Why mental health is something that concerns us all

Mental illness is very common and can have a big impact on daily life. It is not something black-and-white (you either have it or not), but something that exists to varying degrees and with many different expressions.
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This is the case for different types of mental illness, such as depression or psychosis. Individuals can differ strongly in what they experience, in what context their symptoms occur and how their symptoms develop over time. This is something that I also see in my own research on the development of psychosis.

Early recognition of mental illness is important, because offering the right interventions helps individuals to deal with their current problems and may prevent mental illness from developing further. Different interventions are possible at different levels of illness severity. Talking about mental illness is important to better understand mental illness in itself, and to understand what it means to live with it.

Hanneke is an Assistant Professor at the University of Groningen, where she focuses on the early development of psychopathology – specifically psychosis – in young people. As a project leader of a Mapping Individual Routes of Risk and Resilience study Hanneke hopes to contribute to the existing knowledge on psychosis and the mechanisms behind the concept.