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Bauer, M.; Banaschewski, T.; Heinz, A.; Kamp-Becker, I.; Meyer-Lindenberg, A.; Padberg, F.; Rapp, M. A.; Rupprecht, R.; Schneider, F.; Schulze, T. G. and Wittchen, H.-U. (2016): Das deutsche Forschungsnetz zu psychischen Erkrankungen. In: Nervenarzt, Vol. 87, No. 9: pp. 989-1010

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Mental disorders are among the greatest medical and social challenges facing us. They can occur at all stages of life and are among the most important commonly occurring diseases. In Germany 28 % of the population suffer from a mental disorder every year, while the lifetime risk of suffering from a mental disorder is almost 50 %. Mental disorders cause great suffering for those affected and their social network. Quantitatively speaking, they can be considered to be among those diseases creating the greatest burden for society due to reduced productivity, absence from work and premature retirement. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding a new research network from 2015 to 2019 with up to 35 million euros to investigate mental disorders in order to devise and develop better therapeutic measures and strategies for this population by means of basic and translational clinical research. This is the result of a competitive call for research proposals entitled research network for mental diseases. It is a nationwide network of nine consortia with up to ten psychiatric and clinical psychology partner institutions from largely university-based research facilities for adults and/or children and adolescents. Furthermore, three cross-consortia platform projects will seek to identify shared causes of diseases and new diagnostic modalities for anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHS), autism, bipolar disorders, depression, schizophrenia and psychotic disorders as well as substance-related and addictive disorders. The spectrum of therapeutic approaches to be examined ranges from innovative pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatment to novel brain stimulation procedures. In light of the enormous burden such diseases represent for society as a whole, a sustainable improvement in the financial support for those researching mental disorders seems essential. This network aims to become a nucleus for long overdue and sustained support for a German center for mental disorders.

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