Research cooperation with Würzburg University Hospital
tomoni.schools is a training program of the non-profit tomoni mental health gGmbH for teachers and school counselors. The aim is to increase knowledge and the ability to act when recognizing mental illness in children and adolescents. Together with the University Hospital of Würzburg, the effectiveness of the program will be scientifically evaluated from the first quarter of 2023.
tomoni.schools is a digital interactive offer. It consists of eight modules of 90 minutes each. The basic module teaches the fundamentals of recognizing and dealing with children and adolescents who may be affected. Based on this, six disorder-specific modules deal with the most common disorders in children and adolescents over the age of twelve. The modules cover anxiety disorder, eating disorder, addictive dissorders, depression, self-harming behaviour, and suicidal tendencies. The last module is dedicated to the topic of parent-teacher meetings.
The offer was developed together with the scientific and pedagocial advisory boards of tomoni and the game.changers. The game.changers are a comitted and partially affected adolescents and young adults.
Since fall 2022, tomoni.schools has been tested with teachers. In the 1st quarter of 2023, the scientific evaluation will begin. For this, tomoni was able to win the University Hospital Würzburg (UKW) as a cooperation partner. The evaluation will be led by Professor Dr. med. Marcel Romanos, Director of the Clinic and Polyclinic for Child and Adolescents Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy at the UKW and member of the scientific advisory board of tomoni, together with Dr. phil. Dipl.- Psych. Arne Bürger, the deputy head psychologist and head of the study outpatient clinic.
Professor Romanos describes the solution space: "75% of all mental illnesses begin in childhood and adolescence. At this time, children and adolescents spend more time in the work week at school and with their teachers than at home with their parents. For that reason, teachers play a very important role in the early detection and prevention of mental illness, but they are not explicitly trained for this role as part of their teaching degree. tomoni.schoolsaddresses this issue and meets teachers at eye level. Therefore, UKW supports the work of tomoni and we are looking forward to the results of the scientific evaluation of the service."
Dr. Bürger describes the approach of tomoni.schools: "The interesting thing about tomoni´s approach is the active inclusion of the experience of those affected and what can be recognized from this in the school context. The linking with the scientific "state of the art" and translation into a language that works for interested teachers makes my team and me curious about the findings from the evaluation."
Funding for the collaboration is provided by UKW together with tomoni mental health. tomoni would like to thank the Frankfurt-based Horst-Haas-und-Irene-Haas-Scheuermann-Stiftung fot their generous financial support.