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 many 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.
- Med kolleg
- Doctolib – can also book your appointment here
- Therapyroute – Find Psychotherapists, Counsellors, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Psychoanalysts, 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 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
- Telefonseelsorge Hotline
- Germany Suicide Hotline 0 800 181 0771
- TelefonSeelsorge Berlin und Brandenburg
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Suizidprävention
- Search for Zentrum für Psychiatrie
- Expat Therapist in Germany
- Instahelp – Psychologische Beratung Online
- TeleClinic online Arzt
- Trova Health – A digital health and wellness company created specifically for expats, providing mental health and remote care services worldwide.
Listed on our website
Leigh-Ann Roode Psychologist
Leigh-Ann Roode is a Counselling Psychologist trained in South Africa who provides mainly online therapy to the ex-pat community Supportive Online Counselling from the Netherlands
Gary Firer Psychotherapist / Psychotherapeut
There is no path that doesn’t eventually lead home. Approach In my consultations and therapies, I will deal intensively with your feelings, needs, and your
- 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
- If you are so inclined, religious support groups and prayer
Support from fellow South Africans
- Ladies Table – South African Ladies in Germany Facebook Group
- We have a support group on our website, you need to be a member to use it, membership is free
Ask a Pharmacist
A qualified pharmacist offered to assist in trying to answer questions regarding substitute suggestions for South African pharmaceutical products.Very important – always refer to your
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
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
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Surviving winter in Germany. How to deal with Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or feeling blue during the winter months.
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