International collaboration is vital for RIVM. It is a catalyst for developing state-of- the-art knowledge and innovation, and provides a crucial sounding board for scientific and strategic reflection. With this in mind, RIVM initiated a two-year programme to invest in European collaboration to further strengthen its mental health knowledge base. This initiative is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Started in the summer of 2023, these additional efforts are expected to boost and broaden the current international portfolio in the years to come.

EU European Union (European Union)-funded projects

The EQUAL-LIFE  (Early Environmental quality and life-course mental health effects) is a Horizon 2020 funded research project aiming to develop and test combined exposure data using a novel approach to multi-modal exposures and their impact on children’s mental health and development. It runs from in January 2020 - 31 December 2024. RIVM co-ordinates this project that includes 20 partners from 11 European countries  and is linked to the European Human Exposome Network .

RIVM is The Netherlands’ competent authority in the Joint Action ‘Mental Health Together’ (MENTOR) that is to start in autumn 2024 and then run for three years. Funded via the EU4Health Programme, this Joint Action will bring 20 countries together. RIVM will partner up with Trimbos (as affiliated entity), leading a task to develop a methodology to support implementation of mental health in all policy (MHIAP) approaches. It will also participate in work on digital health promotion and preventative strategies for early problematic digital technology use.

Networks and partnerships

At the request of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, RIVM represents The Netherlands in the European Commission’s Public Health Expert Group subgroup on Mental Health. This sub-group was set up to advise the Commission on actions related to a comprehensive approach to mental health and to contribute to EU actions to address mental health-related issues.

RIVM is an active member of EuroHealthNetand is participating in its Thematic Working Group on Mental HealthTogether with Trimbos, RIVM will be hosting EuroHealthNet’s General Council Meeting and Annual Seminar in June 2024. The seminar  will present and discuss new insights on mental health, wellbeing and health behaviours to advance health equity.  

RIVM also participates in the Dutch International Mental Health Hub. This is a network of Dutch mental health service and research organisations interested in international knowledge sharing and partnership building. It is coordinated by the National Association of Mental Health Service Providers.