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South Africans in Germany

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Mental health support

Moving can be such an exciting experience, but leaving your familiar surroundings and support networks behind can also be quite unnerving and stressful.
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, listed on our website. See the links below.
Make sure you get your medication prescriptions as soon as possible.
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. 

  • Jameda 
  • 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

We suggest you contact every practice close to you and see where you can get the earliest appointment.
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

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 doctor or pharmacist before taking medicationThe Admin team of this website are not medical professionals and cannot give any medical advice.   Please do not misuse this service. The admin of the South Africans in Germany website will be able to read your submissions, so please do not add too many personal or private details. Answers will be sent back to us and not to you directly. We will then forward it back to you. We would

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

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

Apps

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

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
  • We have a Whatsapp group that you can join. To join the Whatsapp group please see the links on our Facebook page, or you can contact us via email

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

Vocabulary

Downloadable file with English and German Terms –   Mental health

Electronic Prescriptions (E-Rezept)

Germany has implemented a new system for electronic prescriptions as part of their efforts to modernize their healthcare system. The electronic prescription system, also known as e-prescription, allows doctors to send prescriptions directly to pharmacies through a secure digital platform.

Visiting a doctor

When I first came to Germany, I was fortunate to still frequently travel back to SA, so I did all my check-ups there and tried

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