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Mental Health

The World Health Organization describes Mental Health as a “state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community” (WHO, 2014).

Psychosomatic medicine bridges the gap between person, family, work, housing, and social networks.
It shows the extent to which changes in living conditions can have an impact on individual resilience, e.g. by increased standards of living, social support, improved information, and better access to medical services.
Multiple factors social, psychological, and biological in nature determine the mental health of a person. Good health is expected to be associated with positive socioeconomic and environmental factors (WHO, 2012) and, in turn, there is strong evidence of a causal association between poverty and low levels of education and mental health risks (WHO, 2014).
Especially the conditions at the start of the life are of utmost importance (WHO, 2013). Concentrating on the urban environment in which more than half of the world's population lives today (Dye, 2008) it seems that cities have both health risks and benefits, but mental health is negatively affected (Lederbogen, 2011), with urban inhabitants running increased risk of developing mental disorders.

The purpose of the project is to carry out a gap analysis concerning the availability, accessibility and acceptability of mental health services in three districts in Cape Town (South Africa) that differ in socioeconomic and social characteristics. characteristics.


Involved key actors: 

Prof. Dr. Michael Wirsching, MD

Foto M.Wirsching-1.jpg

Prof. Dr. med. Michael Wirsching                                                                     
Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy
Freiburg University Medical Center
D-79104 Freiburg, Germany