With respect to the psyche, the following is particularly true: humans do not live for themselves alone but need constant communication with their environment. Our environments are characterised by our interrelationships not only with other people but also with a multitude of plants and animals. Even our own bodies are complex ecosystems, with billions of micro-organisms in our intestines and on our skin. Consequently, planetary and human health are interrelated.
Processes such as growing urbanisation and in particular climate change are threatening this delicate system: waning biodiversity, the increase in and densification of urban structures, increasing difficulties accessing nature – all these factors ultimately affect the health of individuals. Extreme weather events such as floods and heatwaves cause considerable mental stress and lead to an increase in depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorders, as well as suicide. Climate anxiety is increasing, especially among the younger generation.
New research capabilities offer us the opportunity to understand these complex relationships and therefore to provide the data basis for urgently needed social and political actions. Genetics, imaging, epidemiology and artificial intelligence techniques enable accurate analyses of ecosystems and biodiversity and their influence on mental health. This knowledge also leads to new treatment and prevention options.
The DGPPN will support respective research activities in the cross section between ecology, psychiatry and neuroscience and with the theme of this year’s congress, “Ecological psychiatry and psychotherapy”, it is dedicating the event to this extremely timely topic.
As part of its sustainability efforts, the congress will be implemented as resource efficiently as possible. The whole scientific programme will take place live on site in the CityCube Berlin and some parts of it will also be livestreamed on the internet and available afterwards as videos on demand.
We look forward to welcoming you to the DGPPN Congress 2023.
Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg