Mental health

Mental health encompasses personal wellbeing, satisfaction, self-confidence and the ability to form and sustain relationships, to cope with everyday life and to work. Mental health is not a state; it is a dynamic process of adaptation to the changing environment.


Communication is an important tool for improving health literacy

The FOPH has set itself the goal of improving health literacy and self-management of chronic disease among the general public. Communication can, at various levels, help achieve this goal. more


At first hand

Communicating credibly. Communication in the healthcare sector covers a wide spectrum of activities, ranging from the doctor-patient conversation to public health prevention campaigns. But one rule is common to all: successful communication relies on the existence of trust. more


“A good relationship with the patient can achieve more than a drug can”

Communication between health professionals and their patients is an important basis for successful treatment. Particularly in the field of health promotion and disease prevention, the right kind of communication can be a decisive factor in bringing about change. Sabina Hunziker, Professor of Medical Communication at Basel’s University Hospital, therefore attaches great importance to the initial and continuing training of professionals. more


Stigma – the "second disease"

Mental health. Stigmatisation is a form of social discrimination. For people with mental disorders, but also for their families, it constitutes an additional burden on top of the existing illness. Persons with addictions are particularly at risk of stigmatisation and are marginalised at several levels. more


"The relatives have a right to be heard."

Interview with Sibylle Glauser. Ms Glauser is President of the Psychiatry Network for Relatives (PNR), the psychologist in charge of the service for counselling relatives at University Psychiatric Services in Berne (UPD AG), and she is a member of the care team of the Canton of Berne, which provides emergency psychological support. Sibylle Glauser talked with spectra about working with relatives in psychiatry and is affected herself – her brother has suffered from schizophrenia for many years. We learned that information from discussions with relatives is important both for the patient and for the relatives, who feel appreciated and relieved as a result. more


At first hand

Anyone who addresses health-related issues soon realises how important mental health is. It plays a crucial role in determining our well-being, whereas mental illnesses can seriously impair our quality of life and, particularly, our relations with the world around us. In recent decades, this awareness has generated a wide range of projects and initiatives in the fields of prevention, health promotion and primary healthcare, but also in education and the work environment. more


Mental health in the context of health policy

Mental health. Mental illness causes a great deal of suffering, both for those directly affected and for their families. If this suffering and the consequential costs for the economy are to be reduced, there needs to be a more active engagement, better coordination of existing activities and improved networking of all players in the field of mental health. more


Combating stigmatisation of mental illness

Projects/action days. Although much more attention has been given to mental illnesses in the last few years, stigma or taboos still attach to conditions such as depression, burnout or psychoses. While the Swiss government lacks a legislative framework for taking preventive action in this field, a large number of NGOs are actively engaged in running campaigns and other activities aimed at preventing, destigmatising and raising awareness of mental illness. Here is a brief overview. more


World Suicide Prevention Day

10 September. On 10 September every year, various organisations around the world remember the people who die by committing suicide. more


Effective early intervention to counter forgetfulness in old age

International dementia symposium. Poor concentration and increasing forgetfulness are early signs of dementia, a disease that can rob a person of the ability to live independently. In early June, some 120 people working in public administration, research and the practical setting met at the first international dementia symposium, hosted by Switzerland, to discuss possible ways in which the health service and society can meet this challenge. more