Header (Kopie) (Kopie)

German Center for Mental Health in Central Germany gets funded

Mental health is a precious commodity. Every year, almost 18 million adults in Germany are affected by mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders, depression or schizophrenia. Under the current conditions of the pandemic, the situation becomes even more acute. For this reason, a unique German Center for Mental Health will complete the list of BMBF-funded German Centers for Health Research.

A team of more than 60 experts from the fields of psychiatry, neuroscience, psychotherapy and psychology in Jena, Magdeburg and Halle (Saale) has launched a joint initiative called C-I-R-C to develop novel concepts for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, and to bring them into application. The C-I-R-C concept has convinced an international jury of experts and is now being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for the establishment of a site of the German Center for Mental Health in Central Germany.

Prof. Dr. Martin Walter, Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Jena University Hospital is the spokesperson for the initiative. He describes the central idea: "In order to maintain mental health and treat its disorders, we want to focus on the whole patient and, above all, research the influence of immune factors, but also of the gut microbiome, on brain function."

The new Centre will also profit from the expertise of the Cluster of Excellence Balance of the Microverse: „There are numerous indications that complex processes such as mental health or aging are also influenced by microorganisms and their metabolic networks. We are thus excited about the prospect of investigating the role of microorganisms in our well-being in a transdisciplinary network with scientists and clinicians“, says Prof. Dr. Axel Brakhage, spokesperson of Microverse Cluster. Within the C-I-R-C the Principal Investigators of the Cluster of Excellence will be targeting the question how mental health is related to complex microbial communities and their communication principles.

More about C-I-R-C

German press release by the University Hospital Jena

German press release by the BMBF

Text:Uta von der Gönna & Alena Gold
Illustration: C-I-R-C