developmental Psychology of the Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences.

Over the years, we have learned that social conditions and ongoing adversity, such as gender-based violence, poverty and social exclusion, play an essential role in shaping mental health, including in humanitarian settings. The chair focuses on strengthening the knowledge of the complex relationships between social conditions and mental health. From a social justice perspective, the chair concentrates on vulnerable populations affected by armed conflict and disasters.

ARQ International has been working for years to support the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of people affected by war, disasters and the aftermath of traumatic events in low- and middle-income countries.

Wietse Tol: "There is clearly, and rightly, a growing interest in international mental health. ARQ is an important link between theory and practice through their research and effective psychological and psychosocial interventions. I am glad to be able to contribute to this."



About Wietse Tol

Wietse Tol gained his Master’s in Clinical & Health Psychology in 2002 at Leiden University and his PhD in Public Mental Health in 2009 at VU Amsterdam. He completed postdoctoral training with the Global Health Initiative at Yale University. Tol has extensive international research experience in global mental health, mainly concentrating on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Between 2016 and 2020, he was affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Mental Health, in Baltimore. He has received numerous awards, including the Award for Excellence in International Public Health Practice of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Wietse Tol is currently a Global Mental Health professor at the University of Copenhagen and Program Director of the Peter C. Alderman Program for Global Mental Health at HealthRight International. He works closely with many NGOs and actively participates in various national and international networks.