Casa de Saúde do Telhal

Leading Health Care Unit in Psychiatry, Mental Health and Psychosocial Rehabilitation, located in Sintra.

Services / Specialities

Long Inpatient Units

All the Units have multidisciplinary teams, with intervention programmes suited to the needs of patients.


Main objectives:

  • Promote quality of life;
  • Promote social inclusion;
  • Provide greater autonomy through an appropriate intervention programme;
  • Promote the maintenance/structuring of personal identity and self-determination;
  • Support the integration in socio-occupational or professional activities.


St. Benedict Menni

St. Benedict Menni Unit, aimed at moderate support, with capacity for 47 patients.

It is designed to promote autonomy, well-being and quality of life, through an appropriate intervention programme with a pro-rehabilitative approach, which provides a favourable environment for the maintenance/structuring of personal identity.


St. John of God and St. Anthony

Units that can cater for 54 and 57 patients, respectively. Aimed at people with mental illness and/or disability with a low degree of dependence in terms of daily life activities.

 Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Sacred Heart of Jesus unit can accommodate 50 patients. This inpatient unit includes patients with a reduced to moderate degree of dependence in their daily life activities.


St. Augustine and St. Raphael

St. Augustine and St. Raphael units can accommodate 39 and 40 patients, respectively. These units are designed to assist people with mental illness and/or disability, who have a high degree of dependence and need support to meet their basic needs, namely hygiene, clothing, food, etc.


Geriatric psychology clinic / > disability - Friar Júlio dos Santos

Unit providing care for people with psychiatric disorders, aged 65 or over and/or with a high degree of disability/dependence.

It can accommodate 45 patients on long-term care treatments.

A Snoezelen room is included in its facilities, destined as a multisensory environment (MSE) for stimulation of patients, which also serves the whole Health Centre.

In addition, Gymnasium "Angulo" is the place where the Health Centre patients attend movement classes.

Short-stay units


The St. John of Avila acute/sub-acute clinic was opened in 2011, although there had long been an acute mental illness service at the Telhal Health Centre.

It accommodates patients with mental illness/disability in acute/sub-acute stages, aiming at clinical and functional stabilisation. The maximum length of stay is 90 days.

The therapeutic intervention is ensured by a multidisciplinary team, consisting of Psychiatrists, GPs, Nurses, Assistants, Psychologist, Rehabilitation Technician and Social Worker. The referral is made through an external psychiatric consultation at the Telhal Health Centre and after referral by psychiatric services (information circular letter N.10/2014/DPS/ACSS) and by subsystems or private entities.



Novo Rumo Clinic for Alcoholic Patients assists patients with a history of alcohol abuse, through a treatment and recovery programme based on an integrative theoretical, bio-psycho-social and spiritual model.

Supported by a multidisciplinary team, it guarantees interventions provided by Psychiatry, General Practice/ Internal Medicine, Nursing, Psychology, Social Work and Occupational Therapy.

It can accommodate 16 patients.

Treatment is voluntary. The recovery programme lasts four weeks, involves the development with the patient of an individual intervention plan and is based on an individual, group and family approach.

The therapeutic intervention works range from motivation and preparation for hospitalisation to physical detoxification and the development of strategies and competencies for abstinence and prevention of relapse. However, the self-determination of the patient during the entire treatment and recovery process is of utmost importance.

Referral is made through the external consultation of the Sector for Alcoholic Patients of the Telhal Health Centre and after referral by the psychiatric services (information circular letter N.10/2014/DPS/ACSS) and by subsystems or private individuals.

Geriatric psychology

Geriatric psychology clinic / > disability - Friar Júlio dos Santos

A unit providing care for people with psychiatric disorders, aged 65 or over and/or with a high degree of disability/dependence.

It can accommodate 45 patients on long-term care treatments.

A Snoezelen room is included in its facilities, destined as a multisensory environment (MSE) for stimulation of patients, which also serves the whole Health Centre.

Psychosocial Rehabilitation Service

The Rehabilitation Services have a multidisciplinary team and are organised along two lines:

  • Residential
  • Occupational


The training of skills is individualised, based on the Individual Intervention Plan and includes: Training of basic, instrumental and advanced daily life activities, namely, hygiene, clothing, meals, medication management, money management, domestic management, shopping, use of community resources, socialisation, means of communication, occupation, leisure, time management; Maintenance of skills that have already been learned.



The inter and transdisciplinary intervention in psychosocial rehabilitation aims to achieve the greatest possible degree of autonomy by the patient, improve their quality of life and enhances the exercise of citizenship, through interventions adjusted to the needs and characteristics of each patient.

Thus, it has the following facilities:

- Brother Cândido Rehabilitation Unit (20 patients)

- Modular Rehabilitation Units I, II and III (8 patients each)

- Blessed Olallo Rehabilitation Unit (22 patients)

- Autonomy Training Residence - Vivenda Romã (7 patients) - integrated in the RNCCI pilot projects, it aims at providing maximum individual autonomy, preparing patients to deal effectively with daily demands, making them able to (re)integrate in the community.

During their stay in the rehabilitation units, patients have an active role in their rehabilitation process, based on recovery, sharing responsibilities with the technical team and family, to ensure the smooth running of the project, enhancing their empowerment, self-determination, quality of life and social inclusion.



The living units, with maintenance and/or training of autonomy in the community, integrate patients with no residential alternative but with community reinsertion competences. They do not have a fixed length of stay and include the following services:

Protected Life Units (Joint Ordinance 407/98)

- Girassol Residence (6 patients)

- Golfinho Residence (5 patients)

Independent Living Unit (Joint Ordinance 407/98)

- Orchid Residence (6 patients)

Autonomous Unit still without protocol

- Vontade Residence (4 patients)

Autonomous Unit

- Esperança Mental Health Autonomous Residence (6 patients)

A unit integrated in the pilot project of the National Integrated Continued Care Network, aimed at people with a reduced degree of psychosocial disability due to serious mental illness, clinically stabilised, without adequate family or social support. The therapeutic programme of the residence is based on the Individual Intervention Plan and includes: psychosocial support, support in planning daily life activities and integration in professional or socio-occupational activities, access to general and specialised medical care, medication management support, access to social and leisure activities.



The Occupational Workshops provide patients with a space to carry out different activities that contribute in a rewarding way to the maintenance and/or development of their abilities. It can accommodate 40 patients and is open on working days from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

The Productive Activity Workshops aim to offer patients a structured occupational space that allows them to acquire/maintain work habits and pre-labour practice, in order to improve their overall quality of life. It can accommodate 45 patients and is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

The Hospitality Day Area is an occupational service, which aims to provide a structured environment, focused on the expectations, interests and needs of psychiatric patients, in order to enhance maximum autonomy and improve their quality of life. Thus, it aims to provide therapeutic and occupational support to non-institutionalised patients (preventing the so-called "revolving door" syndrome) and to patients integrated in rehabilitation units or in other units of the Telhal Health Centre.

It can cater for 35 patients and is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

Vocational Training aims to promote the empowerment of people with mental illness and disability, through the acquisition of employability skills and greater community integration, contributing to an increase in empowerment. It contemplates interventions that encourage the recovery and learning of personal, relational and social skills, mobilising different community actions and creating new social relations, towards active citizenship.

As part of this process, there are two Vocational Training courses aimed at the acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes and forms of behaviour required to perform the functions of a profession. The training component of the courses is theoretical and practical.

- Computer Course

- Gardening Course

It can accommodate 20 patients (8 for each training course), and the maximum duration of each course is 22 months.

Intervention centre for sports and leisure: Desportivamente.

Intervention centre for Art and recreational-cultural purposes: Experimentarte and atelie's de arte.

Outpatient Consultation

This service, open to persons from any region of the country, includes consultations of various specialties:

  • Psychiatry
  • Alcoholology
  • Gerontopsychiatry
  • Child psychiatry
  • Psychology and Psychotherapy
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neurology
  • General clinic
  • Medicine and Dental Prosthetics
  • Ophthalmology

The institution has no psychiatric emergency service, so all admissions, when there are vacancies, are evaluated by the outpatient consultations service.

It is open on weekdays from 8.30am to 5pm. Appointments can be made in person at the Outpatients Department or by phone (+351) 219 179 200.

Consultations are private, and there are no agreements with funding bodies.

Patient Admission

The Telhal Health Centre is a healthcare centre dedicated to the treatment/assistance of patients aged 18 years old or more in Psychiatry and Mental Health, Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Alcoholism.

The admission process to Telhal Health Centre starts by means of a psychiatric or alcohol abuse outpatient consultation, following referral by psychiatric services (information circular letter N.10/2014/DPS/ACSS) and by the sub-systems or private entities, which may be scheduled by telephone on 219 179 200, between 8.30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

For the evaluation consultation, you should be accompanied by the person requesting admission and, whenever possible, by a clinical report (stating the reason for the admission), a nursing report and an updated social report, so that a full assessment of the situation can be made, the need for admission and its suitability for the admission units we have available.

According to the Mental Health Act in force, the Telhal Health Centre cannot allow any compulsory internment without the informed consent of the patient in question, which will always happen after a psychiatric and nursing mental health evaluation is carried out by our specialised staff.

If the patient is not a beneficiary of any of the health subsystems with which CST has agreements (AMFA, IASFA, PSP, GNR), they will have to be referred by a psychiatrist from the psychiatry department of the public hospital in their place of residence, through a valid document approved by its board of directors. In situations where there is no referral by the National Health System, the CST has private internment facilities.





About Us

About us

A leading health unit specialized in Psychiatry, Mental Health and Psychosocial Rehabilitation. Located in the Municipality of Sintra within 25 km away from Lisbon, it was founded by Father Benedict Menni in June 1893.

The Telhal Health Centre develops clinical intervention focused on quality and continuous improvement, through its technical services and multidisciplinary teams that integrate medical, nursing, psychology, social service, occupational therapy, psychomotricity, special education and rehabilitation technician and rehabilitation and social insertion technician, monitors, medical assistants, janitors, maintenance and administrative technicians.

It provides healthcare to around 469 patients integrated in seven long-term care units, 2 specialised clinics (acute/sub-acute psychiatry and alcoholism) and nine psychosocial rehabilitation units. Three of them are intra-institutional units and one Autonomy Training Residence (RTA) included in the pilot projects of the National Network for Integrated continued Mental Health Care (RNCCI). The remaining units are community residential structures and include one independent living unit and two protected living units, under the scope of Joint Ordinance 407/98 of Social Security; one autonomous residence integrated in the pilot projects of the RNCCI and one residence outside the scope of the previous ones. Also within the scope of the Rehabilitation Services, besides residential services, there are occupational spaces, namely Occupational Workshops, Productive Activities, Day Area and Vocational Training.

The Outpatient Service (Psychiatry, Alcoholism, Geriatric psychiatry, Child Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychotherapy, Neuropsychology, Neurology, General Practice, Dental Medicine and Dental Prosthetics and Ophthalmology) operates on weekdays.


It can accommodate 469 patients in inpatient care:

  • People with acute/sub-acute mental illness;
  • People with mental illness in residential rehabilitation and occupational programmes;
  • People with mental illness in long-term inpatient care;
  • People with mental illness and aged 65 and over, psychogeriatric patients, in long-term inpatient care, on scheduled relief/carer respite, for periods of up to 90 days;
  • People with mental disabilities in long-term inpatient and rehabilitation programmes;
  • People with a history of alcohol abuse or dependence.

The staff members of the Telhal Health Centre:


Doctors: Psychiatrists and General Practitioners



Social workers

Occupational therapists

Senior Special Education and Rehabilitation Technicians

Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Technicians




Maintenance technicians

Senior Management

Diretor: Dr. Nuno Lopes

Deputy and Administrative Director: Dra. Ana Sequeira

Clinical Director: Dr. Vítor Viegas Cotovio

Director of Nursing: Enf. Luís Gens

Responsible for the Ministry of Health and Animation: Pe. António Mariano, OH

Superior of the Brothers' Community: Pe. Alberto Mendes, OH


The Telhal Health Centre is the oldest Health Care Centre of the Portuguese Province of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God and, naturally of the St. John of God Institute.

The Hospitaller Order, spread throughout the world, suffered a great blow during the political upheavals of the 19th century and even became extinct in the Iberian Peninsula.

It was restored a few decades later, still in the same century, and its main worker was Father Benedict Menni, now canonised, to whom acts of true heroism are attributed.

He founded the Telhal Health Centre in 1893, having suffered severe persecution and being the target of aggressive and cruel slander. "Encouraging others is encouraging oneself". That is what Father Menni did during this difficult period. Since the mentally ill were people with great needs, Benedict Menni, whilst buying Quinta do Telhal, proposed to found a Health Care Home for them. He also intended to create the Novitiate of the Hospitaller Order for young Portuguese men.

The deed of ownership, of the estate located about 25 kilometres from Lisbon, was signed on 29 June 1893, and it was acquired from the Van Zeller family, who, on learning of the purposes for which it was intended, significantly facilitated the initially proposed payment.

The development of Telhal was slow and time consuming.

Many Brothers went out begging for alms to ensure their upkeep, due to the scarcity of resources at the time. The sick began to be cared for free of charge. It was only later that some pensioners were admitted, and their contribution made it possible to provide greater and better help.

For many years, the Brothers' community in Telhal lived on bread, vegetables, eggs, milk and fruit from the farm. To save resources, wine was forbidden and meat was rarely eaten.

During the inauguration of the Portuguese Republic, Telhal, as well as the other religious houses, suffered another strong blow. However, the prudent action of the Brothers, namely of the founding Brother, the visit of Afonso Costa, Minister of Justice, who, upon finding a former colleague from the University hospitalised and mentally disturbed, was strongly impressed, changing his attitude towards the Order, contributed to the Brothers' activity being able to continue, despite the constraints still imposed.

However, the Government, which had created so many problems for the Hospitaller Brothers, later requested their services so that they could provide assistance to the soldiers who had returned from the 1914-1918 war in which Portugal was involved, who were mentally disturbed by the gases used by the German forces. Thus, the Brothers were incorporated into the Military Health Service without having to leave home.

The pensions that the Government paid for the military internees and some savings made it possible to build new buildings, namely the St. Joseph's Pavilion that, for its time, around 1918, had model facilities and was considered the best service in Europe for people with mental illnesses.

The number of inpatients continued to increase and the Telhal Health Centre took on the appearance of a small village, with some buildings, streets and gardens. Patients, already duly grouped according to their psychological conditions, occupied the buildings as if they lived in large, pleasant and airy country homes.

The therapeutic evolution, at the Telhal Health Centre, was, from the beginning, marked by the concern to rehabilitate patients for social life through work. Hence, many fits of psychomotor agitation subsided. Industrial and agricultural work was one of the most valuable means found.

Alongside the best foreign establishments, methods were perfected that were recognised as effective for the time, such as hydrotherapy, diathermy, organotherapy, serum therapy and others. Therapy against malaria and electroconvulsive therapy were also used in an almost avant-garde way at the Telhal Health Centre. Professor Diogo Furtado initiated electroconvulsive therapy in 1936. Still in the 1930s, Professor Egas Moniz, accompanied by Dr. Almeida Lima, often came to perform lobotomies on inpatients.

But Telhal was not always and only a psychiatric institution. It had a surgical clinic with 20 beds, built between 1953 and 1954, and a Nursing School, created in 1936, essentially for the training of the Brothers. These areas of activity, due to the prestige they enjoyed, also contributed to making it notable.


  •  Telefone

    (+351) 219 179 200

    (+351) 219 164 426

  •  Morada

    Estrada do Telhal, 55

    2725-588 Mem Martins

  •  Email


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