Almost every second person suffers from a mental disorder

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NRW Minister of Health: Every second adult becomes mentally ill

Almost every second German citizen becomes mentally ill at least once in a lifetime, reports North Rhine-Westphalia's Minister of Health, Barbara Steffens (Greens), in a recent press release. According to the Minister, an "alarming development" that cannot be stopped by measures in the health system alone.

According to the Minister of Health of North Rhine-Westphalia, the increase in mental illnesses is evident on many levels. For example, "the number of employees who have to retire prematurely due to a mental illness has increased in North Rhine-Westphalia by 70 percent within ten years." The prescription of psychiatric drugs among children and adolescents has also increased significantly across Germany. Consumption is also alarmingly high among the elderly. Here “a broad social debate” is required “how we can generally find a way back to a healthier life,” stressed Steffens.

Acceleration and stress determine life. According to the Minister, the decisive factor for the increase in mental illness is the massive stress to which many Germans are exposed. “Even children have to meet the requirements of the performance society. Instead of having time to experience themselves, some five-year-olds with an early childhood education program are more planned than adults, ”complained Barbara Steffens. Even illnesses would no longer be understood by many as a signal from the body that it needs rest for self-regulation, but treatment should be as quick as possible so that the body can function again in the shortest possible time. "Children can often no longer really cure themselves because their parents have to continue to function in their professional lives, which is usually not so easy with a sick child," reports Steffens. The Minister emphasized that acceleration and stress often determine life today and that psychological well-being is often neglected. "But mental health is an essential prerequisite for quality of life and performance," explained Steffens.

Difficulty in stopping the increase in mental illnesses In view of the significant increase in mental illnesses, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia has decided to invest heavily in care structures and services, but the Minister of Health believes that it is clear that “solely through changes in the health system, we are increasing mental illnesses cannot stop. “Above all, it must be possible to slow down our lives and reduce stress to a healthy level. Alone “almost no one can do this,” explained Steffens, adding: “To do this, we need a broad debate about how we want to live in the future.” (Fp)

Image: Dieter Schütz /

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