Journal of Public Health

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 359–364

Self-help groups for psychiatric and psychosomatic disorders in Germany—themes, frequency and support by self-help advice centres

  • Friedhelm Meyer
  • Jürgen Matzat
  • Anke Höflich
  • Sigrid Scholz
  • Manfred E. Beutel
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10389-004-0071-0

Cite this article as:
Meyer, F., Matzat, J., Höflich, A. et al. J Public Health (2004) 12: 359. doi:10.1007/s10389-004-0071-0

Abstract

Self-help groups have found increasing recognition by health professionals in recent years. However, considerable research deficits remain, particularly regarding self-help groups for persons with psychiatric and psychosomatic disorders. We present a survey on the dissemination and differentiation of such groups in Germany and their support by self-help advice centres. Most likely, more than 5,000 of these groups exist covering a broad range of psychiatric disorders, particularly groups for families and partners, bereavement, anxiety disorders, depression, and eating disorders. These groups are supported by self-help advice centres in various ways from information to group counselling in difficult periods. The results of the survey encourage further in depth study of self-help groups, their cooperation with psychotherapists, and their health promoting potentials.

Keywords

Self-help groupsPsychiatric and psychosomatic disordersCare system

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Friedhelm Meyer
    • 1
  • Jürgen Matzat
    • 2
  • Anke Höflich
    • 1
  • Sigrid Scholz
    • 1
  • Manfred E. Beutel
    • 1
  1. 1.Klinik für Psychosomatik und PsychotherapieFriedrichstrasse 28GießenGermany
  2. 2.Kontaktstelle für SelbsthilfegruppenFriedrichstrasse 33GießenGermany