The DZPG

The serious individual and societal consequences of mental illness are the starting point and their sustainable influence is the central goal of the German Centre for Mental Health (DZPG). These consist of enormous burdens for 17.8 million patients and their families in Germany per year, a very low access of 18.9% of those affected to adequate treatment and, as a consequence, increased mortality and annual costs of €44 billion caused by untreated or inadequately treated persons (DGPPN Factsheet 2022 ).

These data show the gaps in care ("unmet needs") in the adult population and are even more pronounced in children and adolescents. For example, 50% of all mental illnesses occur before the age of 15 and 75% before the age of 25 (BPtK Factsheet 2022 ). For this reason, the BMBF has established another health centre in the form of the DZPG, which, with its focus on translational health research, will ensure that innovative prevention, diagnosis and therapy procedures for mental illnesses are generated and translated into standard care in a timely manner. In addition, the DZPG will develop solutions for unacceptable social inequalities in the care of people with mental illness. These exist both in the "horizontal perspective", e.g. between rural and urban living environments, and in "vertical contexts", e.g. with regard to vulnerable groups (e.g. people without jobs or people with a migration background who are particularly affected by mental illness and find it more difficult to access care services).

To close these gaps in care, the DZPG will launch an ambitious translational research programme that will focus on promoting mental health and resilience, increase societal awareness of mental illness and positively impact the burden of mental illness across all age groups over the next 15 years. The main partners in the DZPG are the six sites and the representatives of the Centre Council. This team is summarised in the following under the abbreviation "DZPG". The Centre Council is the association of affected persons and relatives and ensures, among other things, within the framework of the "Patient and Public Involvement (PPI)" infrastructure, that the perspective of affected persons and relatives is integrated into all activities of the DZPG in terms of content and structure.

The overarching goals of the emerging German Centre for Mental Health (DZPG) also guide the applications of the institutions at the Munich-Augsburg site (MUC-AUX). These include the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU), the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry (MPIP), the Helmholtz Center Munich - German Research Center for Environmental Health (HMGU) and the University of Augsburg (UniA). A special feature of the Munich location in this context is the strong bidirectional, translational orientation that results from the networking of excellent working groups in the areas of basic research and clinical research. In addition to the project-oriented funding of the first two years of the DZPG, structures are to be established that will form the basis for later institutional funding of the DZPG. Therefore, in the project planned at the MUC-AUX site, particular emphasis is placed on establishing interfaces ("crystallisation points") for later optimal networking in the DZPG, e.g. existing infrastructures will be further developed for their fit in the DZPG via an initially still limited funding of infrastructure projects. The focus of the MUC-AUX site is on the projects MUC1 - MUC7 (see Projects and infrastructures (link to page)), all of which have been aligned with the content of Flagship 2 with a particular emphasis on preparing interfaces to the German Centre for Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (DZKJ).