Mental Health Field of Action

The Mental Health Field of Action creates a public for the commitment in this field, appreciates it, networks committed people with each other, uncovers cross-cutting issues, and develops them further.

"It is the encounters with people that make life worth living," a famous 19th-century French writer once wrote. At the time, he had already summed up what we all feel very clearly in the course of the pandemic: as humans, we are social beings. We need togetherness, long for exchange and closeness. In times of Corona, encounters take place less frequently, or they increasingly shift to the digital space. The first lockdown in the spring of 2020 has already shown that the absence of people and isolation endangers mental health. Those who live alone, have little mobility, or are dependent on outside help are particularly affected. That includes many senior citizens, who become increasingly lonely even during the regular times. One thing can help a lot, just pick up the phone and call someone; for example, the German telephone counselling service, which employs around 7,500 volunteers. Whether it's grief, loneliness, depression, illness, grief, or anger - they listen.

© Jon Flobrant (Unsplash)

Especially in the field of voluntary commitment, people support others in life crises or accompany them in difficult situations. It is good that mental health has moved more up the agenda and has become a permanent topic in the media. But it needs more than that. That's why we're taking a closer look at what's happening in this area in our first Mental Health Field of Action, which launches in March. We are creating publicity that can demonstrate the work in this field and can recruit new committed people. We want to say thank you to the volunteers for their daily commitment, honor their work and bring them together with others.

The mutual exchange of experience and knowledge between volunteers from the area of counselling and learning from each other plays a crucial role in this. What is the situation, for example, in the area of inclusion in telephone counselling? What are the actions helping people with disabilities better integrate into the voluntary activities of telephone counselling? What if committed people with severe disabilities, inclusion stakeholders, and other interested parties from the field of commitment could get together and simply have space to talk about this and other topics? After all, there are many common intersections. Berlin is diverse, so there's also cultural diversity in telephone counselling. But how exactly is diversity represented there?

And to make sure that we don't lose the thread in our excitement about the togetherness of so many great people, we bring in cross-sectional categories such as Europe, democracy, and digitisation and, as is our way, ask lots of curious questions. Because if you can't ask questions, you can't learn, and we want to learn. For each field of action, there is a partner organisation for implementation. Other interested parties will be involved. Together we develop different formats of exchange and networking. For the field of action Mental Health, our main partner is the Diakonisches Werk Berlin-Brandenburg-Schlesische Oberlausitz (DWBO) e.V.

The first field of action was launched on March 4, 2021. With this online event, the Diakonisches Werk Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz wanted to educate people about the topic of mental health, highlight the wide range of help available, network those who help, encourage exchange and open up new perspectives. The lectures, discussions and workshops were aimed at multipliers, volunteers and all other interested parties. Here is the magazine article on the launch event of the Mental Health Action Field.

The next event will take place on September 15: Volunteers NETWORKED Online - Inclusive Volunteering.
How are our institutions positioned when refugees, people with little knowledge of German or people with visible and invisible disabilities want to volunteer? What works well and where is the problem?
We have invited volunteers to share their experiences. In conversation, we want to exchange ideas, benefit from each other's experiences and think together about how things could be even better.
More information about the event is available here: Freiwillig VERNETZT online - Inklusives Ehrenamt.


The Diakonische Werk Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz

The Diakonisches Werk Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz is a non-statutorywelfare association that represents the social, educational and health services of theProtestant churches in Berlin and Brandenburg, is committed to participation and diversityand works for disadvantaged and excluded people in the spirit of charity. The associationrepresents around 400 independent diaconal organizations with more than 1,300 facilitiesand 52,000 employees.


Diakonisches Werk Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz (DWBO) e.V.

Verena Götze
Press Officer and Head of Public Relations


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