In recent decades there has been considerable success in efforts to improve the situation for persons suffering mental illness and their families.
But still there are considerable gaps.
In particular there is a lack of domestic help and support available in acute emergency and crisis situations, for people in the early stages of a psychiatric illness and for persons who, despite long-term illness, have no contact with the care system.
In the Conference of Federal State Health Ministers’ Resolution from 28 June 2012 it was already established that:
There is “the risk of inadequate care for those who are in most cases severely chronically ill but who do not of their own accord seek help, and for those patients who do not accept their illnesses and are not compliant. These persons are often not reached by the existing support systems; the consequences are considerable. Particularly for this group of persons there is an increased risk of homelessness, imprisonment or involuntary commitment. Here it is important to develop or expand monitoring and proactive forms of assistance which span systems.“ … “It is the task of psychiatric policy to create future-proof structures which ensure the assumption of responsibility for all mentally ill persons and which are also subject to public scrutiny.“
Four years on – and these structures are still not in place!
In addition the support required by families or other persons close to a mentally ill person is almost never acknowledged.
We call for all those responsible in politics and administration, in central government, regional governments and district authorities to fulfil their obligation to provide care for mentally ill citizens and to create the required future-proof structures which also provide help for the families affected.
We also call for the payers and providers of services to be aware of their responsibilities to severely ill persons and their families and to contribute to creating these structures.
The representatives of mentally ill persons and their relatives should also be involved.
This Resolution was passed by the German Federal Association of Relatives of the Mentally Ill (BApK) and all its regional associations. It is based on the call to improve proactive help (*) initiated in January, which has up to now been signed by over 1200 persons from all over Germany (the mentally ill, their relatives and countless psychiatric specialists) as well as many self-help organisations, specialist associations, professional associations and psychiatric facilities.
The regional associations of relatives of the mentally ill, German Federal Association of Relatives of the Mentally Ill (BApK)
Berlin, June 2016
(*) The call to improve proactive help and further information under: