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Psyche in need

The long wait for therapy


ZDFzoom, 2021, 30 minutes

Mental disorders are common: Every year, around 28 percent of adults are affected. The most common illnesses are anxiety disorders, affective disorders such as depression and disorders caused by alcohol and drug consumption. Even before the pandemic, mental disorders were the second most common reason for days of absence in Germany. In 2019, they caused economic costs of 14.4 billion euros due to lost production. At just under 42 per cent, they were the main reason for reduced earning capacity pensions in 2019.

More and more people are seeking help for mental health problems. But they often have to wait a long time for therapy. In 2018, the waiting time for a therapy place was around 20 weeks. There is a lack of psychotherapists with a registered office, complain advocates and patients. ZDFzoom asks: Why do those affected have to wait so long?

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