Global Initiative on Psychiatry - Hilversum


Global Initiative-Hilversum (GIP-H) supports the development of mental health care services in developing countries. GIP strives to ensure that every person can participate in society as fully as possible, irrespective of the fact whether he/she is a hospitalized psychiatric patient in Sri Lanka, a person with an intellectual disability in Ukraine or an AIDS-orphan in South Africa. In order to bring about structural reforms in mental health, GIP works at grass root level together with local partners and at governmental level with politicians and policy makers. In our work cultural-specific issues have a prime focus.

The main target groups of GIP are:

  • Persons with a mental illness
  • Persons with an intellectual disability
  • Persons who have developed mental health problems as a result of external factors, such as HIV/AIDS, acts of war or natural disasters

In carrying out our work we focus particularly on the following themes:

  • Community mental health care focusing on inclusion
  • Support for persons with an intellectual disability and their family
  • Support to civil society organisations
  • HIV/AIDS and mental health
  • Capacity building in lobby and advocacy of civil society organisations
  • Mental health and human rights 


International focus

Starting in 2005, GIP also focused on countries outside the region, in particular in Africa and South East Asia. In many of these countries the work is the same as what we did and continue to do in Central & Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. In Sri Lanka we help in integrating patients into society who were locked up in a psychiatric hospital for many years, and under very bad living conditions. Together with our local partners we are also active in restructuring the largest forensic psychiatric department in the country, where almost a hundred and fifty men were held in a large cage. In Africa we are particularly active in the field of HIV/AIDS, focusing on developing support programs for the millions of people who have been hit directly and indirectly by this epidemic and are often suffering from serious depressions and other mental health problems. In Africa we are also active in training nurses and establishing small-scale care programs, among others in the field of substance abuse.

Where we work

GIP-Hilversum works currently in Curacao, Georgia, Laos, Netherlands, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Plans for 2016 and beyond

After 35 years of existence, GIP-Hilversum has reached a crossroad. As a result of the fact that all big projects came to an end and that apart from private donations no financial support could be found for a continuation of the organization at the same level, the decision was made to scale down to an absolute minimum of activities and related expenses.

It is a sad decision, but the fact that several other GIP organizations within the GIP Federation continue to function and even prosper very much softens the hard decision. The Federation GIP (FGIP) continues to be active in Bulgaria (GIP-Sofia), Georgia (GIP-Tbilisi), Lithuania (Mental Health Perspectives) and with a member organization in the United States (GIP-USA). However, GIP-Hilversum will remain a member of the federation and thus an active part of the GIP family.

The year 2016 will be mainly used to slim down the organization to the absolute minimum, reorganize the governing structure, work on a new development plan and make sure there is a financial basis to resume activities in 2017 and beyond.

This year for this continuation we are dependent of donations from private parties and GIP friends. Our plan is to keep GIP-Hilversum at least during the initial phase as a 100% volunteer organization, and to bring in representatives of the younger generation to insert fresh blood and new approaches. We are very excited about the fact that we are entering a new phase, and full of optimism that we will succeed and continue to contribute to the cause of user-oriented and community-based mental health fully in line with the vision and mission of the GIP family.

Our main goal remains: to improve human rights conditions and (sustainable) mental health care in developing nations and countries that suffer from war and extreme poverty.

We work on basis of projects and are completely dependent on donations and other financial support. If you want to support our work or wish to receive additional information please contact:

GIP-Hilversum, Postbus 1282, 1200 BG Hilversum, Nederland

tel: +31-35-6838727     fax: +31 35 683 3646  email:

The board

The board of GIP-Hilversum currently consists of the following persons:

Drs. J.A. Poelmann, Chairman

Prof. J. Bax, Secretary/Treasurer

Mr. R. Keukens, member of the board

Members of the board do not receive any fee or financial compensation for their work and only minimal expenses are reimbursed that are directly related to their work for the organization. Currently, GIP-Hilversum has no paid staff and is a 100% voluntary organization.


Global Initiative on Psychiatry - Hilversum is a Dutch Public Benefit Organisation (PBO), the so called “ANBI status”.An institution can be qualified as a Public Benefit Organization (PBO) solely when at least 90% of the institutions efforts are focused on the general good.

A Public Benefit Organisations (PBOs) is entitled to make use of specific Dutch tax advantages.

fiscal number (RSIN): 8017.87.622

gegevens betreffende ANBI: click here

data in connection with ANBI status: click here

Annual report 2011: click here 

Annual accounts 2011: click here

Annual report 2012: click here

Annual accounts 2012: click here

Annual account 2013: click here

Annual report 2013: click here

Annual report 2014: click here

Annual report 2015: click here

2016 activity and development plan: click here


Global society is experiencing the biggest crisis Since the Second World War. The resulting stress and anxiety undermines the psychological well-being of individuals, families, and communities. People with psychosocial disability, and the staff who provide care, are particularly vulnerable. FGIP is actively engaged in providing that support. For more information click here