Henrikje Klasen 1963–2017

Fighter for people, quality and common understanding

Dr Henrikje Klasen, who was an ESCAP Board member since June 2015 and the treasurer of ESCAP since 1st January 2017, passed away on 23 July 2017. Our condolences go to her family and her friends.

Dr. med. Henrikje Klasen 1963-2017ESCAP has lost a very devoted colleague to the future of child and adolescent psychiatry. She was also a great fighter for the rights of those who are living in poverty, for those who are in unequal position (from patients to colleagues all around the world), for women, for trainees and others in need of support. She was very devoted to make our specialty – child and adolescent psychiatry – more recognized, but also she was a fighter for quality and wanted to work on improving common understanding among professionals in different fields such as ADHD and autism.
She was a citizen of Europe – German background, educated in UK, living in the Netherlands – and someone who always promptly answered on all relevant issues. Very capable to formulate her opinion. Very democratic in her nature.
She was a fighter until the end.

Stephan Eliez,
on behalf of the Board of ESCAP.


Dr. med. Henrikje Klasen was born in Papenburg (Germany) on 25 October 1963 and died on 23 July 2017 in Haarlem (Netherlands). She was layed to rest in Papenburg on 29 July 2017. Henrikje Klasen leaves a husband and a daughter behind.

She was Head of Child Psychiatry Training at De Jutters, The Hague, Netherlands, and Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry at Leiden University Medical Centre. In 2015, as a response to her election as a Board member, she said: "My mission in ESCAP is to promote access to effective child mental health care for those children most in need of it – all over Europe."
"Although much progress has been made in recent years to develop evidence-based treatments, many affected children in Europe still do not receive the care they deserve. We know that there is great inequity in access to services, with children from e.g. ethnic minorities, rural areas or low SES often being excluded or disadvantaged. Those receiving treatments are not always the most severely affected youngsters and the care offered is not always the most effective, as implementation from research to clinical practice remains problematic. As a social anthropologist and child psychiatrist, who has lived and worked in three different European countries, I noticed that stigma, migration, new definitions of “family” and financial crises are social challenges that face troubled children, as well as those trying to help them, in different ways in different European countries. Health care systems, the organization of services and last but not least the financing of care have an enormous impact on the help children receive. Training our young colleagues all over Europe not only to be excellent clinicians, but also to develop the crucial leadership, research and managerial skills to promote the implementation of best practice is a priority. ESCAP is an ideal platform to explore the social, cultural, economic and political impacts on child psychiatry further and to learn from best practices anywhere in Europe."