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South Africans in Germany

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Mental health support

Moving is a very stressful life event, and moving to a new country is even more so. You leave the familiarity and your support systems behind. Even though it is also a very exciting event, with a lot of distractions, it is very important to find or set up your support structures as soon as possible.
Try to keep in contact with your mental health care professionals in South Africa, at least in the transition period. Most will offer online sessions.
Make sure you have enough medication with you for at least three months before moving to Germany.
As soon as you are settled in, find a mental health care professional in Germany. Waiting times can be very long so the sooner you find someone the better. We do have medical professionals, with a South African background, see the links below.
Make sure you get your medication prescriptions as soon as possible.
If you have questions about the medication available in Germany, we have a Contact a Pharmacist service on our website, where you can send you questions to a South African Pharmacist working in Germany

Finding a doctor can be a challenge especially if you are looking for an English-speaking doctor. The following websites can help in your search. We suggest you contact every practice close to you and see where you can get the earliest appointment.

  • Jameda 
  • Med kolleg
  • Doctolib – can also book your appointment here
  • Therapyroute – Find Psychotherapists, Counsellors, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Psychoanalysts, and Mental Health Clinics, etc. near you.
  • Therapie.de – Search by location and language

Getting an appointment/help faster

If you are on public medical aid in Germany, you may face long waiting times. This is because a practice must pay large sums to get a “Kassensitz” license to be allowed to bill the public health system. It is easier to get an appointment when you are on a private medical aid.

Some suggestions on how to get an appointment faster:

  • Go to your house doctor (Hausartz) and get a referral to a specialist (Facharzt)
  • Ask that he adds a “Dringlichkeitscode” 
  • Call 116117, they will ask for this code to organise an appointment with a specialist. You can also do it online 
  • When you use this service you cannot choose the specialist
 

Where to find help

Listed on our website

Apps

  • Sanvello On-demand help for stress, anxiety and depression
  • Wysa – Everyday Mental Health

Tips

  • Chat with friends and family at least twice a week, make fixed appointments if needed
  • Deep breathing techniques
  • Colouring in
  • Have a gratitude list
  • Have a list of things you can do that cheer you up and take your mind off things
  • Exercise is excellent to help fight depression and anxiety.
  • Get out in nature as often as possible
  • Sunshine
  • If you are so inclined, religious support groups and prayer

Resources on the web

Vocabulary

Downloadable file with English and German Terms –   Mental health

South African Communities

Church Groups American Protestant Church in Bonn – from August they will have an Afrikaans speaking pastor, Ds Mario Weyers. If you would like more

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Emergency Contacts

The following numbers can be dialled in an emergency, either from a landline or mobile phone. 112The national emergency number. This can be used for

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