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.

21.02.2019

At first hand

Health starts in people’s everyday lives. The figures for life expectancy in Swiss towns and villages paint a clear picture. Residents of prosperous, primarily urban areas and conglomerations such as Zurich, Bern, Basel and Geneva, and along the country’s lakes, have a good chance of living a long life. In the communities where people are living longest, life expectancy is nearly 83. By contrast, the inhabitants of poorer, generally more rural communities and mountain villages can only expect to reach 78. As these figures show, not everyone in Switzerland has the same chance of living a life that is as long and healthy as possible. more

21.02.2019

Developing a shared understanding of health

It takes more than just health policy to improve the health of the population. This is because many of the factors that influence health lie outside the healthcare system. A comprehensive approach driven by partnership between the FOPH and other federal offices and agencies is essential. Most importantly, all stakeholders need to develop a shared understanding of what health means. more

23.10.2018

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

23.10.2018

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

23.10.2018

“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

04.09.2017

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

30.06.2017

"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

16.05.2016

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

16.05.2016

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

16.05.2016

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