Healthy Work Habits
Mental health: Support in the university context
Starting a doctoral thesis, finalizing a research project, or navigating all the way to a professorship: When working in academia, researchers experience moments of success but they also have to cope with stress and challenges. Maintaining good mental health and healthy work habits enable you to conduct successful research, advance your career, and keep well along the way.
To foster your mental well-being, we and our member universities are offering information, workshops and advising services. On this website you can find support services to enhance your stress management skills or to navigate a crisis.
You can promote your general well-being and health by developing healthy work habits. These include exercise, nutrition, a positive work culture, proactive communication and conflict management, building meaningful social connections, ergonomic workspaces, and shaping your professional and personal future.
Information and advising services offered by our member universities
Our member institutions and Studierendenwerk Hamburg (the cross-university student services organization) offer information and personal advice on mental health and healthy work habits.
Universität Hamburg (UHH)
- Psychological counseling for doctoral researchers
The Universität Hamburg offers group counseling and individual counseling for doctoral researchers.
- University Outpatient Clinic
The service at Universität Hamburg provides outpatient therapy for a range of needs. Patients are accepted regardless of their university affiliation. The treatment costs are covered by the statutory and private health insurance companies.
- Center for Health and Workplace Cooperation (BGZ)
The offers of the the Center for Health and Workplace Cooperation are directed at all employees of the Universität Hamburg. The BGZ provides both consultations and offers for prevention, such as lectures, workshops and seminars. Topics include: Health management, conflict prevention and resolution, personal counseling, addiction prevention and sexual discrimination.
- Social advising services
Advising services on social matters are available to all employees of Universität Hamburg and offer support in all situations that negatively affect work and performance (e.g., stress, exhaustion, mental or physical illness, challenges related to family matters, and much more). Addiction counseling supports people afflicted with addiction as well as their relatives, supervisors, and colleagues.
- Advising services for teaching staff
Teaching staff can seek advice if difficult situations may arise in daily encounters with students.
Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW)
- Advice in case of personal problems
Assistance is available for work-related issues, challenges with motivation and anxiety, as well as personal matters like relationship issues or family conflicts.
- Studieren mit einer psychischen Erkrankung: (wie) geht das? (Studying with a psychological disorder: [How] can you do it?) a Hamburg University of Applied Sciences and Hamburg Open Online University project (German only)
The service is aimed at students, faculty, and staff of HAW Hamburg. It provides information about psychological disorders and various support services within the university context and beyond. The goal is to contribute to destigmatizing mental health issues. In the long term, the project is aiming to contribute to the destigmatization of mental health issues.
HafenCity University Hamburg (HCU)
- Psychological counseling
Doctoral researchers at HCU may register for individual counseling or for group sessions at Universität Hamburg’s psychological counseling services.
Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH)
- Student Counseling Center
Doctoral researchers can access advising services if they are enrolled at TUHH.
- Family Office (German only)
The service is available to all members of TUHH and serves as the point of contact for researchers facing precarious family situations. It also provides personalized, individual, and confidential counseling on the topic of balancing work and family responsibilities.
Helmut Schmidt University—University of the Federal Armed Forces (HSU)
- Psychological Counseling Center
The counseling services are open to all HSU members. The center offers workshops on various topics.
- Corporate health management
Offers are available for all HSU members covering different topics related to health and healthy work habits. This includes courses on preventing stress, sports and nutrition, and addiction prevention.
The Hamburg University of Music and Drama (HfMT)
- Advising services (German only)
Open to all HfMT members. Offers on health prevention, anti-discrimination, and counseling services for challenging life situations.
- Vertrauensrat (Council of Confidence)(vertrauensrat"AT"hfmt-hamburg)
The "Vertrauensrat" serves as a point of contact for difficulties in all areas related to studies and research at HfMT. You can also get in contact in cases of personal crises. It is part of the university’s conflict management system and operates independently. Its primary duty is to advise and mediate between conflicting parties.
- Universität Hamburg Psychological Counseling
Services are also available to HfMT members. Doctoral researchers can attend a group for doctoral researchers and take advantage of individual advising services.
Anonymous advice per telephone especially for doctoral researchers and students at HfMT.
Phone: +49 1590 1075-206, office hours: Mon, Wed, Fri, 2–4 pm
University of Fine Arts of Hamburg (HFBK)
- Advising services for students and doctoral researchers
Port of call for initial advice for psychosocial matters, conflicts within the university, identity-related topics, discrimination, and addiction issues.
Studierendenwerk Hamburg (cross-university student services organization)
- Counseling Centre for Social and International Affairs (BeSI)
This service is open to all doctoral researchers at our member universities. BeSI provides support in social, personal, and economic matters or if you find yourself in a difficult crisis or conflict situation.
Support and advising services in Hamburg
- Help with psychological stress
Whether you need immediate or long-term advice, guidance, or therapy, you can find contacts in Hamburg as well as nationwide helplines on this website of the City of Hamburg.
- Directory of psychiatric and psychological therapists in Hamburg (German only)
- Social psychiatric services by district
Altona, Bergedorf, Harburg, Mitte, Nord, Wandsbek (German only)
- Telephone counseling ("Telefonseelsorge")
+49 0800 1110-111 and +49 0800 1110-222
- Crisis hotline: help in acute crises
+49 40 42811-3000
Psychenet is a network that consists of over 60 Hamburg-based scientific and medical institutions. The network provides easily understandable and evidence-based information and decision aids, as well as offers for self-help and networking. They wish to strengthen the awareness and participation of people with mental health problems and their family members (i.e. information on themes of mental health, mental illnesses and on help possibilities in the region of Hamburg).
- Psychosocial counseling centers in Hamburg (German only)
Six institutions offer free psychosocial advice for adults in acute crisis situations and difficult phases or who have psychological disorders or illnesses, suicidal ideation, or problems with addiction. Their services are also available to relatives and family members.
- Hospital directory for psychiatry and psychotherapy (German only)
Consult this directory for hospitals with psychiatric and psychotherapy wards or clinics.
- Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Hamburg (German only)
Search for outpatient therapists and specialists in Hamburg.
- Psychological advising from the Diakonie Hamburg (German only)
Support for life crises and conflicts.
In acute crises and emergencies
- Medical on-call service (German only)
The medical on-call service is available around the clock: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This service is only available in German. Patients can seek help outside standard office hours in cases of illness for which they would normally seek a doctor’s office and when they need immediate treatment.
- In emergencies and life-threatening cases
Dial 112 for the emergency service.
General support and advising services
- Aktionsbündnis Seelische Gesundheit (German only)
The Aktionsbündnis Seelische Gesundheit coordinates national campaigns and projects to educate about psychological illnesses with the aim of destigmatization.
- Researcher Mental Health Observatory (ReMO) COST Action
Researcher Mental Health: The ReMO COST Action focuses on well-being and mental health in academia, a topic of central importance for the European Research Area.
Self-help smartphone app with self-help exercises for psychological problems.
- Papa PhD podcast
Podcast that covers many topics related to doing a doctorate and the postdoctoral phase, including stress management, coping with crises, and other aspects of mental health.
- Hello PhD podcast
International podcast that covers many topics related to doing a doctorate and the postdoctoral phase, including stress management, time management, coping with crises, and other aspects of mental health.
- A Happy PhD blog
An international blog that covers topics related to doing a doctorate but has a mental-health focus.
- "Science Careers and Mental Health" collection in Nature
This collection comprises articles and interviews on the relationship between work conditions in academia and mental health.
Unmotivated, dejected, joyless? The online self-help program Moodgym provides an interactive aid to prevent or reduce symptoms of depression.