Goals

The NORTH-SHIP team is divided in task forces (TF) focusing on specific topics. These are led by renowned experts in the field and closely interact with each other to serve NORTH-SHIP priority areas and our overall mission.

TF1 Outcome prediction

This TF focuses on the identification of mediators, moderators and biomarkers and their use for early illness detection and individualized outcome prediction. Extensive expertise in big data methods and technologies and in development of predictive scores supports our effort to determine cut-offs for intervention across the mental health continuum and define individual indications for specific treatments.

TF2 Risk & Resilience

The main aim of this TF is the investigation of risk and protective factors that are amenable to change and might be used to plan measures for primary and secondary prevention. Long-standing experience in establishing and tracking a wide variety of cohorts in the general population as well as medical and educational contexts contributes to this goal. This work is supported by outstanding recruitment capacity for population-based studies thanks to the site’s excellent liaison to regional communities.

TF3 Mechanisms of Illness & Recovery

This TF studies the complex dynamics of early psychopathology, including mechanisms leading to the emergence of symptoms and those mediating recovery following pharmacological or psychosocial interventions. A special focus is on mind-body interactions and the neurobiological pathways by which lifestyle factors such as circadian rhythms, sleep and diet affect mental health.

TF4 Innovative Intervention

This TF aims to develop and test innovative approaches and treatment formats, especially such that can be used for low-threshold intervention outside the narrow mental health care setting, e.g., biotherapies, neuromodulation approaches and digital interventions. Thanks to the outstanding interfaces between clinical and research activities, the large case numbers seen yearly and the close collaborations with non-academic regional hospitals and local health departments, NORTH-SHIP can support recruitment for clinical trials in a wide range of diagnoses. Moreover, competence in artificial intelligence methods such as data mining, machine and deep learning can support naturalistic studies evaluating interventions based on routine clinical files or insurance carrier data.

TF5 Models of Care

This TF draws upon vast expertise in implementation and public health research as well as on close collaborations with large insurance carriers to develop methods and strategies that lead to identification of effective interventions and promote their uptake into routine practice. The work of this TF includes innovative models for readjusting roles and tasks across disciplines, for implementing ‘extramural’ support networks and for ensuring quality health care in sparsely populated areas.

TF6 Networking / Participation / Outreach

Aim of this TF is to improve health literacy, facilitate access to information and peer support, and promote participatory research. Long-standing experience in implementing population outreach programmes at the regional and national level and the strong connections of NORTH-SHIP to local communities, patients’ and relatives’ organisations and the regional government, ensure exceptional effectiveness in planning and implementing information campaigns and health literacy promotion projects.

TF7 Transfer Activities

Interconnected platforms promoting transfer activities at the NORTH-SHIP site has been consistently a significant driving force for innovation in Schleswig-Holstein and beyond. Based on these resources as well as the excellent infrastructure of the partner institutions and available frameworks for data security and privacy, this TF aims to develop decision support tools for improvement of diagnosis and clinical staging, as well as to support advanced cohort research using mobile personal technologies and wearables to track multimodal clinical and pathophysiological data in ‘real time’ over long periods of time.

TF8 Harmonisation & Standards

This TF contributes extensive methods expertise with respect to clinical screening and assessment. Its goal is to contribute to the development of a national standard for transdiagnostic screening, outcome assessment and evaluation of healthcare delivery services, and promote harmonization with international standards.

TF9 Training & Methodological Support

This TF provides support with respect to data management, biometrics and statistics, predictive modelling and artificial intelligence. It also coordinates training of young scientists, capitalizing on a broad interdisciplinary structure for graduate and postgraduate training and young scientist support at the partner institutions. A unique feature of the site are well-established structures for research and academic education in nursing and allied health professions such as ergo- and physiotherapy.

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