Nobody More – Neukölln Psychiatrists Call for Help

By Birgit Buerkner

They should help people in acute, exceptional psychological situations, but that is no longer possible.

Call for help from the Social Psychiatric Service (SpD) in Neukölln: “We can’t help anymore!”

The doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers make a dramatic appeal to district mayor Martin Hikel (36, SPD) and the Neukölln district office.

The sad background: Health Councilor Mirjam Blumenthal (50, SPD) had to grant a CDU request in the district parliament last week: the emergency and crisis service is now closed.

Blumenthal admitted that the department head, a specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy, and another six psychologists and social workers resigned from the Neukölln SpD alone. One of the triggers for the mass exodus from office is the alderman’s controversial leadership style.

Christian Pragst (31), a psychological psychotherapist, is one of those who resigned: “Maybe you can’t accuse Ms. Blumenthal of not having expertise, but you can accuse her of not taking professional advice,” he says. “The fact that the crisis service can no longer work is tragic for the mentally ill, including suicidal people, and their relatives. They no longer receive the help they need.”

Anyone in psychological distress who socio-psychiatric Calls the emergency service number, only hears a message on the tape and is referred to the police and fire brigade.

The psychiatrists and psychologists describe the situation in drastic terms in their request for help. Literal:

“Someone soon wants to kill his father with an axe. Another no longer wears clothes, lives in a different reality, misjudges people and situations, occasionally panics and threatens passers-by. Who cares, points the way to it complex help system?Who judges whether someone is a danger to himself or to others, i.e. whether he has to go to the clinic against his will?”

Until now, the employees of the SpD have been in favor of it. But now “…there has been an unprecedented dramatic escalation in the department’s impending inability to act,” the appeal continues.

And the experts warn: “It is mainly those affected who suffer.”

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