The History of the CIMH
"You should know that psychiatry, which is on the move everywhere, is looking expectantly towards Mannheim".
Reform psychiatrist Caspar Kulenkampff, September 17, 1976
"The Central Institute for Mental Health is an essential facility for psychiatric research in the Federal Republic of Germany. [...] The institute is of scientific and political significance to the entire country and is of national importance."
Statement of the Scientific Council, July 4, 1980
On the History of the CIMH
1933: On July 14, the National Socialists adopted the "Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily-Diseased Offspring". In the following years, a total of nearly 400,000 men and women were forcibly sterilized, whereby over 6,000 people were killed. The victims included the mentally ill, amongst others.
1940/41: As a result of the "Aktion T4", named after the Berlin central office in the Tiergartenstrasse 4, about 70,000 people were killed who were either learning or physically disabled or suffered from mental illness.
1950s: After the end of World War II, psychiatric research in Germany, as well as psychiatric patient care, faced a serious crisis as the trust of the population had been deeply shaken by the National Socialist "euthanasia" which had also included the killing of the mentally ill. In addition, there was a significant lack of qualified doctors and nurses, the conditions in large psychiatric hospitals were unacceptable for patients, and the facilities needed for treatment and aftercare were simply unavailable.
1960s: Initiatives to encourage a comprehensive mental health reform were introduced, which was intended to rebuild psychiatric research in Germany and to modernize psychiatric patient care. Initially, these were only individual local reform efforts. Countrywide efforts for the urgently needed reform of mental health care provision actually only followed later, almost 15 to 20 years later than in the UK or the USA.
1963: The preparatory planning of a "model institute for social psychiatric research and therapy" was begun. On December 12, Heinz Häfner requested the establishment of a "department for social psychiatry and rehabilitation" at the psychiatric clinic of Heidelberg University.
1964: On July 16, Häfner, together with the two Heidelberg psychiatrists, Walter Ritter von Baeyer and Karl Peter Kisker, present the plans for mental health reform in Germany to Federal Minister Elisabeth Schwarzhaupt at the Ministry of Health in Bonn for the first time. The proposal for a model institution, which Häfner had been pursuing since the 1950s, was also presented to the Minister.
1965: Häfner’s memorandum: "Urgent reforms in the Federal Republic’s mental health care provision" was published, one of the first steps towards a Germany-wide mental health reform. On July 1, the "Association for the Establishment and Promotion of a Model Institute for Social Psychiatric Treatment and Research" was founded in Heidelberg. In the same year, the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Culture approved the establishment of the "Department for Social Psychiatry and Rehabilitation" in Heidelberg which had been requested by Häfner. Thereupon, von Baeyer made two pavilions, as well as positions for staff available in his own clinic in Heidelberg as the department of social psychiatry and rehabilitation; their extension to become a functioning social-psychiatric unit in patient care, research and teaching was continued and completed in 1967. At the same time, it served as the first precursor for the construction of the CIMH.
1966: As the Lord Mayor of Heidelberg had not been able to provide land for the construction of the institute, the association agreed on the location of Mannheim. On November 3, 1965, an appropriate plot of land was made available by Mannheim's Lord Mayor, Hans Reschke. In the same year, the Volkswagen Foundation granted the association funds for the planning of the institute to the amount of DM 120,000, after the decision of July 14, 1965. The Baden-Württemberg state parliament decided to support the project on October 27. In the same year, Häfner and von Baeyer went on several reconnaissance trips to the USA, Canada and the UK, to gain ideas for further planning and to agree consultancy contacts.
1967: From April 10 to 24, Häfner and Reschke, together with Mannheim’s mayor for health and social and care, Hans Martini, as well as a team of architects from the Psychiatric Department of Yale University, visited the Yale Connecticut County Mental Health Center in New Haven (USA) to get more ideas for the construction and planning of the CIMH organization. The institute, with its combination of sophisticated research and modern patient care in a central city location, served as a model for the Mannheim institute. On June 1 of the same year, Häfner submitted a new draft for the future institute to the Science Council on behalf of the CIMH association. On April 9, 1968 the request to the state of Baden-Württemberg for an assessment of the plans for the construction of the Deutsche Institut für Seelische Gesundheit (German Institute for Mental Health) was submitted.
1968: On February 6, an agreement was reached that allowed Häfner to fulfil his responsibilities as a future full professor of psychiatry at the Klinikum Mannheim from Heidelberg for a transitional period. With the order dated March 25, Häfner was appointed professor of psychiatry at the faculty of clinical medicine, Mannheim, and, from April 1, he was able to set up an out-patient clinic and a psychiatric-psychotherapeutic consultation service. The department also participated in the 24-hour emergency service. Along with the professorship came the leadership of the "Deutsche Institut für Seelische Gesundheit" (German Institute for Mental Health) whose construction in Mannheim was being overseen by the "Association for the Establishment and Support of a Model Institute for Social Psychiatric Therapy and Research e.V.". Thus, in Mannheim, a second center of the social psychiatric clinic, initially without beds, was created. Up until 1974, it was only possible to treat people as in-patients or partial out-patients on the premises of the Heidelberg Department of Social Psychiatry and Rehabilitation.
1969: In its statement of 10 May, the Science Council issued a "strong recommendation" for the construction of the model institute. That same year, the financing of the institute planning was ensured, as it was unanimously decided in the meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Volkswagen Foundation on November 7 that a sum of DM 7.55 million was to be made available to provide a "jump start to the preparations for, and establishment of, a model institute of mental health". Finally, on November 10, 1971 during a conversation with, inter alia, representatives from the federal government and the state of Baden-Württemberg at the Federal Ministry of Education and Science, it was decided that the government should assume two-thirds of the remaining construction costs, whilst the state of Baden-Württemberg should take over the remaining one-third.
1971: The seat of the "Association for the Establishment and Support of a Model Institute for Social Psychiatric Therapy and Research" was moved from Heidelberg to Mannheim. At the same time, the company was renamed "Association - Central Institute for Mental Health". As of the January 1, the association had taken possession of plots J 4 and J 5 for the CIMH building plot which had been made available by the city of Mannheim. In the same year, the Bundestag voted unanimously to set up a "committee of experts to develop the Enquête on the state of psychiatry in the Federal Republic." The commission was chaired by Caspar Kulenkampff, Heinz Häfner served as vice-chairman.
1972: With a cabinet decision dated February 8, the state of Baden-Württemberg ensured the funding for the running costs of the institute. After the Ministry of Education had issued the construction permit for the institute on March 30, the building of the CIMH, under the auspices of the association, was able to commence in Mannheim city center. Even at this early date, the German Research Foundation (DFG) provided a grant to the social-psychiatric hospital for a first special research field, with Häfner as the spokesman, on June 21. The funding of the SFB 116 "Psychiatric Epidemiology" began on January 1, 1973 and ran until the end of 1985.
1974: From the beginning of January, Häfner moved the Department of Social Psychiatry and Rehabilitation from Heidelberg to the city hospital institutions in Mannheim. Three wards were initially set up there for this purpose, which, in September 1975, were then finally transferred to the new CIMH building.
1975: In the same year in which the Enquête Commission submitted its report on the state of psychiatry in Germany to the German Parliament, the Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (Central Institute for Mental Health) was, after ten years of preparation, established as a foundation under public law. The basis was the decision of the state government of Baden-Württemberg on April 8. The statutes were published on May 23 in the Journal of State Laws and came into force the following day. The CIMH’s building project then transferred from an association to become a foundation, whose representative, Hans Martini, was appointed on June 4. Upon the decision of the board of directors of June 26, Heinz Häfner was appointed director of the CIMH. On September 25, the psychiatric hospital was officially opened. As of the winter semester 1975/76, the teaching of psychiatry for medical students was completely transferred from the hospital to the CIMH.
1976: In January and February, the psychosomatic department and the department of child and adolescent psychiatry were both opened. As of the 1976/77 school year, a hospital school was established as a special school and sponsored by the city. In a Festakt (presentation ceremony) on September 17, 1976, the institute was officially inaugurated with the participation of Minister of Health, Katharina Focke; the Minister of Culture for Baden-Württemberg, Wilhelm Hahn; the Lord Mayor of the city of Mannheim, Ludwig Ratzel and the Dean of Yale Medical School, Fritz Redlich. Caspar Kulenkampff, Chairman of the Enquête Commission, made a solemn speech. The gradual commissioning of the institute was completed on April 1, 1977.
1980: The CIMH was appointed as a "WHO Collaborating Centre for Training and Research" by the World Health Organization.
1987: On January 1, a grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG) for a second special research field, with spokespersons and co-ordination at the CIMH, was approved. The SFB 258 "Indicators and Risk Models for the Development and Course of Psychiatric Disorders" was funded until the end of 1998.
1989: For the first time in December, the academy week entitled "Psyche, Mental Health and their Vulnerability" took place. This resulted in an annual series of events organized by the CIMH in co-operation with the Mannheim Abendakademie (Evening Academy).
1994: On October 1, the first director of the CIMH and the CIMH foundation board became an emeritus. On the same day, Fritz A. Henn was appointed as the new director of the CIMH by the administrative board. At the same time, he took over the chair of psychiatry at the Medizinische Fakultät (Medical Faculty) Mannheim of Heidelberg University and the directorate of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the CIMH.
1995: After long preparations and difficult financial negotiations, the second building phase for the institute began in the middle of the year with the construction of the research and administrative building in the northern area of Quadrat (square) J4, which was ready for occupation in 1997. The rooms which would become vacant in the hospital wing were to be renovated and used for the much-needed expansion of bed capacity for psychogeriatric patients.
2004: On January 1, the German Research Foundation (DFG) approved a grant to fund a third special research field at the Zi, the SFB 636 "Learning, Memory and Brain Plasticity: Implications for Psychopathology". In the same year, the new laboratory building was completed in the northern area of Quadrat (square) J 5.
2005: On July 1, the amended foundation statutes came into force. The foundation had previously been under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, but today, the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts is responsible. Among other things, a new governance structure for the CIMH was established, in which an existing two-person board should jointly direct the foundation and manage the ongoing business. In this year, the addiction center was also opened with the addiction out-patient clinic in the north-east area of J 4.
Among other things, a new management structure was established for the CIMH, in which a board consisting of two persons jointly manages the foundation and the day-to-day business.
2006: Katrin Erk was appointed Commercial Managing Director in 2006.
2007: In 2007, Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg was appointed by the foundation's Supervisory Board. He is Medical Director of the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy and Head of the Executive Board of the CIMH.
In the same year, the substantial renovation of the therapy building was completed.
2010: On April 1, the establishment of the Medical Care Center (MVZ Mannheim Mitte GmbH) at the CIMH formed an important step towards linking in-patient and out-patient care, a setting in which multi-morbid psychiatric patients can receive interdisciplinary treatment in collaboration with general practitioners in Mannheim.
2011: The CIMH and the Psychiatrische Zentrum Nordbaden (PZN) (Psychiatric Center North Baden) signed a collaboration agreement on January 27 as a basis for future co-operation in areas such as patient care, research and administration. In the same year, at the invitation of the Ministry of Social Affairs, a planning meeting on the subject of "Comprehensive Psychiatric Care Provision in the City of Mannheim" took place, with the objective of safeguarding the CIMH’s future.
2012: Based on the recommendation of the Scientific Council on the funding of research on May 25, it was decided, in the Joint Science Conference (GWK) on June 29, to consider the Zentrum für Innovative Psychiatrie- und Psychotherapieforschung (ZIPP) (Center for Innovative Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Research) as an extension of the CIMH and that it would receive funding as such. Over a period of five years, the CIMH is to receive 30.7 million euros of which one half shall be borne by the federal government and the other half by the state of Baden-Württemberg.
To 2020: Information about the entire ZI2020 construction project.
The Foundation and Development of the Day Hospital
1963: On December 12, Heinz Häfner had applied for the acquisition of a day hospital for the "Department of Social Psychiatry and Rehabilitation" at the Psychiatric hospital of Heidelberg University. This was intended to ensure follow-up care close to the work places and homes of the mentally ill.
1965: On October 15, the Villa am Schlossberg in Heidelberg was purchased as a premises for a day hospital.
1967: The day hospital was opened on January 11 under the auspices of Lore Schacht, who was the medical director. From the beginning, there were twenty treatment places. Acutely ill patients who did not need treatment as in-patients, or patients who were undergoing subsequent treatment, or were to be supported in their social reintegration, were admitted. The day hospital was officially opened in a ceremony on May 3.
1982: The day hospital was moved from Heidelberg to Mannheim. Since that time, patients with affective and schizophrenic psychoses have been offered therapy in the 20 treatment program places in the Villa Hecht in Quadrat (square) L 10, 1.
The ZI day hospital is now located in the former home of the Jewish merchant family, Hecht. The Art Nouveau villa was designed in 1892 by the Schwetzingen architects, Jelmoli and Blatt. The wrought iron is the work of the artist blacksmith, Josef Neuser, who also created the Paris Gate of the University Hospital Mannheim.
Felix Hecht (1847-1909) was a banker and businessman. His wife, Helene Hecht, born Bamberger (1854-1940), maintained one of the largest cultural salons in Mannheim, in which the composer, Johannes Brahms, was a frequent guest. In 1899, the spouses Hecht co-founded the Academy of Music. Nearly a year after the outbreak of the Second World War on October 22, 1940, the 86-year-old Helene Hecht was deported to the Gurs internment camp and probably died during the transport to southern France.
In memory of Helene Hecht and her promotion of the arts and culture, the city of Mannheim awards the Helene-Hecht-Preis, endowed with 3,000 euros, every two years.
The founders of the CIMH
Heinz Häfner, Prof. em., Dr. med., Dr. phil., Dr. h.c. mult.., was born in Munich in 1926 and was Director of the CIMH Foundation and Institute Director from 1975 until his retirement in October 1994. After studying medicine, psychology and philosophy in Munich and years as an assistant in Tübingen and Munich, he came to Heidelberg in 1958. In 1967 he was appointed to the chair of psychiatry at the Faculty of Clinical Medicine Mannheim of the University of Heidelberg.
Häfner was deputy chairman of the Federal Expert Commission on Psychiatry, and he advised the state of Baden-Württemberg and other states on psychiatric reform.
Until 2008, he advised the World Health Organization (WHO) as an expert on mental health, was a member of the presidium of the German Council of Science and Humanities, and is still active today as an expert for national and international research funding agencies. He has been a recipient of the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class since 1983 and the Grand Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany since 1994. He has received many national and international scientific awards and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and other national and international institutions.
Hans Martini, Dr. jur., Dr. med. h.c., was born in Ludwigshafen in 1927 and was mayor of the city of Mannheim from 1961 to 1981, responsible for social and health services. In this function, the jurist played a decisive role in the founding of the Mannheim Medical Faculty as well as in the founding of the CIMH. His many years of commitment as a foundation representative (until 1978), member of the Board of Directors (until 1999) and Chairman of the Sponsors' Association for the CIMH (until the end of 2012) had a lasting impact on its development.
Martini has been honoured several times for his commitment: in 1979 he was appointed honorary senator of the University of Heidelberg and in 2000 the City of Mannheim awarded him the city's Ring of Honour. He is also the recipient of the Dr. Hans Martini Medal, which is dedicated to him and has been awarded annually since 2008 to personalities who have rendered outstanding services to the Medical Faculty of Mannheim. In 2012, he also received the honorary title of Doctor of Medicine. At the request of the Stuttgart Ministry of Science, he is still active today as an advisor on the supervisory board of the Landesstiftung CIMH.
The Directors and Executive Boards of the CIMH
|Year||Director | Executive Board|
|1975 to 1994||Prof. em. Dr. Dr. Heinz Häfner|
|1994 to 2006||Prof. Dr. Dr. Fritz Henn|
|2006 to 2019|| |
Katrin Erk (Commercial Managing Director)
|since 2007|| |
Prof. Dr. Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg (Head of the Executive Board)
|2019||Andreas-W. Möller (Commercial Managing Director)|
|since 2019||Dr. Matthias Janta (Commercial Managing Director)|
Dr. med. Dr. phil. Dr. h. c. mult. Heinz Häfner, chairman of the CIMH foundation and director of the institute from 1975 until his retirement on October 1, 1994, was born in Munich in 1926. After studying medicine, psychology and philosophy in Munich and his internship in Tübingen and Munich, he came to Heidelberg in 1958. Häfner was offered the chair of psychiatry at the Fakultät für Klinische Medizin (faculty of clinical medicine) Mannheim of Heidelberg University in 1967.
Häfner was the deputy chairman of the expert commission on psychiatry for the federal government, he advised the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and other states on the mental health reform.
Until 2008, he advised the World Health Organization (WHO) in his capacity as an expert on mental health, was a member of the steering committee of the Scientific Council, and is today still active as a consultant for national and international research funding bodies. In 1983, he was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse (Federal Order of Merit 1st class) and, since 1994, he has held the Große Verdienstkreuz des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (the Grand Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany). He has received many national and international scientific awards and is a member of the National Academy of Leopoldina, the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and other national and international institutions.
Prof. em. Dr. Dr. Fritz Henn was the Director of the CIMH, Medical Director of the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at CIMH and Professor for Psychiatry at the Medical Faculty Mannheim of the Heidelberg University from October 1994 to March 2006.
Professor Henn, born on March 26th, 1941 in the US state of Pennsylvania, first studied biology, then medicine, and went on to lead multiple psychiatric clinics and research facilities in the USA. After almost twelve years as Director of the CIMH, he retired in 2006, but continued his scientific activities in the USA at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (both in New York) in order to continue devoting himself to his research focus depression. Meanwhile, he has withdrawn from his professional activities as far as possible. However, his occupation as a reviewer for research projects keeps him connected to Germany and often leads him to make his way across the pond.
Under his leadership, a paradigm shift in the field of research took place at the CIMH in the nineties. At the beginning, the research of the epidemiology and etiology of psychiatric disorders as well as their treatment opportunities were the focus; later, innovative approaches allowed for newly developed methods and techniques. The CIMH picked up early on this development and incorporated new fields of research like molecular biology, imaging, addiction research and neuropsychology in its research spectrum, and strengthened the interdisciplinary research within the CIMH. The connection to his old premises was also never dismantled; he remains in regular contact with colleagues, stays up to date on the progress and obtains an idea of the developments of the CIMH in person whenever possible.
Emeritus Professor for addiction research and Medical Director of the Department for Addictive Behavior and Addiction Medicine at the CIMH, he was named Senior Professor by Heidelberg University in September 2016. He is the first Emeritus at the CIMH and the Medical Faculty Mannheim having received this honor. Heidelberg University awards the honorary title of Senior Professor to “distinguished researchers and academic teachers.” With the associated endowment, Professor Mann will be able to continue researching and publishing in the area of addiction medicine.
Professor Mann studied medicine in Mainz, Innsbruck and Vienna. His training in psychiatry/psychotherapy and neurology took place in Paris, Mainz and Tübingen. In 1999, he was recruited to the CIMH and took over the first Germany-wide professorial chair for addiction research at the Medical Faculty Mannheim of Heidelberg University. Until 2014, he was the Medical Director of the Department for Addictive Behavior and Addiction Medicine at the CIMH. From 2006 to 2014, he served as Deputy Director at the CIMH. After Prof. Henn retired in 2006, Prof. Mann was the acting director of the institute until Prof. Meyer-Lindenberg was appointed in 2007.
The focus of Dr. Mann’s research are causes and consequences of addictive behaviors (especially alcohol, nicotine, gambling and gaming). He was the spokesperson of several nationwide research consortial funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). One focus of this research was to test new approaches to the individualized therapy of addicted individuals (“Precision Medicine”). He received national and international awards for his research such as the ISAACSON Award and the European Addiction Research Award. Professor Mann was President of the World Congress for Alcohol Research in Heidelberg/Mannheim in 2004 and the founding President of the European Federation of Addiction Societies (EUFAS: www.eufas.net). He coordinated the development of evidence-based "S3 guidelines" for alcohol and tobacco-related disorders. In 2011 Dr. Mann was summoned as an Adviser to the World Health Organization (WHO) and has since been a member of the WHO working group for the development and testing of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).
Formerly the Medical Director of the Psychosomatic Clinic at the CIMH and Professor with emeritus status for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychoanalysis at Medical Faculty Mannheim of the Heidelberg University, Heinz Schepank was born and grew up in Berlin. He studied psychology and medicine at the Freie Universität Berlin and at the University of Würzburg. After completing his medical studies, his doctorate followed in 1954. From 1960 to 1970, he was employed as a doctor, lecturer and, finally, a teaching analyst and Head of the Department for Children and Adolescents at the renowned Central Institute for Psychogenic Disorders at AOK Berlin.
In 1970, he went to the Psychosomatic University Clinic in Heidelberg as the Senior Physician and completed his postdoctoral qualification there in 1971. On January 1st 1975, he was summoned as the Professorial Chair for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychoanalysis at the Medical Faculty Mannheim. On November 27th 1975, the former administrative board of the CIMH appointed him Medical Director of the Clinic for Psychosomatic and Psychotherapeutic Medicine. Later on, Professor Schepank established the clinic with great energy and prudence and developed it into a model facility that today is still seen as exemplary in its field.
Of his comprehensive research interests, the major study on twins is especially noteworthy. With this study, he made an important contribution to the assessment of the importance of genetic factors in psychogenic disorders. Professor Schepank accompanied pairs of twins throughout many years and thereby obtained data on decades of developments.
His investigations into the epidemiology of psychogenic disorders were executed with dedication and great organizational acumen. With this project, he provided significant supply policy impetus and strongly contributed to the establishment of the subject of psychotherapeutic medicine in Germany. In his research work, he was always successful in reconciling his psychoanalytical perspective with the sobriety of empirical research. Professor Schepank earned national and international recognition for his research activities.
Prof. em. Dr. Dr. Martin H. Schmidt
Formerly the Medical Director of the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy for Children and Adolescents at the CIMH, the Deputy Director of the CIMH
Born in 1937 in Bautzen, Professor Schmidt studied medicine and psychology at the Universities of Cologne and Bonn and did his doctorate, becoming a Doctor of Medicine in 1965 and a Doctor rerum naturalium in 1970. Summoned from the Medical Faculty Mannheim of the Heidelberg University to the Ordinariate for Children and Adolescent Psychiatry, he became Medical Director of the newly erected Clinic for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the CIMH on September 1st, 1975. As the head of the clinic, researcher and deputy institute director, he contributed substantially to the development of the CIMH’s research excellence.
Even after he received emeritus status on April 1st, 2006, he has continued to work both as a research and forensics expert in the area of children’s and adolescent psychology. A focus of his research work are follow-up examinations of the mental disorders of children and adolescents as well as epidemiological studies like the “Mannheimer Risikokinder-Studie” (“Mannheim Children-at-Risk Study”), which has examined the origin and course of psychological disorders in several hundred children in Mannheim for many years. The results of his research can be found in numerous national and international publications and have considerably expanded the understanding of psychological disorders in children and adolescents. As the author of various contributions in scientific journals – partly in cooperation with his daughter, PD Dr. med. Judith Sinzig, Senior Physician for Children’s and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the LVR Clinic in Bonn – he continues to be active in 2012 as well.
Schmidt has been active for many years in various professional representations. In 1984, he became Chair of the German Society for Children’s and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy e. V. (DGKJP), for whom he currently serves as honorary chairman. At the time of his work, the development of guidelines on the treatment of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents comprises a focus of his engagement.
Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (ZI) - https://www.zi-mannheim.de