Mental health

From the best treatment provision in mental health care to better cooperation in neighbourhoods with people showing unintelligible behaviour: ZonMw funds all kinds of research into mental health. Get up to date on such things as unintelligible behaviour, psychological complaints, suicide prevention and livelihood security.

Helping people with unintelligible behaviour and their families

If they are confronted by a build-up of problems in more than one area a person can temporarily lose their grip on the world and show unintelligible behaviour. A strong network is then needed to give that person and the people close to them the right care and support. Professionals, however, are not always accustomed to work effectively with people working in other domains.

ZonMw facilitates the creation of these networks, and creates space for professionals to learn how best to work together with others. This has already had success.

The Grip op Onbegrip Action Programme builds on good practice

Now that the Confused Behaviour Action Programme (Actieprogramma Verward Gedrag) has ended, the Handling Incomprehension Action Programme (Actieprogramma Grip op Onbegrip) has been launched to build on its results. Read here which projects have been started and what funding opportunities are available.

Research into dealing with psychological complaints

Scientific research, for instance from the mental health care research programme, can give a psychologist or psychiatrist ways to help someone with a psychological disorder as much as possible. It can also help people gain insight into their own mental problems. The web page ‘Research into psychological complaints’ describes the research ZonMw is supporting.

Fellowships: a chance for talent to do ground-breaking research in mental health care

ZonMw awards personal grants to stimulate innovative, creative and ground-breaking research in mental health care. Professionals with creative ideas can then be actively involved in science, and researchers get an opportunity to further develop innovative scientific ideas. This has a profound effect both on the individual talent and on science; read more here.

What do we know about suicide prevention?

People with psychological complaints are at a raised risk of suicide. Our research programme is yielding knowledge about the kinds of interventions that can help to prevent suicidal thoughts so that professionals, practical experts, family members and the bereaved are better able to act or support. We also take on a monitoring role. We find out where knowledge is lacking and carry out appropriate research to meet that need. Read more on the insights previous research has yielded and view our current projects here.

Waiting times in mental health care: a multiple challenge

Waiting times for public-sector mental health treatment have been longer than agreed for some time. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport asked the Steering group on accessibility and waiting times in mental health care to advise on possible solutions. One of the resulting actions was the appointment of a regional ‘accelerator’, and ZonMw accordingly launched an Accelerators in mental health care programme.

A project manager to identify bottlenecks and opportunities

‘Accelerators’ are people who help to strengthen cooperation between regional parties in order to reduce waiting times for mental health care to meet Treek-agreed standards wherever possible. Ultimately, this should ensure better and faster care for those that need it. These accelerators were installed in a number of regions in 2020, and evaluations by the Health and Youth Care Inspectorate (Inspectie Gezondheidszorg en Jeugd, IGJ) and the Dutch Healthcare Authority (Nederlandse Zorgautoriteit, NZa) have shown that the deployment of regional accelerators has had a positive effect. The regions themselves have also been enthusiastic about the results; read more about their experiences here.

Mental difficulties through livelihood insecurity

‘Livelihood security is being able to think about tomorrow, not just about what you have to do today to survive,’ explains Jet Bussemaker in the podcast Beweging in Kwetsbaarheid (‘Movement in vulnerability’). Through a variety of programmes ZonMw works towards a society in which livelihood security is a given.

What can we learn from experiential experts in mental health care?

Those who have experienced something are well placed to help others going through something similar. The involvement and commitment of experiential experts and family members is hugely valuable; they form a link between a person’s living environment and the systems world. What makes someone an ‘experiential expert’? And how can policy makers best deploy their knowledge and experience? Read about it here.

The effects of COVID-19 on mental health

The coronavirus pandemic has affected mental health, giving rise to mental complaints both through viral infection and through the drastic measures that were taken to contain it. Which groups were worst affected, and how could they have been best helped? ZonMw funds research to answer these questions and find out how we can learn from these results in the future.

Mental health: between the ears?

The relationship between mental functions and the brain is a unique, complex and comprehensive one. ZonMw notes that while a great deal of research has already been done, much about this relationship is still unknown. A variety of ZonMw programmes and initiatives are therefore exploring this field, in collaboration with such partners as Alzheimer Nederland, the Brain Foundation, MIND and Health~Holland.