Even more underrated: The great need to make up for the care of the mentally ill in Austria 2

Even more underrated: The great need to make up for the care of the mentally ill in Austria

"Mental illnesses are calm, they are seen too little and are still underestimated," experts say.

08.12 Sat, 09 Oct 2019

Great need to make up for the care of the mentally ill in Austria
Great need to make up for the care of the mentally ill in Austria © GVS – stock.adobe.com

1.2 million Austrians are affected by a mental illness. However, much needs to be done for these people, criticized the Berufsverband Österreichischer PsychologInnen (BÖP) at a news conference in Vienna on Tuesday. Wanted u.a. sufficient places for treatment as well as clinical-psychological treatment as health insurance.

"Mental illness is calm, seen too little and still underestimated"BÖP President Beate Wimmer-Puchinger said knowledge in the population is still too low – it's a shame to talk about it, but it's even bigger: showing weaknesses in society is not the most common cause Illnesses include early traumatization, severe physical illness, life crises and relationships, physical or mental violence.

12 billion euros a year

Not only suffering, but the economic costs are enormous: they open every year twelve billion euros estimate. Mental illness accounts for two-thirds of all early retirement (53 percent for women, 31 percent for men), and depression and anxiety disorders are particularly common.

The need for better care, Wimmer-Puchinger is convinced. The corresponding petition already has more than 8000 signatories. Supply shortages are particularly affected by low-income people. "There are a lot of well-trained psychologists out there, but the population can't afford it because it's not a cash benefit," said Andrea Birbaumer of the Society of Critical Psychologists. "Mental illness is a new trap of poverty."

"Is it a social issue"

"It's a social issue: who can afford it will find a place to do it," said Johannes Wancata, president of the Austrian Society for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. Others have to wait: about three to four months at the psychiatric box office these days. In addition, he was threatened by a shortage of psychiatrists, as the loss due to retirement is not offset by younger colleagues, so Wancata.

Increase alert

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also warned of an increase in mental illness. Alone with the world of work with constant accessibility and increased responsibility, it increases risk, Birbaumer said. But for example, combustion is legitimized only in a very specific spectrum. "Clarification is still needed in Austria."

>> Petition for Better Care for People with Mental Illness in Austria

More deaths through suicide

Three times more people die from suicide than car accidents. According to the Austrian Psychotherapy Association on Tuesday, suicide is the second most common cause of death in Austria after cancer. The association called for reinforcement of preventive measures for suicide threats on World Mental Health Day on October 10.

In 2017, therefore, he died in Austria Sam24 suicide, almost three times more than in traffic. "Suicide can be prevented if more preventative measures are promoted," said ÖBVP President Peter Stippl, the statement said.

Long waiting times for a limited number of cash registers are for mentally ill persons in need of emergency care, ÖBVP is an unacceptable situation. The more time passes, the greater the potential risk of suicide or the more difficult it is to be successful in completing therapy. This also applies to subsequent treatment for attempted suicide.