CORESZON = Community Resilience Network, because mental health is about connection.

The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” Mental health is increasingly recognized as a vital asset to societies, particularly in light of recent surveys that show a rise in the already substantial economic impact of mental illness.  One result of was is the inclusion of mental health in the UN Sustainable Development Agenda in 2015.

Despite improved awareness for the importance of mental health and the negative impacts that extreme or chronic stress can have on wellbeing, many people are hesitant to seek help – often because mental health problems are perceived as a sign of weakness. In addition to barriers such as stigmatization, finding “the right kind of help” can be a daunting process. In many places, the so-called mental health gap means that professional help is rare or difficult to access.

While providing suitable mental health care services is an important priority, CORESZON’s endeavor is to help close the mental health gap by building capacity from the bottom up. The Community Resilience Network is is a community-based mental health education & research project that brings people together to change the conversation about mental health. Our approach is not about creating new structures, but about adding to what is already working well by equipping individuals, groups and organizations with simple, effective means to aid recovery, build resilience and strengthen social support.

Based at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf’s Center for Psychosocial Medicine, our work is informed by clinical, scientific and diverse personal perspectives but also, most importantly, the knowledge and experience contributed by many people who participate in our endeavor.