Self-help is more than a circle of chairs
The KORN Self-Help Office at Ulm University Hospital celebrates its 30th anniversary – supporting patients in 250 different groups
Violence, partnership cheating, addiction and addiction, mental and physical illness or grief groups – the topics that self-help groups are dedicated to are multiple. There are more than 250 groups in the Ulm region alone. It's not so easy to find your way between all the deals. This is why the KORN self-help office helps people in crisis situations find people who are affected and afford help offers. KORN stands for KOordinationsstelle Regionales Netzwerk and has been the central contact point for self-help in the Ulm, Neu-Ulm and Alb-Donau-Kreis regions for 30 years.
The nonprofit is closely affiliated with Ulm University Hospital Collaborative Agreement and has been assigned to the Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy Clinic there. Professor Dr. Harald Gündel is the medical director of the clinic and the honorary chairman of the association's board. In Upper Eselsberg, he works door-to-door with a team of self-help offices. "In an age of overburdened health systems, the loneliness of many people and in the face of demographic change, self-help is needed more than ever today," explains Prof. Gundam. "For us as a clinic and for our patients, the collaboration with KORN and its geographical proximity are therefore a great stroke of luck."
Self-help groups bring together people who share a common theme. It can be a physical or mental illness, but also a comparable social life situation, such as the death of a relative or divorce. "Self-help has come into the midst of society in recent decades and has become a recognized part of health care," says Prof. Gundam. Self-help groups cannot replace medical or therapeutic treatment, but complement each other very well. "Because the power of the group can act like a drug."
For the group to be effective, the type of gathering does not matter. The classic chair circle doesn't necessarily do that. It is up to each group to decide how to organize the meetings. "It often works quite informally in a restaurant. Depending on the theme, purpose and composition, each group finds their own style," explains Lydia Ringshandl, who works as a social pedagogue at the KORN Self-help Office at Ulm University Hospital.
Self-help groups fulfill a different function today than they did 30 years ago. "In the early years, the idea of self-determination was the focus. Today, it's about individual support and orientation," says Ringshandl. It is about better establishing a changed life situation, transferring knowledge and helping with decisions. "The group members support one another in taking their own lives actively and taking their own lives," adds Christine Lübbers, director and graduate social worker, who, along with Lydia Ringshandl, advises people seeking help in the self-help office. "People in self-help groups report again and again that they have been able to draw strength, courage and hope into the group and find life joy again, despite a difficult life situation. Often, even lifelong friendships develop in self-help groups," reports Lübbers. self-help is definitely the way to a higher quality of life and joy in life. "
About the KORN self-help office
KORN stands for KOordinationsstelle Regionales Netzwerk and is the central contact point for self-help in the Ulm, Neu-Ulm and Alb-Donau-Kreis regions. The KORN e. V. self-help office has been in existence since 1989. Since 1996, the institution has been registered as an association and recognized as a non-profit organization. KORN for self-help is cross-border and is funded by the Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria Health Insurance Organizations, Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Social Affairs, Ulm, Alb-Donau, Neu-Ulm and Neu-Ulm. Ulm University Hospital provides offices and meeting rooms free of charge to the KORN self-help office. The Honorary Board of the KORN Self-help Bureau consists of Prof. Dr. Honey. Harald Gündel (1st President, Medical Director, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Ulm University Hospital), Prof. Dr. Honey. Dr. Horst Kächele (Vice President, Former Medical Director of the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy), Elisabeth Geyer (Secretary), Karin Elsäßer (Treasurer), and Rita Beranek, Steffie Herzog, and Reinhold Hudak. The Managing Director is Christine Lübbers, B.Sc.-Sozialarbeiterin.
Christine Lübbers and Lydia Ringshandl
Tel .: 07 31/88 03 44 10
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