Whether it’s the pandemic, a personal crisis, hormonal changes or stress, there are plenty of things that might make it hard to cope with everyday life.
Getting help is nothing to be ashamed about. On the contrary – it’s necessary. However, you might find it hard, especially when you’re in a phase of feeling down, to click through Google, trying to find a solution that works for you, especially if you’re not fluent in German.
So here’s a guide on how to find English-speaking psychological help in Germany:
If you feel unwell, but not in crisis: Visit a general practitioner
Thankfully, most people in Germany, especially if they’re from the younger generations, speak English. That makes finding an English-speaking doctor relatively easy, especially if you’re living in a bigger city.
After explaining how you feel, he or she will most probably refer you to a psychiatrist to further evaluate treatment options. That can include prescribing medication, like anti-depressants, therapy, or a combination of both. In any case, you can ask your doctor to help you during the process of finding a psychiatrist or therapist.
They can also write you a letter which you can submit to your health insurance for up to six sessions, with the possibility of extension.
Fast and direct help: hotlines and website
- Online directory Therapie.de lists around 600 English-speaking therapists currently working in Berlin, 150 in Frankfurt, around 230 in Hamburg, and 240 in Munich
- Available in English and anonymous if you wish: The Berliner Krisendienst can be reached around the clock, 365 days per year. If you live in Berlin and are experiencing an acute emergency, you can go see them in person from 4 pm to midnight in their nine regional offices. Please find more information (in English) here: https://www.berliner-krisendienst.de/en/
- If you’re relatively fluent in German, you can call Telefonseelsorge Deutschland on 0800 1110 111 or 0800 1110 222. Their website also features a good overview of international helplines where you can speak to someone in your mother tongue
If you don’t feel like talking: chats
- Suicide Stop offers a referral to multiple suicide prevention chats. There are multiple language options available
- Telefonseelsorge Chat: Again, this is an offer by Telefonseelsorge, so you would need to know some German in order to get help here. As you can write in the chat, and have some more time to comprehend what your consultant wrote compared to a talk on the phone, this might also be an option for medium level speakers. You can find more information here
For real crisis moments: the hospital
If you feel like suicidal or close to the breaking point, please take your keys and your phone, and either call an ambulance (phone number 112) or a taxi to take you to the nearest hospital.
They are obliged to take you in and find a solution for you to get through your crisis safely.
They will probably transfer you to the closest psychiatric station, but keep you around until then. They are — under no circumstances — allowed to turn you away.
As hospitals are usually quite big with multiple doctors and nurses on shift, there will most likely be someone among them who speaks English and can assist you.
If there are any resources you’d like to see included in this guide, please let us know by emailing [email protected]