About the institute


The concept of mental health education was drawn up by Teodóra Tomcsányi in 1986. Courses were first launched at the Institute for Leadership Education of the Hungarian Ministry of Education; later the programme was overseen by the National Institute for Health Prevention.

Degrees had been issued by the University of Physical Education in Hungary from the very start, and this was the institution that took over the programme staff organizing the course in 1995.

The team formed the basis of the first independent Department for Mental Health in Hungary established in 1998. As a result of university integrational processes, the Department was joined to SemmelweisUniversity in 2000, and from 2004 onwards it continued its operation as one of the central organizational units of the university. In the autumn of the same year it was restructured into the Institute of Mental Health, which became part of the newly established Faculty of Health and Public Services on 1st April 2010. 

The mission of the Institute is founded on the symbolism carried by the panoramic view of Delphoi. The building complex including the oracle, the theatre and the stadium demonstrates the joint role of spiritual, mental and physical culture in preserving the mental health of the society. This is the unity that staff members of our Institute wish to create, maintain and pass on. 

Our original vision was to build up an organisational unit where colleagues share, and work for, the same goals. They may have different views but they are willing to work in a team in order to achieve their common objectives. It was only later that we started to make conscious efforts to channel these joint activities into an institutionalised framework. 

The road leading to our goals has been difficult, challenging and full of obstacles. However, repeatedly seeing our dreams come true has reassured us that we are moving in the right direction. At times more was realised than we had dared to expect. What we consider an especially significant achievement is when our students take new initiatives in their own field, drawing on what they have learned in our programmes. “The future holds dreams that guide us like compasses pointing towards implementation even when the grimness of reality weighs us down or we seem to have lost sight of our fellows.” (Prof. Teodóra Tomcsányi) 

International academic relations are important both to the Faculty, which encompasses several fields of research, and to our Institute. We are proud of the strong cooperation between the Institute and renowned universities as well as of our membership in organizations and associations (e.g. KU Leuven, Belgium; Loyola University, Maryland, USA; Babes-BolyaiUniversity, Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Eurocarers) Besides maintaining these already existing partnerships, we are constantly on the look for new ways of cooperation. 

The founder and first director of the Institute, Prof. Teodóra Tomcsányi was succeeded in this position by Péter Török PhD habil. in 2008. The current Director of the Institute, Prof. Beáta Dávid, started in her office in 2013.