Research project

RaDiGe: Racist discrimination in the context of mental health care

Experiences of racial discrimination in the context of mental health and healthcare are pressing social challenges that have hardly been scientifically investigated in Germany to date. The interdisciplinary project RaDiGe aims to investigate experiences of racism in the context of mental health care. The combination of life sciences, social sciences and humanities and the use of a mixed methods approach enable a holistic view of this research gap. It comprises three work packages, which are being implemented in collaboration with the Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences Jena and the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

The needs analysis work package builds on a qualitative interview study and a systematic review of experiences of racism in connection with mental health and surveys a representative sample in Germany on these topics. Among other things, questions on racial discrimination and validated questionnaires on mental stress and illness are used. Further intersectional dimensions are analyzed in order to identify interaction effects as well as protection and risk factors.

The access pathways work package deepens the results of the needs analysis through a randomized field experiment that tests the access and access speed of people who potentially experience racism to psychotherapeutic care in Germany with regard to possible access barriers.

The treatment experiences work package qualitatively analyzes how people who experience racism experience their psychotherapeutic treatment, how everyday experiences of racist discrimination are received and processed in treatment and what role they play in the therapeutic relationship. The experiences of psychotherapists are also being researched in this work package.

In close cooperation with organizations that represent people who have experienced racism and support the project with racism-critical counselling, the outlined research methods will be used to develop evidence-based recommendations for action.


Project lead: University Medical Center Mainz, Clinic and Polyclinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Dr. Nora Hettich-Damm, Prof. Dr. Manfred Beute, Prof. Dr. Elmar Brähler


Collaboration and cooperation partners: Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences Jena (EAH), Department of Social Sciences, Prof. Dr. Sören Kliem; Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies, Department of English and Linguistics, Prof. Dr. Mita Banerjee


Practice organizations: Institut zur Förderung von Bildung und Integration (INBI); Informations- und Dokumentationszentrum für Antirassismusarbeit e.V.; Magazine of Color 


To the project page

RaDiGe sub-project

Racial discrimination and mental health - needs analysis and treatment experiences

Racial discrimination and mental health - needs analysis and treatment experiences

Dr. Nora Hettich-Damm
Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz in Kooperation mit der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (Prof. Dr. Mita Banerjee)

Experimental analysis of access routes to psychotherapeutic care

Prof. Dr. Sören Kliem
Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule Jena
University of Applied Sciences