In Brief

About the Project

Current data shows that more than 20 percent of all children and adolescents in Germany suffer from severe mental stress. This is a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, the war in Europe and families facing economic worries. In addition to these stresses, children and adolescents have poor psychosocial care ¬– even at school. Even before the pandemic, barely half of all children and adolescents with mental illness received specialized care. In the pandemic, the already long waiting period for a treatment place doubled. Until now, important ongoing, reliable data on the care situation of children and adolescents in Germany has not been available.

The aim of the project "Bipsy Monitor of Education and Mental Health" is to establish an innovative nationwide monitoring system. The Bipsy Monitor will map the psychosocial care of children and adolescents in outpatient psychotherapeutic care and at educational institutions on a longitudinal basis. In addition, it will identify barriers to psychosocial care and investigate the relationships between educational and teaching characteristics and the mental health of children and adolescents. The BiPsy Monitor is a cooperative project of the University of Leipzig, the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media, the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Bosch Health Campus.

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Why are we running this project?

Children and adolescents have experienced increased psychological stress in recent years. The reasons are diverse: the coronavirus pandemic, war, the climate crisis, economic worries and poverty. School can provide a stable place to learn and live in such situations. But school can also be an additional stress factor ¬– as the latest results of the Robert Bosch Stiftung's German School Barometer show. The representative survey of German school administrators reveals that just under half (48 percent) believe that traditional testing and grading practices place a heavy psychological burden on students. At the same time, 20 percent of all school administrators state that neither social work nor psychological counseling services are available at their school. And even if they exist, only half of the respondents say their offer actually covers the need.
The funding project "Bipsy Monitor Education and Mental Health" provides important data on the care situation of children and adolescents in Germany and the need for change – the prerequisites for further goal-oriented action.

What are our goals?

The BiPsy-Monitor collects continuous and reliable data on the care of children and adolescents, as well as their correlation with education characteristics, education quality and barriers to information. These data can and should be used by different actors to find ways to improve the situation in their respective fields. The survey itself and providing public information about the project helps raise awareness and understanding of ways to take action and improve offerings for children and adolescents regarding the increase in psychological stress. This can be preventive measures, e.g. in schools, and also expanding communication and care structure.

How does the project work?

In this project, we will collect data continuously over four years, recording the care situation of children and adolescents in outpatient psychotherapeutic practice. Psychotherapists in private practice will be asked about changes in patient inquiries, waiting times, treatment formats and their own stress levels. In addition, the causes of mental disorders are recorded from the perspective of the therapists. In a nationwide school survey, we will ask questions about psychosocial support needs and services at educational institutions and the relationships between educational characteristics such as examination culture and the mental health of children and adolescents. For this purpose, a cohort of 1,000 students will be studied over a period of four years. Another focus of the BiPsy Monitor is to research information barriers for children, adolescents and families regarding an effective use of mental health services.

Who are the target groups?

The project aims to create a reliable database as well as to raise awareness and improve the care situation. The project results are therefore directed at all interested parties, those affected, health insurance companies, political decision-makers and educators.
The surveys will be published on a website where all interested parties can continuously view the results and obtain links to related content.

Where is the project run?

The data will be collected in outpatient psychotherapeutic care structures and educational institutions throughout Germany.

Your contact persons

Sandra Wille
Senior Project Manager
Phone+49 30 220025-280
e-mail to Sandra Wille
Prof. Dr. Julian Schmitz
Clinical child and adolescent psychology
Leipzig University
e-mail to Prof. Dr. Julian Schmitz