Research Programme for Mind and Body in Mental Health

Our focus is to promote mental health through body awareness, sensing and a deliberate - and kind - attention in the present moment toward thoughts, emotions and behaviour.

Learn more about our work

Improving mental health and well-being

There has been an increase in the number of people living with stress, affecting their well-being and increasing their risk of illness. The aim is research, education and implementation of approaches for training and support of mental health and well-being in the population in accordance with the ambitions of the UN’s sustainable development goals.

Improved mental health benefits individuals and our communities - and thus society as a whole. Jesper O. Dahlgaard, Head of Programme, PhD, Senior Associate Professor

How we work

  • The background for researching mind and body in mental health is:

    • an increase in the number of stressed citizens with reduced well-being and increased risk of illness and loss of integration into society.
    • more children, adolescents and students experience stress, anxiety and depression, with consequences to their health, well-being, learning and life path.
    • the need for an efficient and sustainable healthcare system for patients, relatives and healthcare professionals, as well as the sustainable management of organisations and workplaces.
  • Research-based interventions to strengthen mental health within:

    • Kindergartens and schools: developing tools for cultivating body awareness, mindfulness and competences for social, emotional learning and relating.
    • The education system: preventing stress, anxiety and depression among students.
    • The healthcare system: e.g., 1) treating lower back and pelvic pain among pregnant women with psychomotor therapy, and 2) preventing recurrent depression among vulnerable citizens using mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.
    • Organisations and workplaces: working with promoting well-being in private and public hospitals and academic workplaces.
    • We also examine how mental health promotion affects biological and cellular levels and relevant biomarkers for health.
    • We have collected blood samples in clinical trials that are examined for how mindfulness, nature and outdoor environments affect cellular and biological health.
  • Our courses are open to everyone who wishes to take better care of themselves, both professionally and personally. Follow this link.


Portrait of Jesper Dahlgaard.
  • Jesper Dahlgaard

  • Head of Programme for Mind and Body in Mental Health
  • T: +45 87 55 29 92
Helle Rønn Smidt
  • Helle Rønn-Smidt

  • Assosiate Professor Physiotherapist, Master in Educational Psychology, PhD
  • T: +45 87 55 23 65
  • Norwegian Psychomotor Physiotherapy, Patientinvolvement, Qualitative research