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Joop de Jong

Joop de Jong, MD, PhD, is Professor of Cultural and International Psychiatry at VU University, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, Visiting Professor at Rhodes University, S Africa, and staff member of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research. Joop de Jong worked for years in Africa as public mental health expert, psychiatrist and psychotherapist. He developed a nation-wide mental health program in Guinea Bissau on which he wrote his doctoral thesis, combining an anthropological and epidemiological perspective. He was the founder and director of the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO), until its merger with HealthNet in 2004 worldwide the largest NGO providing mental health and psychosocial services in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Programs of TPO and its affiliated organizations often operated in armed conflict and disaster areas and gave special attention to the prevention of violence, reconciliation, and to interventions for youth, former combatants, child soldiers and sexual violence. Joop de Jong worked part-time with immigrants and refugees in the Netherlands.

Over the past decades he developed novel approaches to global mental health by integrating insights from public mental health, anthropology and epidemiology in community interventions in a variety of cultures. He combined interventions with research and emphasized the relation between psychosocial factors and socio-economic construction after war. He tried to bridge reductionist perspectives on PTSD and other types of psychopathology with critical social science. He played an important role in the development of cultural psychiatry and psychology in the Netherlands and - with his PhDs and colleagues - (co)authored and (co)edited 250 papers and seven books.