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German Alliance Against Depression

​Head of research: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hegerl


Dipl. Psych. Ines Heinz (German Alliance Against Depression, project coordinator) ​
​Address:​Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie
Semmelweisstr. 10, 04103 Leipzig
​Phone:​+49 (0)341 - 97 24585
​Fax:​+49 (0)341 - 97 24539


The research group

​The "German Alliance Against Depression (Deutsches Bündnis gegen Depression e.V.)" emerged in the framework of the "German Research Network on Depression and Suicidality", a large scaled nation-wide research network initiated and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Insufficiently treated depression is one of the most relevant reasons for suicide. By initiating parallel interventions on four different levels, the action-oriented "German Alliance Against Depression" aims at the improvement of care for depressed patients. By this means overall suicidality should be reduced also. The four levels are: 1) co-operation with general practitioners, 2)public relations campaign, 3) community facilitators and 4) support fpr self-help of patients and their relatives. The project has been tested in the city of Nuremberg for the first time. The results have been promising and indicate a decrease in suicidality.

Compared to the 1-year-baseline (2000) and a control-region (Würzburg), a reduction of suicidal behaviour (24 percent) was found for both years. Confirmatory statistics reveal that the reduction of suicidal behaviour was not only clinically relevant but also statistically significant for 2001 and 2002.

Research within the German Alliance Against Depression concernes with evaluating the four-level intervention approach: Evaluation of changes in the amount of suicidal behaviour (suicide attempts plus suicides) and of changes in public awareness and prejudice concerning depression.


1. Evaluation of an Action Programme against suicide and depression in Leipzig


  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hegerl (Department of Psychiatry und Psychotherapy, University of Leipzig Medical Center)
  • Dr. Manuela Richter-Werling (Irrsinnig Menschlich e.V.)
  • Thomas Seyde (Psychiatriekoordinator der Stadt Leipzig)


  • Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie der Universitätsmedizin Leipzig, Park-Krankenhaus Leipzig-Südost GmbH, Städtisches Klinikum St.Georg, Sächsisches Krankenhaus Altscherbitz, Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Psychosomatische Medizin des Universitätsklinikums Magdeburg

Project description

In Leipzig, the evaluation of changes in the number of suicidal behaviour and a four-level action programme will soon be started. Based on the model in Nuremberg there will be a 1-year-baseline and a 2-year-intervention. The control region is Magdeburg.

2. Psychoeducation for depression

Project description

Psychoeducation for mental and physical diseases were shown to be effective in preventing relapses and increasing compliance to treatment. Improving the competence of patients regarding their own illness is an important part of the whole treatment. Objectives of the project are to create a manual ("psychoeducation for depression") for physicians as basis for their education sessions as well as collateral information material for patients.

Cooperation with

Mental Health Research Network, Techniker Krankenkasse Hamburg

Staff Members

  • ​Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hegerl
  • Dipl. Psych. Ines Heinz
Semmelweisstr. 10, Haus 13
04103 Leipzig
0341 - 97 24530 (Chefsekretariat)
0341 - 97 24304
0341 - 97 24539