SimTech has employees trained in Mental Health First Aid

March 27, 2024

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Almost one in three people is affected by a mental illness. Relatives, colleagues or friends are often unsure how they can help those affected and provide first aid in crisis situations. In addition, mental illness is still stigmatized in our society.

This is why the University of Stuttgart has taken up the issue and offers further training in the field of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). An offer that Sina Schorndorfer and Katharina Fuchs have also gladly accepted. Both are in regular contact with researchers from the Cluster of Excellence and see the need to pay more attention to the topic.

"While we are often prepared to treat physical injuries, it is equally important to be prepared for mental health. The training has given us tools and knowledge to better support in mental health crisis situations. Even if it's just by providing the right people to talk to," says Sina Schorndorfer.

Katharina Fuchs, Coordinator of the SimTech Graduate School , also emphasizes the importance of the training: "Nowadays, we are all exposed to a high level of stress and pressure. Our doctoral students in particular are confronted with many uncertainties. The training has shown us how important it is to take care of our mental health and how we can support each other in this."

Mental health is an important topic at a research institution such as the SimTech Cluster of Excellence. Researchers work here at different career levels. They not only have to develop their professional skills, but also learn to organize themselves and deal with setbacks. Promoting mental health not only contributes to personal well-being, but also creates a supportive and productive working environment.

The training offered by the University of Stuttgart is based on the MHFA First Aiders program. This is the German version of the Australian Mental Health First Aid program. Since 2020, they have been working under the auspices of the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim in partnership with the Beisheim Foundation to establish a Germany-wide network. Previously, MHFA First Aiders was launched at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim with the support of the Dietmar Hopp Stiftung GmbH.

In addition to continuing education, the University of Stuttgart also maintains a comprehensive online knowledge database on counseling options in the event of conflicts, crises, health or mental stress. On the Evermood platform, interested parties can obtain information on various mental health topics with the help of articles and videos. If necessary, they can contact important contact points or psychologists directly and anonymously or in person.

For more information on the activities of the SimTech Cluster of Excellence see "Equity and Diversity".

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