Research on student mental health


Our research project aims to develop the personalized early warning system WARN-D that can predict depression in students before it occurs. This is important because early adulthood is a time in which mental health problems peak. It is also important because interventions can only help about 1 in 2 people, and experts agree that prevention is the most effective way to change depression’s global disease burden. The biggest barrier to prevention is to identify those at risk for depression in the near future. Our project tackles this challenge by developing WARN-D that forecasts depression reliably before it occurs, promising to radically transform the science of depression prevention. To do so, we will follow 2,000 students over 2 years, and integrate emerging theoretical, measurement, and modelling approaches from different scientific fields. These include complex systems theory, mental health measurement via smartphones and smartwatches, as well as network models and machine learning.

The WARN-D project is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Grant agreement No. 949059.

Scientific publications

Funding of our project started in April 2021, and our first publications are expected around June 2022. In the meantime, you can find the publications of Dr. Eiko Fried here.

WARN-D in the news


We have made a few introductory videos about the project in the last months which we will list below.

1. General overview video

2. One minute summary of the project, using Legos

3. Leiden University portray about WARN-D