IfADo is part of the German Center for Mental Health

The BMBF has announced the establishment of a German Centre for Mental Health in Bochum. The IfADo will contribute its competences in the field of labour research.

Mental illnesses mean a considerable loss of quality of life for those affected and represent an increasing problem for society as a whole. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research has decided to establish a German Centre for Mental Health (Deutsches Zentrum für Psychische Gesundheit – DZP) to research the causes of mental illnesses and methods for their treatment. One of the locations of the DZP is the Ruhr University Bochum, where Prof. Dr. Silvia Schneider from the Research and Treatment Centre for Mental Health coordinates the newly founded research network “LIFE TBT”. As part of the network, the IfADo contributes its expertise in the field of mental health in the workplace.

Within this network, the expertise and common goals of renowned scientists in the research field are brought together throughout Germany, e.g. in basic research, clinical research and prevention and health care research. The research structures developed in this way are to be further networked and expanded and thus enable a faster connection to practice. The research network thus sets a new example for the successful and strong research networking within psychology, in which Prof. Dr. Michael Nitsche and Prof. Dr. Edmund Wascher from IfADo are also involved.

Whether a person becomes mentally ill or not depends on numerous factors. Characteristics of work such as work motivation and satisfaction and the way stress is dealt with also play an important role. Modern working conditions in particular are characterised by a high degree of cognitive and psychological challenges. The IfADo researches the potentials and risks of modern work with the aim of identifying favourable and unfavourable working conditions through a better understanding of risk factors and modifying them in a targeted manner. Understanding neuro-cognitive processes as the basis of experience and behaviour plays an important role in this. An important component is the “Dortmund Vitality Study”, which has been running since 2016, in which IfADo is researching the effects and correlations of age, working conditions, lifestyle and stress in order to be able to identify risk factors for mental illnesses such as burnout and depression earlier and to counteract them preventively. In addition, IfADo will contribute to the identification of biomarkers and the development of innovative therapies with its leading expertise in imaging and non-invasive brain stimulation.

The sites for the new DZP were selected after a multi-stage application process based on the recommendation of international reviewers. After the creation of an overall concept for the new centre, in which cornerstones for future research and cooperation as well as concrete content-related, programmatic and structural goals are developed, this will then be reviewed again by an international panel of experts.