HELICONference: Mental health reprecussions of the COVID-19 crisis

Last updated on 14-12-2022 by Pierre Daubresse

Thu, 22/09/2022 - 12:00 to 13:00


The mental health impact of the COVID-19 crisis is a major public health concern. The spread of SARS-CoV-2 has placed unprecedented strains on society. Known risk factors for poor mental health heightened (e.g., insecurity, unemployment), whereas protective factors (e.g., social connections, daily routine) declined drastically. Impressive data collection efforts have been made early-on in the crisis to investigate the mental health burden of the crisis on the Belgian population.

We have invited three leading researchers in the field to share their findings on the mental health impact during the COVID-19 crisis.


12h00 Welcome and introduction
            Prof. Dr. Brecht Devleesschauwer, Sciensano

12h05 Towards Mental health in Belgium: survey results before and during the pandemic
            Dr. Nele Flamant, Sciensano

Nele Flamant has obtained a PhD in psychology at Ghent University. She is currently working as a scientist at Sciensano in the Department of Epidemiology and public health. Specifically, she works on a longitudinal research project examining the impact of multiple stress sources on mental health in the adult population in Belgium. One of the data sources is the COVID-19 Health Interview Surveys, a series of cross-sectional surveys aimed at monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health and well-being of the general population in Belgium. 

12h20 Towards a better understanding of the psycho-motivational impact of the coronacrisis: Key insights from the Motivation Barometer project
            Prof. Dr. Maarten Vansteenkiste, UGent

Prof. Dr. Maarten Vansteenkiste is a professor Developmental and Motivational Psychology at Ghent University. During the crisis, he was a member of the Management Strategy Expert Group (GEMS). One of his research projects, The Motivation Barometer, is aimed at understanding the psychological impact of the coronacrisis. For more than two years, empirical data was collected on the Belgian population’s support for preventative measures, motivation commitment, psychological well-being, and vaccination intentions. This presentation provides a helicopter perspective of the key findings and lessons learned from this large-scale study.  

12h35 The impact of covid on mental health
            Prof. Dr. Elke Van Hoof, VUB

Prof. Dr. Elke Van Hoof teaches Medical and Health Psychology as well as Clinical Psychological Interventions at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She is a clinical psychologist specialized in psychodiagnostics, trauma, stress and burnout. She is the chairperson for the Superior Health Council working group on the psychological impact of COVID-19. Elke Van Hoof also advises the Flemish minister of public health on the execution of the COVID-19 action plan “Zorgen voor morgen”. In addition to her academic and policy advisory work, she has founded several organizations oriented towards improving mental health (e.g., Ally Institute; Huis voor Veerkracht).

12h55 Closing remarks
            Isabel Moens, advisor to federal minister of health Frank Vandenbroucke

Isabel Moens is currently mental health care advisor to the federal minister of health Frank Vandenbroucke. Her work experience includes director of mental health care at Zorgnet-ICURO, the network of Flemish hospitals, mental health care institutions and social profit elderly facilities. In addition to a degree in Economics (KULeuven), she achieved degrees related to mental health organization (Universities of Lille, Paris and Marseille) and global mental health (University of Lisbon). 

Register now


This event contributes to Sciensano's activities in the field of: 


Free, but registration is obliged


Share this event


QR code

QR code for this page URL