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3370.16 Mental Health


The World Health Organization defines mental health as «a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community». It is estimated that the global lifetime prevalence of mental disorders is between 12.2% and 48.6%. In spite of high life expectancy in Switzerland, there is a rapid increase in disability attributed to mental illness. Mental illness has become the single most important reason for going on disability (40%) in Switzerland. This module introduces public health professionals to an overview of mental health in the Swiss and global contexts, including an overview of psychiatric epidemiology, the concept of public mental health, problems and barriers regarding mental health care utilization, and policies and interventions to promote public mental health.


This module includes 3 sessions:

  • Overview of psychiatric epidemiology: basic introduction to the prevalence of major mental illnesses in the Swiss and global contexts, risk factors of major mental disorders, and methods and application (issues in assessment and study design)
  • Mental health care delivery and utilization; problems in treatment and care - e.g. barriers, stigma etc.; burden of mental illness to society (in the Swiss and global contexts)
  • Mental health policy and interventions to promote public mental health: policies, the concept of prevention, various intervention programs, WHO and EU recommendations


The module will combine lectures, discussions of readings and lectures, group assignments, and presentation of the group assignments.

In the first session, an overview of psychiatric epidemiology will be presented with lectures (main concepts, prevalences, risk factors, and methodology) followed by discussions about the lectures and readings. The second session includes a presentation of the burden of mental illness and problems in mental health care delivery and service utilization. Group assignments will be followed by the lectures on some selected topics in the afternoon. The third session will include lectures on policy, concepts, and interventions to promote public mental health followed by discussion and presentation of the group work assignments.


Group work and presentation

Preparation and postprocessing

6 hours preparation, no postprocessing

ECTS Credits

1.5 ECTS

Target audience

Health professionals with basic knowledge of public health who are interested in this topic


recommended are

«Konzepte, Methoden und Anwendungen der deskriptiven und analytischen Epidemiologie» (B102.30)


Institut für Epidemiologie, Biostatistik und Prävention der Universität Zürich

Coordination of course

Prof. Dr. Meichun Mohler-Kuo, Institut für Epidemiologie, Biostatistik und Prävention der Universität Zürich

Lecturers and tutors

Prof. Dr. Meichun Mohler-Kuo and other invited speakers


12 - 14 December 2016




Fr. 1'350.-

Registration deadline

12 October 2016

Additional information

This module will be presented both in English and German