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Unit 26: Mental Health

Heike Hölling
Ulfert Hapke

Unit 26 has the task of monitoring mental health in different groups of the population: children, adolescents, adults of working age, older people. Importance is placed on continuously monitoring the prevalence of mental disorders and illnesses and recognising temporal trends, as well as researching life courses with specific consideration of so-called transitional phases.

The unit places a focus on mental disorders with a particularly relevant disease burden. Moreover, the topics of quality of life, opportunities for social participation and coping skills in the context of mental stress and disorders are handled with priority. These topics are considered at the personal, social and societal level.


The main content-related topics therefore cover the following fields:

  • Disease burden: epidemiology of frequent mental disorders with high public health relevance; with a focus on depression, anxiety disorders, sleeping disorders, and alcohol abuse and dependency in adults, and on mental disorders and illnesses, ADHD and eating disorders in children and adolescents.
  • Psychological determinants: development and performance capabilities, resilience, self-efficacy and motivation.
  • Contextual influences: in the case of children and adolescents - parental stress and psychopathology, day care for children. Chronic stress, work pressure and burdens and opportunities in later life for adults. Social attitudes to and assessments of mental disorders and stigmatisation.
  • Quality of life, wellbeing and life satisfaction in the context of physical and mental health.
  • Psychometrics and specific methods of diagnosis and tools for collecting data on mental health in epidemiological studies.

Date: 01.07.2015