ΕΡΕΥΝΗΤΙΚΟ ΠΑΝΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΙΑΚΟ ΙΝΣΤΙΤΟΥΤΟ ΨΥΧΙΚΗΣ ΥΓΙΕΙΝΗΣ, or the University Mental Health Research Institute (UMHRI) was founded in 1989, as a body corporate under private law) is linked to the Medical School of University of Athens, yet it is administratively and financially independent.

UMHRI is directed by a 7-member Management Board which consists of the Director of the Institute, the Deputy Director and 5 members appointed or elected according to special provisions (four by the General Assembly of the Medical School of the University of Athens and one by the General Assembly of the Institute’s research staff). In 2011 UMHRI’s staff consisted of 85 people.
UMHRI’s key activities include:

  • Conducting and promoting research in the basic sectors of mental health (biological, psychological and social).
  • Undertaking an advisory role and offering medical and psycho-social services.
  • Planning and developing training courses on mental health, and;
  • organising seminars and conferences. 

With regard to prevention, since 1993 UMHRI has been commissioned by the Greek Ministry of Health to operate the Greek REITOX Focal Point of the EMCDDA, while since 1998 the Focal Point has been assigned and operating as the Greek Documentation and Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Alcohol (EKTEPN, www.ektepn.gr). The National Focal Point has ever since a) developed an expertise in prevention issues (producing relevant publications and organising training seminars), b) participated in numerous national and European research projects and partnerships, EMCDDA projects, as well as EU twinning projects. Particularly in the field of prevention, UMHRI and EKTEPN participated in the 1st phase of EU-DAP project (2003-2005, www.eudap.net).
In addition, since 1994 UMHRI is the research institute that conducts in Greece the European School Survey Project on Alcohol & other Drugs (ESPAD, www.espad.org), while also since 1995 UMHRI represents Greece in the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC/WHO Collaborative Cross-National Study, www.hbsc.org), whose output bear strong implications for prevention. UMHRI is also a member of IREFREA network (www.irefrea.org).

UMHRI had been commissioned by the Greek coordinating body in the field of drugs, Organisation Against Drugs (OKANA), to establish the Educational Centre for the Promotion of Health and the Prevention of Drug Abuse in order to provide training courses for prevention professionals. The Educational Centre which was operated for the period 1995-2006, was one of the key training providers for prevention professionals in Greece, while it has produced the most important prevention programmes used in the implementation of prevention interventions.

Primary role in the project

UMHRI’s role in the project will be to sit on the Conference and Research Network Group (which will co-ordinate WP7) and the Virtual Networking and Learning Steering Group (which will co-ordinate WP8). In addition UMHRI will input into WP2 (Dissemination), WP3 (Mapping), WP6 and WP9 (Quality Planning and Implementation). In order to ensure this project is managed appropriately, some of the UMHRI’s expertise/experience/resources that will be offered include Experience with European projects (projects financed by the EC, EU twinning projects, EMCDDA projects, international research projects etc.); Experience in designing and implement surveys and handling/statistically analysing cross-national data; Access to a large number of experts in the field of prevention, nationally and internationally; Leading role in the field of drug prevention in Greece; Well-networked with prevention professionals and services in Greece; and experience in training of prevention professionals, drug demand reduction professionals, students and professionals in the area of mental health, and in organising workshops and conferences.


Matej Košir
Project Manager- SPAN
Science for Prevention Academic Network
Oxford Brookes University
Marston Campus
Oxford OX3 0FL
T: +38631880520 (mobile)
E: [mkosir@brookes.ac.uk]

Twitter: @span_eu