Redesigning Psychiatry


Healthcare is facing economic and demographic challenges. At the same time, the underlying paradigms of diagnosis and treatment are being challenged. This offers the opportunity to fundamentally revise care around psychological well-being. For the people in the system, however, it’s difficult to think beyond the current characteristics and boundaries of the system.

Mental Gymnastics is a project run by the Redesigning Psychiatry network. This is a network of designers, philosophers, researchers, healthcare professionals and experts that research and experiment with other forms of care and support to enhance the psychological well-being of future generations. Redesigning Psychiatry emerged from the conviction that mental healthcare in the Netherlands needs radical innovation in which human values have priority.


The question at the heart of this research project: how can we help students and teachers develop collective resilience capabilities within the context of education?

Redesigning Psychiatry proposes to fundamentally frame psychological problems as interaction problems. This implies that we must understand the problems as a result of interactions at and between different levels, from micro to macro level: internal biological and neurological processes, cognitive processes, social processes, and societal and ecological processes. This also implies that interventions to solve problems do not have to be automatically aimed at the individual experiencing the problem. At all times, we take people and their ecological system into consideration.


The Mental Gymnastics research project provides a vision for the future and 5-8 concepts. In its development, different stakeholders are involved in different ways at different times. The intended follow-up to this project proposal is a transition experiment in which we will realise one or more of the selected concepts. First, to evaluate the effects on the well-being of children, but also to learn about the new practice that the concept introduces, what obstacles we encounter in realising it, and what that teaches us about the transition to a network of care and support.

The PPP programme allowance used for this project is €52,820.