The Leibniz Institute for Psychology (ZPID) will be an active contributor to the German Center for Mental Health (DZP). Situated in Rhineland-Palatinate, this member of the Leibniz association is now an infrastructure partner of the German Center for Mental Health located in Bochum. This is one of six such centers nationwide.
The Bochum location is headed by Prof. Silvia Schneider from the Mental Health Research and Treatment Center at the Ruhr-University Bochum. "Mental illnesses do not just suddenly start in adulthood as if nothing had ever happened before. On the contrary, they often start in childhood and adolescence. The idea is not to treat mental disorders only after they have become apparent and the people who are directly affected are suffering from them, but to take preventive action at an early stage and prevent the development of such disorders in the first place," says Schneider, describing one of the project's aims. Another is to provide free access to scientific findings.
This is one of the responsibilities that ZPID will assume. ZPID director Prof. Michael Bosnjak: "We are contributing a wide range of infrastructure services to the new center including, for example, the open access repository, PsychArchives, to ensure that all research findings are permanently available. The institute is also contributing its expertise in the area of 'community-augmented meta-analyses' and in creating easy-to-understand short summaries of scientific findings."
The two new centers for health research were selected after a competitive application process. An international team of experts made recommendations. The second new health research center focuses on child and adolescent health.
According to Education and Research Minister Karliczek, the new centers will be able to pool expertise more effectively and thus advance scientific research and treatment approaches more quickly. "This is good news for all patients and at the same time it signifies the further advancement of Germany's international position as a leading scientific research hub."
The selected locations now have six months to develop an overall concept for their respective new centers. This will include a strategy for future research and collaboration as well as specific content-related, programmatic, and structural goals for the establishment and development of each center. These two concepts, respectively, should focus on improving the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness and on improving the health of children and adolescents. Subsequently, the ideas put forth by each center will be subjected to review by an international committee of experts.