Department of Health Psychology

The vision of the department is a collegial community of high academic culture guided by the pursuit of knowledge and progress, providing the highest quality specialist training services, actively contributing to the development of psychology and health sciences, and pursuing the goal of integrating science and practice in all areas of activity.

Our mission is to follow the most advanced ideas of education and the best traditions of training a researcher-practitioner, to educate tomorrow’s leaders in health psychology, to create new scientific knowledge, to contribute to the use of the most advanced scientific achievements of psychology for the health and well-being of the individual and society, to ensure an academic environment conducive to the spiritual development of the personality and self-realisation.


Bachelor‘s Programme in Health Psychology

The goal is to educate competent Bachelors of Psychology who are characterised by scientific foresight and the need to improve, who have a solid foundation of scientific knowledge in psychology and who are able to apply it professionally in the field of personal and public health and well-being.

Master‘s Programme in Clinical Health Psychology

The goal is to train psychology professionals who know the specifics of health, health disorders, and the healthcare system, who are able to work in teams of various specialties, to support scientific arguments and effectively apply methods suitable for specific areas of health psychology, to evaluate the effectiveness of their activities and to improve independently.

The second cycle of psychology studies allows a person who has completed bachelor‘s studies in psychology to specialise in a narrower field of psychology, as well as to master more complex research methods and acquire skills that enable them to continue their studies in a doctoral degree.

Project „Psychosocial suicide risk factors and availability of help in the environment of suicidal persons“. The aim of the study is to gain a deeper understanding of suicide risk factors and help options for people experiencing psychological difficulties.

For this purpose, a psychological autopsy of the persons who committed suicide is performed, which allows to reconstruct and identify the factors related to the suicide. The information recorded in the research protocol is anonymous, based on it, it will not be possible to determine the identity of either the subject or the deceased. After agreeing to participate in the study, the subject needs to meet the researcher once. The interview is conducted orally. During the research survey, the aim is not only to discuss the experience of a loved one‘s suicide, but also to provide emotional support and to inform about the possibilities of help for the relatives of those who commit suicide.

Project Supervisor – Prof. Dr. Nida Žemaitienė. The project was financed by the Lithuanian Science Council.

Persons who have experienced the suicide of a loved one within 1-3 years are invited to the study. Persons wishing to participate in the study are requested to contact the administrator of the Department of Health Psychology.

The project „Development of factors of prevention of child and adolescent suicides and violence, accessibility of help and quality of provided services“ is a project co-financed from the structural funds of the European Union. Its purpose is to develop the possibilities of prevention of factors of child and adolescent suicides and violence, and to improve the availability of help and the quality of services provided. It is expected that this project will significantly contribute to the development of quality assurance and accessibility of mental healthcare services provided to young people.

Project Supervisor – Prof. Dr. Nida Žemaitienė, the project is financed by the investment action programme of European Union funds. Project activities are carried out in 2018-2022.

HBSC is an international study of the lifestyle and health of schoolchildren (Health Behaviour in School-aged Children), which is conducted by the initiative of the World Health Organization every 4 years in more than 40 European countries, as well as in the USA and Canada. The purpose of this study is to better understand the lifestyle, behaviour and health of young people. The target group of the research is 5th, 7th and 9th grade students. Research has been conducted in Lithuania since 1994.

In addition to various health factors (physical activity, nutrition, risky behaviour), the study also examines psychological and social factors, such as life satisfaction, family and school environment, communication with friends, methods of seeking help, etc. The study is conducted by the Health Research Institute of LSMU, in close cooperation with the Department of Health Psychology.

The main research coordinator in Lithuania is Prof. Dr. Kastytis Šmigelskas.

Inclusive education in early childhood: Modelling Child Behaviour Management

The project „Inclusive education in early childhood: modelling of children‘s behaviour management“ (No. S-DNR-20-3) is funded by the European Union under the contract with the Lithuanian Science Council (LMTLT) and was implemented in 2021. The goal of the project is to study the features of inclusive nursery and pre-school education in Lithuania and to expand services for children with emotional, behavioural and developmental difficulties, to prepare descriptions of scientifically based interventions, recommendations for the training and qualification of pedagogues. During the project, the effectiveness of programs for developing attention concentration and improving emotional and social competences for children aged 3-6 years will be evaluated.

Project Supervisor – Assoc. Prof Dr. Giedrė Širvinskienė.

Babies born better – a long-term international project. It surveys women who have given birth in the last 5 years and analyses their experiences and opinions regarding the maternity care they have received. The project aims to identify good practices in maternity care in Europe and to find ways to optimise maternal and child healthcare in different countries. Currently, the survey is conducted in 25 languages both in EU countries and outside of it.

The department‘s researchers cooperate with other Lithuanian higher education institutions, as well as actively cooperate with the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, public healthcare institutions. The department‘s employees participate in the preparation of legal acts and projects of hygiene norms.

Project Coordinator in Lithuania – Assoc. Prof. Dr. Giedrė Širvinskienė.

Department of Health Psychology
Tilžės g. 18, Kaunas LT-47181
+370 37 354 087
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Giedrė Širvinskienė
Head of the Department of Health Psychology