Keynote speakers

Anu Castaneda

Head of the Team, Adjunct Professor in Psychology,
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare

Dr Castaneda has expertise in special issues regarding cultural diversity, such as health and well-being among foreign born population and other ethnic minorities. She has also focused on political science and social psychology, particularly ethnic- and intercultural relations, discrimination and integration. She is also a docent of health – and clinical psychology. Dr Castaneda’s key note speech is related to refugees’ mental health and equality.

Dr. Philip Robert Corlett

Trained in Experimental Psychology,
Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychiatry, Yale University, US

Adam Christoferson

Founder and director of Musical Intervention™, US

Dr. Philip Robert Corlett, trained in Experimental Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychiatry with Professors Trevor Robbins and Paul Fletcher at the University of Cambridge. He won a Wellcome Trust Prize Studentship and completed his PhD on the brain bases of delusion formation in the Brain Mapping Unit, Department of Psychiatry. After a short postdoc, he was awarded the University of Cambridge Parke- Davis Exchange Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences which brought him to the Yale University Department of Psychiatry to explore the maintenance of delusions with Professors Jane Taylor and John Krystal. He was named a Rising Star and Future Opinion Leader by Pharmaceutical Marketing Magazine and joined the Yale faculty in 2011 where he will continue to explore the cognitive and biological mechanisms of delusional beliefs as well as predictive learning, habit formation and addiction. He has been named recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Translational Research Award by the Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS).

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Adam Christoferson is the founder and director of Musical Intervention™, a clinical and community-based music program striving to promote empathy, transform lives, and inspire the world one song at a time. As a child, Adam experienced first-hand the serious repercussions of growing up with a family struggling financially with both mental health and substance abuse issues and having no support system to rely on. His home life clashed heavily with the outrageous luxury of attending his uncle Michael Bolton’s concerts where his All Access pass could afford him a good meal. While returning from the shows, the limo would return Adam and his mother back to the cockroach infested apartment surrounded by gang activity and violence. Adam was placed in foster care at 4 years old, until his paternal grandmother took him and raised him in the suburbs. During this time, Adam’s father purchased a drum set for him. It was there that Adam discovered that music provided a solace during volatile times and quickly became an outlet for expressing emotions and thoughts that otherwise would go unspoken. Overcoming tough experiences with drugs, special education and authority, Adam found the vision to turn his life around and make a positive impact in the world. This discovery resulted in Adam’s unwavering mission to share the transformative power of music with as many individuals as possible.

After receiving a degree in Recreation and Leisure studies, Adam began working at the Child Psychiatric Inpatient unit at Yale New Haven Hospital and remained there for five years. During this time, Adam began to bring his guitar and mobile studio to the unit and began leading songwriting sessions with patients. The positive impact this intervention provided patients was significant and easy to see. Adam’s work on the unit was featured at the World Congress of Adolescence and Psychiatry in Beijing, China. Encouraged by the positive results, Adam was determined to bring this experience to as many populations as possible. Adam developed his method of Musical Intervention through hosting open mics at soup kitchens and event halls. Through these events, Adam was both inspired by the reaction he received and saddened by the lack of opportunities at-risk populations had to create, perform, and share their experiences through music in a safe environment. Through these experiences, the Musical Intervention Headquarters was opened. The Musical Intervention Headquarters, based in New Haven, CT, is a drug and alcohol-free community space with an open-door policy.

MI has earned the Arts Council of Greater New Haven’s award for its contribution to the creative ecosystem. Through these efforts, MI quickly gained the attention of state and local organizations such as the Connecticut Mental Health Center, Veterans Affairs, and research groups affiliated with Yale University. This recognition of work culminated in a collaboration with Yale University’s Program for Recovery and Community Health (PRCH) and an award from the NIH to research the effects of the Musical Intervention program on symptoms of auditory hallucinations. Adam has presented his work to numerous high schools, universities, and hospitals, including being a featured speaker at the Donald J. Cohen Mentorship Program at the Yale School of Medicine.

Adam co-founded Music Beyond All Borders, an international network of individuals who are passionate music facilitation to unify and amplify those who are underserved and overlooked. In 2020, he was selected to be the Keynote Speaker at the European Conference on Mental Health. This and many other forms of recognition on an international stage have come about based on his development and application of best practices facilitating music education as a pathway to improved mental health, self-esteem and contributing value to a community of peers and co-learners. The model he created is called Musical Intervention™ and has been piloted in downtown New Haven, Connecticut, and in New York City. The program’s headquarters, located in a storefront space, is an outgrowth of the work with in-patient populations in clinical and carceral settings. He found that as patients were discharged and set about adjusting back into the community, they needed the support, structure and expressive outlet of a dedicated non-clinical environment for drug-free and alcohol-free music-making more than ever.

Miguel Xavier

M.D., PhD., is Full Professor of Psychiatry at the NOVA Medical School-UNL and Senior Consultant at the CHLO Hospital Centre, in Lisbon. 

Miguel Xavier   is currently the president of the Scientific Board and Vice-Dean of NOVA Medical School. He also  coordinates the “International Master Degree in Primary Care Mental Health”, at NOVA Medical School.has been the national coordinator of several EU projects, in areas such as psychiatric epidemiology, mental health services planning and evaluation, forensic psychiatry and medical education. He is author or co-author of more than 400 presentations and 120 publications (e.g., papers in peer-reviewed journals, national reports, proceedings, books, etc.), as well as a regular reviewer of journals in the field of mental health and public health.

Besides his academic and clinical work, he was a co-author of the Portuguese Mental Health Plan 2007-2016, and the first author of the updated national plan 2017-2020. He is currently the head of the National Coordination for Mental Health Policies (Ministry of Health).

Title of the presentation:

Mental Health in Portugal: some lessons for the future.