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A page by the Federal Ministry of Health

Bundesministerium für Gesundheit
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Mental health

Here you can find out how to stay mentally healthy and fit despite contact restrictions and the possible fear of infection during the corona pandemic.

A structured routine can help avoid stressful situations, insecurity and helplessness in everyday life. As far as possible, keep your accustomed working hours an work routines when working at home. Plan activities that you like to do and can consciously enjoy into your daily routine. Maybe you like to watch a good film or enjoy reading or drawing. See that you get enough sleep and regular exercise. Social contacts by video call or phone call can also help structure your routine.

People are currently required to keep social contact involving physical encounters to a minimum. This is especially true for older people with pre-existing medical conditions. Regular telephone calls or use of the Internet can be a good way to communicate with each other and stay in touch. In public spaces, it is important to maintain a safety distance of at least 1.5 metres. The rules differ in some respects from state to state across the country, so please check what rules apply where you live.

Yes, you can exercise outside. Regular exercise in the fresh air also has a positive effect on people’s mental health. As per the decision of 6 May 2020, you are permitted to be in public spaces with the members of your own household and people from one other household. In addition, outside sports and training activities are permitted again in amateur and leisure sports. Some Federal Laender have different rules. Please check which rules apply where you are. In public spaces, you should generally maintain a safety distance of at least 1.5 metres from others.

If you feel mentally overwhelmed or stressed, contact someone you know and trust or use one of the following support and advice services:

The helpline run by the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA): 0800 – 2322783 (Monday-Tuesday from 10am-10pm and Friday-Sunday from 10am-6pm).

Telefonseelsorge (crisis helpline): 0800 111 0 111 or 0800 111 0 222 (round the clock)

Nummer gegen Kummer (helpline for young and old): for children and adolescents: 116 111 (Monday-Saturday from 2-8pm). for parents: 0800 111 0 550 (Monday-Friday from 9-11am, Tuesday and Thursday from 5-7pm)

Berufsverband Deutscher Psychologinnen und Psychologen (Association of German Professional Psychologists (BDP)): BDP-Corona-Hotline: 0800 777 22 44 (daily from 8am-8pm).

HelloBetter-Hotline: 0800 00095 54 (daily from 9-18 Uhr).

Medical and psychotherapy practices are still accessible in principle. If you are receiving psychotherapeutic treatment, your therapy sessions can be continued. Psychotherapy consultations fall under the “essential medical services” which are permitted, just like visits to the doctor. This also applies if you are seeking psychotherapeutic counselling for the first time. Observe the hygiene measures when you visit a practice. If you are not allowed out because your are in quarantine, many practices now offer extended surgery times for phone and video consultation. Ask your therapist or doctor.

Constantly listening to or reading the news can lead to increased levels of stress. Keeping to specific intervals at which you consume the latest news can help to avoid becoming stressed. Be aware of supposed “sensational” or “breaking” news and make sure to check the source by comparing it with reliable sources of information and news. For example, you can check the following websites Federal Ministry of Health, Robert Koch Institute or you can contact the responsible state (Länder) authorities. Refrain from sharing content in social media before you have read and checked/verified the information yourself.