Work Packages

The Centre for Urban Mental Health is organised within several main scientific areas which are translated into so-called work packages.

Workpackage 2: Complex Systems Approach to Urban Mental Health

Computational modeling; social media use (big data); network models of psychopathology & intervention effects. At the Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS), cross-level modeling and interdisciplinary meetings are organised.

Workpackage 3: Urban stress & Internalising Disorders

Depression, anxiety, burn-out, and other stress-related affective disorders are very common and often come with an increased risk of suicide, severe suffering for patients and their families, and tremendous costs for society. Early life adversity (including prenatal and adolescent stress), in combination with genetic predisposition, constitute major risk-factors to develop these disorders, as do factors in everyday life (such as emotional dysregulation and sleep), ranging from living in a deprived area, to loneliness and to working under chronic stress, to experiencing inequalities.

Workpackage 4: Urban stress & Externalising Disorders

Addictions are the most costly of all mental problems and their occurrence is strongly influenced by cultural and socioeconomic factors. Externalizing problems in childhood (conduct disorder and related factors such as aggression, and impulsivity/hyperactivity, poor self-control) are a strong predictor of addictions and a major cause of problems in urban life in itself (safety issues, vandalism). Psychotic disorders can be triggered by addictive behaviors (cannabis) and urban stressors.

Workpackage 5: Interventions and their effects

Urban mental health problems are often of a dynamic complex nature, therefore intervention effects should be considered from a systems perspective: what are effects on different subsystems, and in different contexts? UMH from a system perspective approach will generate new interventions at micro-level (individual interventions), at meso-level (such as interventions in families, schools, and in mental health care centers), and at a macro-level (city planning, county level, municipal policies, national, international).

Workpackage 6: Collaborative research projects with stakeholders

Importantly, societal impact is the focus of this Research Priority Area of Urban Mental Health. The aim is that collaboration leads to valorization and deployment of the research results. Potential knowledge users and stakeholders will be involved in the design of projects. To further secure a science-practice link, knowledge users will take a central role in the knowledge user platform (KUP). This platform features input from urban knowledge institutes.