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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


7. Health and Well-Being

7.5 Mental health

On this page
  1. National strategy(ies)
  2. Improving the mental health of young people

National strategy(ies)

There is no specific national strategy in place to improve young people's mental health.

The federal government's strategy for the promotion of child health (Strategie der Bundesregierung zur Förderung der Kindergesundheit) also targets the health of children and young people, especially their mental health.

Improving the mental health of young people

There are several initiatives and projects to improve the mental health of young people.

Initiative: Life carries weight (Leben hat Gewicht) Project term: ongoing since 2007 Aims: The Life carries weight initiative (Leben hat Gewicht) aims to educate the public that eating disorders are serious illnesses. Children and young people are encouraged to question beauty standards to develop a positive sense of self-worth. The initiative was launched by the Federal Ministry of Health (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit), the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung). It is part of the National Action Plan IN FORM – German national initiative to promote healthy diets and physical activity (Nationaler Aktionsplan IN FORM – Deutschlands Initiative für gesunde Ernährung und mehr Bewegung). A panel of experts bundles together and specifies the federal government's activities. Outcomes: These include the development of recommendations on the integrated treatment of eating disorders in Germany. Funded by: Federal Ministry of Health (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit) and Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft).

Therapy services for children and young people in Germany suffering from psychological trauma and affected by violence Project term: 1 November 2015 to 31 January 2017 Aims: An expert report is to be produced with an overview of the range of therapy services available to children and young people in Germany suffering from psychological trauma and affected by violence. The report is to cover the therapy and counselling services in place for psychologically traumatised children and young people affected by violence, how much of the costs are covered by statutory health insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung, GKV), which therapy service costs are covered by other bodies and whether there is scientific evidence of the effects of non-GKV-financed therapy approaches. Outcomes: Expected in early 2017 Funded by: Federal Ministry of Health (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit).

Additional data collected as part of KiGGS Wave 2 (KiGGS Welle 2) on family-related and treatment-specific factors influencing the onset, development and effects of psychological disorders (especially ADHD), obesity and allergies Project term: 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2018 Aims: The additional data is to allow research into the progression over time of the three chronic health problems: ADHD, obesity and allergies (asthma). These particular illnesses are widespread among children and young people, can have long-lasting effects on quality of life as an adult and put significant cost pressure on the health care system. The collection and analysis of additional data in KiGGS Wave 2 aims to,

  • provide a detailed description of the progress of diseases,
  • analyse the effects of family-related factors (such as socio-economic status, migration background, family environment, daily pressures, family type, traumatic childhood experiences, parental illnesses such as mental impairments or obesity) on the progression of the disease,
  • analyse the effects of treatment-specific factors (such as use­ of health care services, guideline-based therapy, treatment during the phase between paediatrics and adult medicine) on the progression of the disease, and
  • describe the effects of the three health problems on short-, medium- and long-term health and psychosocial development.

The data and analyses take gender-specific aspects into consideration throughout. The project is thus also to look at, for example, if and how the progression of diseases during the transition into young adulthood differs between men and women and whether any connection to family-related factors and health care treatment can be identified. Target groups: 0- to 17-year-olds (inclusive); 10- to 29-year-olds (participants from the original data set) Outcomes: No outcomes are available yet. Funded by: Federal Ministry of Health (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit) KiGGS is part of the health monitoring activities of the Robert Koch Institute (Robert-Koch-Institut). It aims to continuously deliver extensive data on the health of children and adults in Germany.

ADHD status conference (Statuskonferenz ADHS) Project term: 1 December 2014 to 31 December 2015 Aims: In December 2014, 60 experts attended an ADHD status conference to discuss the latest developments in medical treatment for children, young people and adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). At the conference, an overview of the current status of treatment was given and evaluated in relation to the current national and international guidelines on diagnosis and therapy. Outcomes: The central ADHD network (zentrale adhs-netz), together with industry associations and organisations in an interdisciplinary advisory committee, drafted a new white paper on the treatment of people with ADHD (Eckpunkte ADHS 2016). This paper summarises (largely scientifically proven) knowledge of the causes and treatment options for ADHD. Funded by: Federal Ministry of Health (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit).

Project: Treatment of children and young people in Germany with mental illnesses – a status report and needs analysis (Versorgung psychisch kranker Kinder und Jugendlicher in Deutschland - Bestandsaufnahme und Bedarfsanalyse, KIJU) Project term: 1 November 2014 to 31 December 2016 Aims: To discuss the current state of quantitative and qualitative treatment for children and young people with mental illnesses, including the integration and accessibility of services and an analysis of target-group outreach and treatment results. Outcomes: Expected mid-2017 Funded by: Federal Ministry of Health (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit).

Directory Kidskompass (Wegweiser „Kidskompass“) Project term: since May 2017 Aims: makes the search for information and offers on mental health of children and youth in the state of Brandenburg easy for families and experts Funded by: Ministry of Health of the state of Brandenburg