About us

Who are we and what do we stand for?

Our purpose

The MHPSS Collaborative is a global hub for MHPSS research, innovation, learning and advocacy. 

In the field of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), we connect key academic and humanitarian actors with local civil society to give children and families in fragile and humanitarian settings the possibility to thrive. 

Our vision is a world that protects and cares for the mental health and wellbeing of children, youth and families. 

Our mission is to build connections, knowledge, and new ways to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children, youth and families in adversity. 

In our way of working, we CONVENE local and global actors and facilitate partnerships to engage a broad range of stakeholders, to INNOVATE solutions addressing emerging and critical challenges to child, youth and family mental health and wellbeing, and we CO-DEVELOP AND SHARE KNOWLEDGE, advancing local-to-global learning and evidence for better practice, to INFLUENCE donors and decision-makers to invest in multisectoral MHPSS as a life-saving measure. 

Our ways of working are always underpinned by these cross-cutting principles: 

  • Adolescent & youth engagement and participation   
  • Whole family approaches 
  • Capacity strengthening 

Our Values

Youth and adolescent participation

A whole family approach

Capacity strenthening

Who we are

The team

Ashley Nemiro

Acting Director

Dr. Ashley Nemiro (she/her), PhD has worked as a global mental health professional in humanitarian settings since 2011 following a career as a licensed family and school-based therapist and refugee resettlement program coordinator. Ashley focuses on multi-sectoral mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programming to ensure children and families have access to prevention, management and care services. She received her doctorate from North Carolina State University in counseling and psychology with a specialization in supervision. During her doctoral studies, she spent three years travelling to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to conduct her dissertation research, run a non-profit alongside Congolese women, and support Panzi hospitals mental health program. Alongside her duties as acting director, Ashley provides technical support to the education in emergencies portfolio. 

Marie Dahl

Director - on maternity leave

Marie Dahl, MA is a humanitarian professional with 13 years of experience in the humanitarian sector, with a core focus on children and youth‘s rights to protection, education, mental health and psychosocial wellbeing. Marie’s academic background includes a BA in International Social Work and a MA in International Humanitarian Action. Marie brings field experience from across Asia, the Middle East and Africa on humanitarian response, interagency coordination, capacity building, strategy and advocacy.  

Marie is the director of The MHPSS Collaborative on maternity leave from summer 2022 to summer 2023. 

Jura Augustinavicius

Research Advisor, Lead on Climate Change

Dr. Jura Augustinavicius is a global mental health researcher and an Assistant Scientist in the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she teaches courses on Climate Change and Mental Health. She completed a doctorate and postdoctoral fellowship in Public Mental Health with special training in global mental health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her current work focuses on climate change and mental health,  youth engagement, and MHPSS in humanitarian settings.

Karlo Dukic

Programmes Officer

Karlo Dukic, MSc, has more than three years of experience at the intersection of humanitarian and development programming in development consultancy, INGO, and the public and private sectors. Karlo has worked on several assignments in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Yemen, Nepal, Denmark, and Croatia focusing on livelihoods, food security, nutrition, education, and MHPSS. Karlo holds BA in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Dag Hammarskjöld University College in Zagreb and an MSc in Global Development from the University of Copenhagen. Karlo is currently supporting the development of the child and family global course for community workers in emergency settings, as well asthe  joint Ukraine response in child and family MHPSS for national and international agencies. 

Louise Juul Hansen

Advocacy and Communications Advisor

Louise Juul Hansen (she/her), MA is an advocacy and communications specialist with a master’s degree in media studies from the University of Copenhagen. Louise has worked with advocacy and communication in the field of MHPSS supporting both communication, advocacy and development of training material, handbooks and guidelines for more than 10 years. She has a special expertise in dissemination and communication of EU funded research projects.  

At the MHPSS, Louise advises on advocacy and communications for The Collaborative and its projects. She leads the communications and dissemination work for the REFUGE-ED project.

Pernille Hansen

Senior Technical Advisor

Dr. Pernille Hansen, PhD is a psychologist and MHPSS practitioner, researcher and technical advisor. She has worked with community based MHPSS, and humanitarian work since 2005 and has extensive experience with family and child-focused therapy; developing and facilitating trainings; cultural adaptation of interventions and trainings; project development, management and review; and academic and non-academic writing. Pernille has a doctorate in psychology from the University of Copenhagen, based on research in the Dominican Republic and Haiti after the earthquake of 2010, where she explored how to promote experiences of resilience of children and families in cross-border situations. 

Kate Harris

Programmes Advisor

Kate Harris, MSc is a project management generalist with a bachelor’s degree in law and psychology, and a master’s degree in global studies (migration). Kate has provided project support across the legal, humanitarian, and educational sectors in Australia, Mexico, Sweden, and Denmark, as well as spending some time as a teacher at an International School in Peru and volunteering with refugee programmes. Kate is motivated to ensure programmes are run efficiently so that MHPSS technical staff can dedicate their expertise to promote mental health and wellbeing for children and families. In her current role, Kate oversees The MHPSS Collaborative’s portfolio and budgets, guides the project & operations team, and manages the Danida and UNICEF strategic partnership agreements. 

Deepali Pavagadhi

MHPSS Specialist

Deepali Pavagadhi (she/her), MSc is a mental health researcher with extensive experience in qualitative and quantitative research in low- and middle-income contexts, including India, Vietnam, and Nigeria. At the Collaborative, she is currently leading a research study that seeks to understand the well-being of children with disabilities. She is also supporting the development and evaluation of a global child and family MHPSS course for frontline workers in humanitarian settings. She has a M.Sc. in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health from King’s College London and is passionate about strengthening evidence and action on social determinants of mental health.


Victor Ugo

MHPSS and Youth Engagement Advisor

Dr. Victor Ugo, MD is the founder of Nigeria’s and one of Africa’s biggest youth-led and user-led youth mental health network, Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI). With an MSc in Global Mental Health from Kings College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Victor has been at the forefront of elevating the global discourse on youth mental health and is passionate about conversations regarding meaningful engagement and participation of children and young people at all levels of programming, research and advocacy in mental health. 

At The MHPSS Collaborative, Victor leads the youth engagement portfolio. 

Our steering committee

Our partnerships

We are hosted and funded by

The MHPSS Collaborative is hosted by Save the Children, sharing a location in its offices in Copenhagen, Denmark. We are grateful to Danida for providing the seed funding for our core activities and existence. Danida is Denmark’s development cooperation, an area of activity under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

We are proud to work with

Working in partnership is one of our core values. We are proud to have current and past partnerships with these outstanding entities, working together to solve critical issues for child and family mental health and psychosocial wellbeing.