european psychiatric association

2024 Winner

Professor Merete Nordentoft was selected by the members of the jury as the 2024 winner of the EPA Constance Pascal – Helen Boyle Prize of €10,000 for Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in Working to Improve Mental Health Care in Europe.

Professor Nordentoft is a clinical psychiatrist and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Copenhagen. Merete Nordentoft played a leading role in developing and implementing early intervention services in Denmark. She is an expert in epidemiology, suicidal behaviour, psychopathology and early intervention in psychosis. She has led the process from research to implementation of early intervention services all over Denmark, and all over Europe, she has been a strong advocate for improvement of services for people with first episode psychosis.

Professor Nordentoft has worked with suicide prevention at a national level since 1997, and together with a group of epidemiologists from Nordic countries, she has demonstrated that life expectancy for people with schizophrenia is 15 to 20 years shorter than in the general population.

She initiated the Danish High Risk and Resilience Study VIA 7 – a representative cohort study of 522 7-year-old children with 0, 1, or 2 parents with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. The cohort was assessed at age 11, age 15 and now age 19.

In 2018, she published the book: “How do we create the future psychiatry?” and she is a strong advocate for improving mental health and mental health services in general and especially for young people.

Professor Nordentoft was given the prestigious awards: The Golden Scalpel, Global Excellence in Health, the Richard Wyatt Award, the Marie and August Krogh Award and the Novo Nordisk Prize. From 2017 to 2023 she was amongst the one percent most often cited researchers in Clarivate Analytics.

She was the President of IEPA from 2012 to 2014, and she has served as General Secretary for the International Association for Suicide Prevention. She is President of the Schizophrenia International Research Society and of the Danish Psychiatric Society.

 The EPA warmly congratulates Prof. Nordentoft on this well-deserved distinction, which recognises her exceptional contribution towards better mental health care in Europe.