Herford County. Everyone has high and low stages or deaths in their lives. Many go out of their own way. However, sometimes diseases like depression, anxiety disorders or, if stress is too high, burnout. Mental illness is now more common, especially in young adults. The exact number of mental illnesses in Herford County does not currently exist, according to Edwin Stille, head of the Herford County Department of Health Planning and Psychosocial Assistance and Disability. "Health insurance companies, however, report that the number of sick days due to mental illness has increased and, for example, cardiovascular disease has exceeded," says the silence. According to a study by Barmer Health Insurance Company, a report by Barmer Doctors for 2018, in the period 2005 to 2016 alone, the proportion of 18- to 25-year-olds diagnosed with mental health has increased by 38 percent, and among those who are depressed by 76 percent. "We also find that demand for services such as the Herklin Kindergarten in Herford with psychotherapists or doctors has increased," says the department head. Offers in Herford County with a Long Tradition There have been offers in Wittekindkreis since the 1980s to help the mentally ill. Starting with only one psychiatrist for the entire district, the offer has since expanded. "Today, the number of employees in this area has increased a hundredfold," says Stille. In the meantime, various institutions have developed that can help people in many ways. This includes, for example, social psychiatric service with a team from the departments of psychiatry and psychotherapy, psychology, social work and social education and nursing; hospital facilities such as the Herford County Social Psychiatric Rehabilitation Facility or the semi-permanent psychiatric day clinic in Bünde. "All offers are based on a person-centered approach, which means that the help is tailored to the person and their needs. Everyone is different and needs different support." Problems finding housing and staff In addition, there are a number of supervised community housing and services in which the district participates as a sponsor. Contact points such as the Zipper Day Centers in Herford and Kirchlengern are also supported, where people with mental illness receive a regular daily routine or come to eat together. In three workshops, people with disabilities find work. Patient care is good, Stille says. However, he sees future problems in the area. "The housing situation in Herford County is a difficult topic." There is a lack of affordable housing, for example, for inpatient or assisted living communities. "Covering the area is difficult, but at the same time the apartments should not only be greenfield, but ideally located in the city where life is taking place, to prevent marginalization in everyday life," says Stille. Another problem is the growing staff shortage. "Not only in the field of nursing, there are also no prospective physicians for psychiatric facilities," says the silence. The expert is committed to more education. Also, the area of home care for mental illness remains under-resourced and carers lack support. Why are diseases increasing? The reasons for the increase cannot be stated exactly, says Stille: "There are different opinions of experts, some assume that the disease is actually increasing, others think that help is needed faster today because of social changes." However, the number of unreported cases of mental illness is likely to be much higher as Stille refers to the published data of the German Society for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Psychosomatics and Neurology, e.g., Berlin. According to a July 2019 report, about 28 percent of adults in Germany each year suffer from mental illness, which is about 17.8 million people, about 19 percent of whom use assistance every year.