This initiative is not a healthcare provider. The information provided on the website does not qualify as medical advice and does not substitute for speaking to medical professionals.

Mental Health Initiative

Literature shows a a high amount of academics are affected by/are experiencing mental health issues. Addressing mental health inside an institution may lead to increased productivity, better academic performances and well-being. We are aiming at educating on mental health topics important for academia and at creating a prevention-conscious and supportive culture at the Institute of Physics.

Mission statement

Our mission is:

Spreading knowledge and raising awareness on mental health topics among members of the IfPh, U Rostock.

Our means are:

  • providing education through talks and workshops (facilitating the development of members counselling knowledge, skills and personal growth)
  • establishing a dialogue between institutes members to share experiences and to fight stigma
  • evidence - informed: annually literature review of student mental health including a survey -> feedback to the institutes leader and evaluating our means

Our events are inclusive and open for members of other institutes of all status groups. However, our main target group are students and PhD students of the Institute of Physics. We are happy to welcome work group leaders, PostDocs and and non-scientific staff of the IfPh to our events. Some workshops and talks may be advertised for single status groups to enhance dialogue or to address specific topics.

The Students Committee and the Graduate Research Training Group are supporting the initiative and strongly recommend participating. Our initiative is supported by work group leaders and the executive director(s) of the Institute of Physics. 



From left to right: Anna Julia Poser, Wanda Witte, Paula Respondek, Milena Gödecke, Anne-Marie Esche, Benjamin Liewehr

We are meeting on a regular basis (bi-weekly). In this meetings, we discuss upcoming events, new event suggestions, networking&visibility and many more. If you'd like to contribute or support us, you're invited to join our meetings! We are very happy to include you, your ideas and comments.


We are a self-organized group of students and PhD students working towards our goals since August 2020.

Current contact persons and speaker: Milena Gödecke (milena.goedecke) and Tim Völzer (tim.voelzer)

Active members: Jennifer Hartisch (PhD student), Markus Reinert (PhD student IOW), Andrea Steinfurth (PhD student), Paula Respondek (PhD student IEF), Anne-Marie Esche (BSc student), Milena Gödecke (PhD student), Benjamin Liewehr (PhD student), Anna Julia Poser (PhD student)


Former active members: Ayla Kruse (PhD student), Wanda Witte

Founder: Anna Julia Poser (PhD student, former speaker 06/2020-02/2022)



Emergent and non-emergent contact information and services

Emergent and non-emergent contact information and services

If you are in crisis and need emergency help:

Non-emergent contact information and services:

Support & Cooperation

Support & Cooperation

We are working together with URgesund, the Universitys Health Management. We are financially supported by URgesund and Techniker Krankenkasse for three years to continue our efforts on education on mental health topics. Further, we cooperate with the non-profit, registered organization Dragonfly Mental Health which aims at producing a sustainable mental health culture in higher education. 

Resources to educate yourself further

Resources to educate yourself further

Offers and services by the University or University-related institutions:

  • The Health Management division of the University, URgesundoffers workshops and webinars in German language.
  • The Graduates Academy supports and promotes early career researchers at the University of Rostock. They offer a high quality qualification programme (in English and German language). Additionally, they provide networking opportunities and workshops on project and time management. 
  • Studierendenwerk Rostock-Wismar offers workshops in German language.
  • The Rostock International House (International affairs office of U Rostock, Welcome Center) invites to a Intercultural Training for international PhDs, Postdocs and Researchers on a regular basis.
  • The General Counselling Service (Allgemeine Studienberatung) has open office hours if you encounter organization and learning difficulties.

Other offers and services:

Further literature

Further literature

PhD Desiree Dickerson: Mental health and COVID, but also other related topics: https://desireedickerson.com/covid19-resources

Dr. Zoë J Ayres, analytical scientist & mental health advocate, provides free resources for awareness, incl. poster: https://www.zjayres.com/ and has published the book Managing Your Mental Health During Your PhD which is freely availabe for members of the University

Further websites and articles:

Literature to start with:


Conferences and Workshops


Linking Mental Health and Performance  (Literature collection from Dragonfly Mental Health)


Quality of Work:

  • Decreases likelihood of errors and mistakes (Mazurek et al. 2018)

  • Improves task performance (Wright et al. 1993, Hysenbegasiet al. 2005 )

  • Improves creativity and organization (Alonso et al. 2020)

Event Archive and Past Achievements

Event Archive and Past Achievements


  • Workshop "Managing Upwards" by Dragonfly Mental Health for PhD students within the Doctoral Seminar of the Graduate Research Training Group


  • Talk "Strategies for managing mental health and well-being in academia" by PhD Desiree Dickerson, within the Physics Colloquium
  • Talk "Impostor Syndrom" by Dragonfly Mental Health within the Doctoral Seminar of the Graduate Research Training Group
  • Workshop "Training in Active Listening" by Dragonfly Mental Health for students and PhD students 


  • Talks "Mental Health in Academia" by Dragonfly Mental Health, German and English, within the Physics Colloquium

We are happy to expand our current collection of links: Leave us a message to include more links, tips and other findings.


Milena Gödecke (she/her)
Tim Völzer (he/him)


MHI Meeting 07.12.22, 17:30
Mental Health First Aiders

Mental Health First Aiders

Here you can find an overview over the Mental Health First Aiders at our university.