The DGPPN is the largest scientific medical association focussing on mental health in Germany. It pools the competence of 9000 doctors and scientists in the fields of psychiatry, psychotherapy and psychosomatics who work in university and non-university hospitals, in office-based practices and in research.
The association campaigns for the optimal care of patients with mental illnesses. It develops scientific guidelines, promotes training and further and continuing education and is involved in research into mental illnesses to advance diagnostics and treatment. The main focus is thereby on the holistic view of people and their individual mental, physical and social characteristics. The DGPPN actively campaigns for the participation of people with mental illness in society and against their stigmatisation.
Mental illnesses are among the greatest public health challenges in Germany. Over the course of a year, nearly one in three adults experiences a depression, anxiety disorder or other mental illness. Not only do such illnesses have a serious impact on the lives of people with mental illness and their relatives, but they also have far-reaching consequences for people’s social interactions and for society. Today mental illnesses are one of the most common reasons for sick leave and early retirement and thus they impose a significant burden on the workplace and the health and social insurance systems.
Psychiatrists evaluate and treat illnesses that involve changes not only in emotions and thinking but also in mood, memory and behaviour. They have studied medicine and received advanced training as specialists in psychiatry and psychotherapy.