Mental health support: Does Germany have the answer?


In my last article, I talked about how Jillian is working hard to get “Verbeamtung for her future career, which can only be achieved if the person passes multiple tests and standards to what Germany defines as “healthy”.

Jillian was born in Heidelberg, Germany, but only because her mother flew from Africa to give birth to her at a German hospital. As soon as she was born, they moved back to Africa for three years. Their next stop was Bavaria for another three years, then her family finally settled down in the town of Schleswig, Germany right next to the Danish border.

After all of her travels, Jillian has gained a better perspective on people, she’s better at adapting to different situations, and she knows where she wants to go in life. Still, she struggles with everyday things that any college student would struggle with regardless of the country they are living in.

“…she couldn’t have any type of counseling on her record because it would make her seem mentally unstable…”

During my conversation with Jillian, she told me that she couldn’t have any type of counseling on her record because it would make her seem mentally unstable and unable to get Verbeamtung. “I wasn’t done with therapy, but I quit,” Jillian said about counseling sessions she was receiving for anxiety two years ago. Now, she only has three more years of achieving this “healthiness”.

“I can’t turn back and delete it,” Jillian said about her counseling sessions. She feels bad about getting them because it means she has that much longer to get Verbeamtung.

However, not every career offers Verbeamtung. The only careers that do are academic based, which Jillian’s friend is not looking for after she graduates from their university. Jillian said, “My flatmate (roommate) has depression and gets the help she needs because German universities offer psychological support.”
There are two therapies that German psychologists focus on. One therapy tries to find the reason as to why you’re having whatever mental issues. They focus on your past, trying to find the root cause of the issue.
The other type of therapy focuses more on practicing different ways to handle your issues. Jillian said this is the type of therapy she was having, “They asked about my past maybe once. Other than that, we focused on how I can handle being anxious in different situations.”
“If I had Verbeamtung I might do therapy again,” Jillian said. But leading up to getting it, she just can’t have it on her record.

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