National Institute of Mental Health (Czech Republic)
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is a reference research facility for mental health in the Czech Republic. It was established on 1 January 2015 through the transformation of the Prague Psychiatric Center as an institution focused on research in the brain and behavioural sciences, collecting and processing demographic, epidemiological and sociological data related to mental health and also providing psychiatric care to patients. The director of NIMH is Prof. MUDr. Cyril Höschl, DrSc., FRCPsych.
Within the Central and Eastern European region, NIMH is a unique institution that gathers significant research and intellectual potential, state-of-the-art instrumentation and laboratory equipment, and medical services all under one roof.
NIMH research programs cover a range of neurobehavioral research domains from experimental neurobiology that include social psychiatry, the application of information technology and imaging methods in psychiatry and related disciplines, epidemiological and clinical addiction research, sleep medicine and chronobiology, brain electrophysiology, clinical research in mental disorders, and translational neuroscience.
NIMH also provides standard and highly specialized inpatient and outpatient care and is the clinical base of the 3rd Faculty of Medicine at Charles University. As the Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, it provides undergraduate and postgraduate education in both clinical (psychiatry, psychology) and neuroscience fields.
NIMH is conceived as a centre for basic and applied biomedical research and a reference workplace for applied neurosciences and mental health in the Czech Republic. Another of its important tasks is to provide empirical data and expertise for the state administration in the organization of mental health care, including the currently ongoing reform of psychiatric care.
The research goals of NIMH are divided into eight research programs:
1. Experimental neurobiology
2. Social psychiatry
3. Applied neurosciences and brain imaging
4. Epidemiological and clinical research on addictions
5. Sleep medicine and chronobiology
6. Electrophysiology of the brain
7. Clinical research of mental disorders
8. Translational neurosciences
The approach to solving problems is based on the interconnectedness of the methods of molecular biology, animal modelling, structural and functional imaging of the brain, clinical and experimental psychopharmacology, clinical research, and epidemiology. With regard to addiction research, emphasis is placed not only on the development of substances and therapeutic tools that are able to treat addictions and prevent their development, but also on the support of primary prevention.
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