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Global Mental Health

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MEHIRA (Mental Health in Refugees and Asylum Seekers)

This study (contact: Kerem Böge) is funded by the “Innovationsfond der Krankenkassen“ and the German Ministry of Health. It aims at developing a stepped-care model to treat stress-related disorders in refugees. A number of low-threshold interventions are tested at different project sites such as a gender-sensitive group psychotherapy (Aachen), a peer-to-peer intervention (Charité Campus Mitte), a resource-oriented psychotherapeutical approach (Munich), as well as a specialized treatment for adolescents (Mannheim, Ulm, Marburg). In addition, health economic data are collected (Mannheim) and a customized smartphone application for the purpose of psychoeducation and stress management support will be evaluated. More information can be found here and here.

AFFIN (Affective and Cultural Dimensions of Integration after Migration)

The project AFFIN (Affective and cultural dimensions of integration after migration) is funded by the ministry of research and education (BMBF). It has an interdisciplinary research consortium with scholars from sociology, psychology, and medizing at the university Göttingen, the Freie Universität berlin, Charité and the German Institute for Economy. Focus of the research is the often neglected topic of affective and cultural dimensions of migration and the corresponding societal changes. Starting point of the project is notion that values, emotions, and feelings play a crucial role in interconnected dimensions of integration, belonging and societal change for both, migrants and receiving society. Aim of the project is a better understanding for these interconnected topics and the development of guidelines and instructions for action for relevant decision makers.

Balsam Project

This project (contact: Nada Elmahdi, Jessica Sommer) is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and is realized in cooperation with Help e.V. It aims at developing a psychiatric-psychological health care structure at three selected health centers in Jordan (Mafraq, Sahab, Zarqa). Therefore, local personnel will be trained on-site and a web-based training manual will be developed. Seven specifically trained psychologists and psychiatrists from Jordan and Syria already work on this project and receive regular supervision. Further information can be found here.

MHPSS-Studie

This study (contact: Judith Strasser) is funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and is realized in cooperation with the Jiyan Foundation. The aim is to systematically register existing psychiatric-psychological health care structures in Jordan and Northern Iraq. In addition, the project pursues the goal to bring together local members of the help system and promote exchange and communication among them.

CRC 1171 “Affective Societies: Dynamics of social coexistence in mobile worlds”, interdisciplinary subproject A02

Affect and emotion constitute fundamental aspects of social relations that are essential to whether societies are able to hold together or fall apart. Our goal is to establish a new understanding of societies as affective societies, in which the fundamental meaning of emotionality and affectivity for communal life is taken into account, along with the myriad of challenges of the mobile, interconnected, and mediatised environments of the twenty-first century. For further information please visit the following website: Affective Societies (CRC 1171).

At the CRC 1171 Affective Societies, researchers from different disciplines across the social sciences and the humanities, as well as psychiatry and psychology as part of the natural sciences, investigate affect and emotion in their respective role for social cohesion, be it in the arts, in politics, concerning migration or dealing with new media technology.

Since the beginning of the application phase of the CRC 1171, the Department of Psychiatry at the Charité, CBF has been actively involved with an interdisciplinary psychiatric-anthropological sub-project A02 in close collaboration with the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin (Head Area Anthropology Project A02: Dr. Anita von Poser). Established as a "transfer project", subproject A02 thus facilitates the transfer of new concepts and methods into clinical care and psychiatric research, especially with a focus on patients* with a Vietnamese migration background.

Research Team TP A02 at the Department of Psychiatry, Charité-Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, CBF:

  • Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. Thi-Minh-Tam Ta, senior consultant physician, specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy, head of the Outpatient Clinic for Vietnamese Migrants, co-head of Global Mental Health branch
  • Dr. med. Eric Hahn, senior physician, specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy, head of Schizophrenia and co-head of the Global Mental Health branch
  • M. Sc. Thi Quynh-Nhu Tran, psychologist, research assistant, doctoral candidate
  • Mario Truong, psychological student assistant
  • M. Sc. Nora Stumpfögger, psychologist, associated research assistant, doctoral candidate
  • Thi Hoa Nguyen, physician, DAAD scholarship holder, PhD student, Psychiatrist at Hanoi Medical University

The rapidly differentiating psychosocial “carescape – in making” as a part of what we coined “Vietnamese Berlin”, and with regard to its transnational networks, serves as an entry point of a psychiatric-anthropological-psychological field of research. This field is actively shaped, among other things, by the establishment of psychiatric outpatient services for Vietnamese migrants and the development of the multi-professional network "Mental Health for Vietnamese Migrants".

For further information please visit the following websites:

Psychiatric-psychotherapeutic Outpatient-Department for Vietnamese Migrants

www.netzwerk-vietpsygesundheit.de/vi/

During the first funding period (2015-2019), the CRC “Affective Societies” and its researchers developed an empirically grounded relational theory of affect and emotion by investigating key social and communal life areas.

From the beginning of the development of target group-oriented psychiatric services, the focus was on scientific evaluation and interdisciplinary research regarding the emerging psychosocial care landscape for and with the hitherto hard-to-reach group of Vietnamese migrants.

This concerns especially the interdisciplinary psychiatric-anthropological accompanying research, which is carried out using quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method methods and which is briefly described here as a central transfer project of CRC 1171 "Affective Societies":

First funding period (2015 – 2019): Affective efforts of migration – Vietnamese life-worlds in divided and reunified Berlin

The focus of our anthropological-psychiatric project is on aging first-generation migrants from former North and South Vietnam. The diverse reasons for migration as well as the particular ways of migration to the FRG and GDR, respectively, were quite distinct for both groups of migrants, that is, ‘boat people’ and ‘contract workers,’ with each scenario entailing diverse emotional and affective challenges. Using interdisciplinary approaches and methodology, we examine the affective efforts of coping with emotional crises in daily life. Additionally, we want to explore the various contexts that are managed with the help of psychiatric-psychotherapeutic professionals. Thereby, our project contributes to the CRC’s general interest in the shaping of transcultural emotion repertoires. Furthermore, our project is characterised by our conceptualisation of migrants as actors who actively shape their life-worlds by drawing from different resources and coping strategies such as psychiatric-psychotherapeutic help and transforming care structures. For further information click here.

In the second funding period from 2019-2023, the CRC 1171 will focus on societal change due to mobilities, in light of migration, inequality, psychological burden, political polarisation, and new media technologies. Established norms and procedures are challenged as anchors of political and social stability, as informal rules and routines of key social institutions are called into question.

The frictions and changes resulting from mobility and transformation of boundaries also challenge organisations and institutions such as public offices, hospitals and psychiatric and psychosocial care systems, as well as religious groups, but is likewise reflected in the unwritten rules and routines of social institutions. The interdisciplinary research centre aims to disentangle which affective and emotional processes drive and result from such changes, and takes on the challenge to sharpen our knowledge of these changes and the tensions that arise from them while seeking answers to deal with them.

Second funding period (2019 – 2023): Affects and Processes of Institutionalisation in Vietnamese Carescapes of Berlin

Project A02 explores the affects and processes of institutionalisation in heterogeneous Vietnamese care settings in Berlin. We investigate how experiences of migration and societal participation shape the perceptions and expectations of different actors in changing institutions. We as an interdisciplinary research team in collaboration with the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin also take into focus the “costs of caring” which arise from practices of personal, therapeutic, and professional care, as well as civic engagement. The project provides theoretical contributions on affects and emotions in relation to migration-sensitive carescapes, to the possibilities of societal participation of migrants in the health care-sector and processes of internal social differentiation in institutionalised fields of informal and formal professional care-providing and care-giving within social security and public mental health systems.

The researchers involved in CRC 1171 at the Department of Psychiatry, Charité, CBF are actively engaged in building care-networks not only in Germany and the Vietnamese diaspora, but also transnationally while supporting the development of the Vietnamese psychiatric care system and in particularly close collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry at the Hanoi Medical University through several externally funded cooperation projects, including hospital partnerships by the GIZ and DAAD-PAGEL university cooperation between both medical universities.

For further information please visit the following websites: German Alliance for Global Health Research and Psychiatric-psychotherapeutic Outpatient-Department for Vietnamese Migrants.

 

Selected References

You can find a list of our publications here, here and here.

PAGEL-Partnerships for the Health Sector in Developing Countries

DAAD-Programme „PAGEL-Partnerships for the Health Sector in Developing Countries”

Development of psychiatry and psychotherapy in Vietnam through education, training, exchange and cooperation between the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Hanoi Medical University.

 

Duration: 2019-2022

Projektmanager: Dr. med. Thi Minh Tam Ta, Dr. med. Eric Hahn, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Isabella Heuser-Collier

Project targets:

- Establishment of a long-term cooperation structure through the exchange of students and scientists, joint research projects and the organization of international conferences in cooperation various medical disciplines.

- Improving psychiatric and psychotherapeutic care in Vietnam

- Improvement of psychosocial care and prevention of mental health issues in Vietnam

- Joint development of teaching modules for primary and continuing medical education as well as the promotion of the expertise of the teaching staff at the HMU

- Development of binational and international networks for higher education, exchange and qualification in science and clinical skills in psychiatry, psychotherapy, psychology and brain research

- Further development of joint expertise in international cooperation and development aid in both universities by establishing a bilateral sustainable partnership between HMU and Charité Universitätsmedizin Medizin

 

Contact:

Dr. med. Thi Minh Tam Ta

Email: thi-minh-tam.ta@charite.de