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AOK Bayern and Mental Health Crowd: Project on the mental health of students

AOK Bayern and the Mental Health Crowd are jointly launching a unique project at universities and colleges in the state: As part of UNI4MIND, students at Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences and Hof University of Applied Sciences are learning to strengthen their mental resources and thus deal better with stress. The mental health initiative is supported by AOK Bayern. Permanent offers such as a Mental Health Café are intended to strengthen students mentally and provide space to exchange ideas.

Looking forward to the joint project: University President Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c.Jürgen Lehmann, Dominique de Marné (Mental Health Crowd), Wolfgang Hofmann (Director of the AOK Hof-Wunsiedel) and Franziska Geske (AOK Bavaria’s Lifeworlds Officer)

“The majority of all mental illnesses originate before the age of 25,” says Dominique de Marné, initiator of the project and founder of the Mental Health Crowd, “and we want to counteract this with our holistic program,” says the experience expert. “With UNI4MIND, we can strengthen students in this phase of their lives so that they go through their studies as resiliently as possible and take this resilience with them into their later working life,” says Dr. Irmgard Stippler, Chairwoman of the Board of AOK Bayern.

Focus on health awareness

The participating universities see the offer not only as an opportunity to introduce students and employees to the topic of mental health, but also as a chance to sensitize future managers to greater health awareness:

Healthy managers create a healthier working environment and therefore healthier companies.”

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann, President of the university

Prof. Dr. Sabine Ittlinger, Vice-President of Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences, adds: “At a time that is characterized by more uncertainty in the economy and the labour market than almost any other, there needs to be a stronger focus on health promotion and prevention.”

Creating meeting places

Low-threshold Mental Health Cafés will be set up at the participating universities in Bavaria to act as information and meeting places. In addition, themed weeks and events will be organized around mental health. Among other things, experts will be invited to give talks and workshops will be offered on stress and resource management, relaxation and recovery, exercise and nutrition.

Expansion possible

In order to communicate at eye level, selected students are trained as Mental Health Guides who provide information about offers and pass on their knowledge or experience to fellow students. The pilot project is initially running at two universities – Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences and Hof University of Applied Sciences. “In addition to initial positive experiences, we hope to gather observations that we can use to continuously develop the concept,” says Stippler.


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