More than 40% of Dutch people experience mental health problems at least once in their lives. Mental illnesses affect both young and old and can have an enormous impact on sufferers and also on family members, friends and colleagues. Mental illnesses have a large societal impact.
ZonMw promotes, through several funding programmes, the early detection and identification of problems, their effective treatment, and the individualization of mental health care. We want to reduce the number of people with mental health problems, improve their quality of life and their treatment, prevent problem escalation, and avoid unnecessarily lengthy treatments.
ERANID, the European Research Area Network on Illicit Drugs, aims to improve cooperation in drug research in order to allow well-founded policy decisions, prevention and harm reduction interventions. ERANID is meant as a first step towards a longer term transnational cooperation in the field of drugs research.
Suicidal behaviour is argued to be the end result of the complex interaction between psychological, social and biological factors. Epidemiological studies resulted in a range of risk factors for suicidal behaviour, but we do not yet understand how their interaction increases the risk for suicidal behaviour. A new approach called network analysis can help us better understand this process as it allows us to visualize and quantify the complex association between many different symptoms or risk factors.
ZonMw organized a workshop on disturbed behavior during the International Conference on Integrated Care (ICIC) 2018. In our workshop we focussed on the concept of people with disturbed behavior and results form a qualitative and quantitative evaluation.
Which patients with cardiovascular diseases run the risk of a (new) heart attack, heart failure or stroke? What is the optimum personalised treatment? On 15 April, cardiologist Prof. Folkert Asselbergs (University Medical Center Utrecht) received the ZonMw Pearl for a data collection that contributes to answering these questions and for developing a self-management platform.
Research groups will further investigate the effect of COVID-19 vaccines in patients with immune disorders, cancer or a transplantation. These research projects are part of the COVID-19 research programme, and each project has received a grant from ZonMw.
The Dutch Minister of Medical Care and Sport, Tamara van Ark, intends to ask ZonMw to carry out a biomedical research programme on ME/CFS. This was stated in a letter to the Dutch House of Representatives sent by Van Ark on the 23rd of March. There will be 28.5 million euros available to carry out a research programme with a duration of 10 years.
Today a consultation meeting of research performing organisations took place. The European Committee Research & Innovation organised this meeting. Several European research funders focused on the assessment of researchers and research teams. Jeroen Geurts, chair of ZonMw and ambassador for the Dutch initiative Recognition and Rewards, was there to represent the Dutch perspective.
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ZonMw has several programmes related to this topic.