From October 7 to 11, the Max Planck Society initiated a Mental Health Awareness Week, which was organized by the Max Planck PhdNet, the doctoral network of the Max Planck Society. Every Max Planck Institute was encouraged to organize at least one local event during the week of October 10, the International Mental Health Awareness Day. Eventually, more than 50 Max Planck Institutes joined the initiative. PhD students and postdocs from the CSBD and the neighboring MPI-CBG got together and organized multiple events, such as breathing and relaxation techniques lessons, or daily e-mails devoted to mental health-related topics, delivering an important message “You are not alone!”. The Max Planck PhdNet released videos about burnout, depression and dealing with stress.
The events at the MPI-CBG during the Mental Health Awareness Week were aiming on prevention and raising the awareness of mental health as well as providing the employees of the MPI-CBG and CSBD with the necessary tools to ask for local help in Dresden and to find also help in other languages than German. Most importantly, a get-together event opened a discussion between all levels of employees, on what else could be done to improve the well-being and working conditions in the institute. In order to continue with the mental health initiative, further actions will include a mental health awareness lecture and a mental health officer course in December 2019.