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Mission Statement and Core Values

Our commitment to information, self-help and three-way dialogue.

Our work in the ApK Berlin aims to achieve sustainable improvements in the living conditions both of the relatives and friends of people suffering from mental health conditions and also of the sufferers themselves. We represent the interests of relatives and friends on all levels – individual, social and political – in the awareness that the social network can have a direct influence on the recovery of the sufferers and is of major importance in the care system as a whole. Information, self-help and three way dialogue (between a) the person with experience of psychiatric treatment, b) a family members or friend and c) a person offering psychiatric treatment) are at the centre of our work and contribute to the changes that are currently taking place in the field of mental health. We promote an open, tolerant, respectful and resource-based attitude towards people who are suffering mental distress.

Work with relatives and friends on an equal footing, people supporting each other.

The ApK strengthens the autonomy of relatives and friends, enabling them to access the assistance and rights that they need to cope with challenging situations. First and foremost we support families and friends in finding a constructive way of dealing with their own resources, the person with mental health problems and the psychiatric system surrounding them. Our work with those secondarily affected by mental suffering is on an equal footing, with people supporting each other, and is an effective means of relieving the suffering of all involved. The ApK dissociates itself from the medical understanding of the term ‘mental illness’, in the knowledge that using this terminology leads to stigmatisation and distancing. Instead we promote an increasingly open understanding of phenomena such as psychoses and depression.

Mental suffering in society - we take responsibility.

Mental suffering is by no means a marginal phenomenon – it has come to affect the whole of society and all spheres of life. In Germany alone there are about half a million people who are chronically affected, most of whom are looked after in their families by members of their families or friends. These figures show how important and necessary our work as an association of relatives and friends of people with mental health problems is. We take responsibility – of which our initiatives bear witness. Take for instance the ApK’s Academy for relatives and friends of people with mental health problems and our co-operation with the representatives of the psychiatric care system. We are resolutely politically engaged in and a voting member of the Berlin State Advisory Council on mental health.

The work of the ApK is dependent on the commitment of its volunteer members and is ideologically neutral. We are always happy to hear from people interested in joining us and look forward to having new partners to help represent our concerns and enrich our network.

Do not hesitate to contact us!

Your team at ApK Berlin