Mental health: monitoring, research and prevention

Understanding and supporting mental health matters to individuals, to society, to healthcare systems, and to governments. Our experts can guide institutions and governments in the development and evaluation of mental health policies.

We monitorresearch and advise on

  • common mental health issues, including stress, anxiety and depression
  • health and participation, including homelessness, dementia and out-patient care

We also produce self-help interventions and prevention programs.

Mental health monitoring

NEMESIS: National mental health monitoring

The longitudinal Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidences Study (NEMESIS) provides deep insight in the psychological wellbeing of Dutch people. NEMESIS provides a a broader picture compared to patient research, because not everybody who experiences mental health issues seeks medical help. The results are used by many institutions and governments to expand their knowlegde or as a foundation for new policies. Margreet ten Have is the lead NEMESIS scientist.

Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC)

HBSC is a broad international study into the health and well-being of children and students (age 12 to 16). Topics include: smoking, alcohol consumption, drug use, mental health and relationships. Together with Utrecht University the Trimbos Institute provides the Dutch angle of the study. HBSC allows researchers to compare national data with other countries. Also HBSC-data helps to produce better prevention programs. The lead scientist is Saskia van Dorsselaer.

Wellbeing of children (Peil)

Peil monitors substance use and mental health among Dutch children aged 10 tot 18. The study has been carried out every four years since 1984. Because of this, Peil shows trends in the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs and mental health. Participants answer questions about their substance use, social media use, gaming and school pressure. The Peil-results are used by schools, governments and healthcare organisations to produces new or better policies. Karin Monshouwer is the lead researcher.

Out-patient care monitoring

To avoid that people with mental health issues are excluded from society, there is a strong movement towards out-patient care. The desire to reduce the number and time of hospitalisations is not without serious challenges. But it comes with big opportunities too. The Trimbos Institute monitors the out-patient care and shares the results in the 'Monitor Ambulantisering' (pdf, Dutch).

Dementia: nursing homes monitoring

With a rapidly aging population the number of people with dementia (Alzheimer dissease) is growing fast. Nursing homes face similar challenges to provide the best possible care for the elderly who suffer from dementia. Our nursing homes monitor is a practical instrument that allows nursing homes to measure the quality of their care and use the results to make improvements. The combined results of the monitor (pdf, Dutch) provides a clear picture of the current care quality.


Depression prevention study

We explore which interventions mental healh professionals use to prevent depression. We collect data on the effectiveness of these interventions. The aim of the study is to create a better picture of available, effective interventions so more mental health specialists can use them to prevent depression.

Happiness under pressure?

Commissioned by UNICEF, we investigate how happy Dutch teens really are. This research is a response to the increasing number of articles and reports describing Dutch teens are frequently depressed, often experience lonelyness and suffer from fear of failing. It's being suggested this is the result of society continiously increasing pressure on children and young adults.

Cognitive behavioral therapy study

Teens who suffer from a depression, often benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). But why does this kind of therapy work? To find out, we run the STARr-project: Solve, Think, Act, Relax, repeat. STARr is a group training based on CBT. The aim of the training is to prevent depression by teaching teens coping strategies when they feel gloomy. We monitor the impact of STARr to identify the effective factors of CBT.

Prevention & Education

Wellbeing at school

Wellbeing at school helps primary and secondary schools to improve the mental wellbeing of their students. The program provides

  • interventions teachers can use in the classroom
  • advise for schools to improve mental health policies
  • tools teachers can use to better identify mental health issues
  • information for schools to include parents and the neighbourhood

Mentaal Vitaal (mentally fit) is a self-help website that allows visitors to test their mental welbeing and take action if desired. The website provides information on topics such as feeling sad or loomy, anxiety, sleep problems, substance abuse, anxiety and many other topics that affect mental health. The site also guides visitors towards effective interventions, provided by many different organisations.

> Go to (Dutch)

Children of parents with mental health issues

Children with parents who are addicted to alcohol or drugs or who are mentally ill (KOPP/KOV), have an increased risk to develop similar conditions. We run a programto increase awareness of this risk among professionals who work with children  such as teachers. We provide facts and figures, guides and tools, training and events. Professionals can participate in the national KOPP/KOV platform that gathers annualy.

To learn more, contact project leader Anouk de Gee.

Student Wellbeing Programme

Research shows that a significant number of students grapple with the pressures of performance, stress, and psychological challenges. The Student Wellbeing Programme focuses on secondary vocational education (mbo), higher vocational education (hbo) and academic education (wo). This initiative is designed to provide support to educators, local authorities, and prevention and healthcare professionals. The primary objectives  include enhancing student wellbeing, fostering resilience, and mitigating substance abuse among students.

> Learn more

International projects

(Past) international mental health projects we run or participate in include:

  • Recover-e: large scale implementation of community based mental health care for people with severe and enduring mental illnesses in Europe.
  • EUCOMS: Network for European Community based mental health service providers.
  • SPIRIT: a Suicide Prevention and Implementation Research Initiative in India and Bangladesh.
  • Trimbos Moldova: support for the reform of mental health services in Moldova.

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