The research institute Brain & Behaviour was founded in 1995 and was situated in the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) of Maastricht University. 

In September 2007, the Brain & Behaviour Institute in Maastricht was transformed into a formal graduate school within Maastricht University: the School for Mental Health and Neuroscience. At that time, the names of the divisions were changed.

In 2009, a group of clinical neuroscience researchers in the university hospital joined division 1, which subsequently was renamed to Clinical Neuropsychiatry and Cognitive Neuroscience. The other two divisions kept their names: division 2: Mental Health and division 3: Neuroscience.

We started in 1995 with research on the broadly defined central theme of Mechanisms of Brain Dysfunction in a Life Span Perspective, but over time we have introduced a translational thematic approach, in which three translational areas are core. MHeNS currently performs research at the gene-cell-animal and human levels.