A Closer Look at Mental Health in Germany

Mental Health in GermanyGermany is a leading figure in the battle against mental illness in Europe. The country has established ways to determine and treat mental illness in citizens and has prioritized the mental well-being of all Germans since the 1990s. Mental health in Germany provides a blueprint for other countries to follow.

Mental Health in Germany

Germany has similar rates of mental illness to other developed nations, with around 31% of Germans diagnosed with at least one mental illness. Like most other developed nations, depression and anxiety rank the highest among adults but formed at a young age.

Surveys conducted by German health insurance company, DAK, revealed that 24% of 800,000 tested children had some sort of psychological anomaly although less than 2% of those tested between the ages of 10 and 17 were diagnosed with depression.

What Makes Germany Different?

What makes Germany different from the rest of Europe in its fight against mental illness is its level of commitment to finding and treating the mentally ill. Those who suffer from some form of mental illness in Germany have a vast support system provided to them by their government.

Diagnosed German citizens have access to financial support and extensive healthcare services. Germany runs programs to ease the transition from a mental health hospital back to everyday life. It also has programs that provide the mentally ill with jobs. With roughly 270 mental health hospitals and sufficient healthcare workers to assist patients, Germany makes sure that the mentally ill are taken care of.

Perhaps the most effective strategy Germany has employed is its campaign to remove the stigma of mental illness in German society. While one-third of adults suffer from some sort of mental illness during the course of their lives, many do not seek the proper help because of the social stigma attached to mental illness.

Germany has dedicated extensive amounts of resources to create outreach campaigns that promote actively visiting psychologists and testing for mental illness. The country also works to reinforce the idea that seeking assistance for one’s mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of as a large portion of people suffer from them.

Recognizing that mental illness is just as common as physical illness is the first step toward curbing the epidemic. By encouraging citizens to assess their mental health and by providing the necessary support and opportunities for the mentally ill, Germany successfully manages mental health in the country.

A Mental Health Role Model

Germany has taken great strides to ensure that those with mental illnesses are treated as well as any other citizen in the country and has worked hard to create normalcy for testing and treating mental illness.

In order to battle the mental illness epidemic, countries with lacking mental healthcare systems should look to adopt Germany’s stance on battling mental illness, providing not only psychiatric help to those who need it but also giving financial and occupational support to those at risk.

Christopher McLean
Photo: Flickr