Depression is one of the most common and, in terms of its severity, most underestimated illnesses. In Germany one out of five people suffer from depression at least once in their lives. In total, currently approx. four million people in this country are suffering from depression that requires treatment, of which, however, only the minority receive the optimum therapy. The reasons for this are varied: a lack of hope, shame, anxiousness, the trivialization of symptoms in combination with not having the motivation to get help on the part of the patients – as well as diagnostic and therapeutic deficits and care deficits on the part of the health system and a general underestimation of the severity and stigmatization of the illness.
Deutsche Bahn Stiftung (Deutsche Bahn Foundation)
The Deutsche Bahn Foundation was established in 2013 in order to pool and further develop the charitable commitment of DB AG. In addition to its wide-ranging involvement in the sectors of integration and welfare, education and culture, climate, conservation and catastrophe aid, the foundation also promotes the Stiftung Deutsche Depressionshilfe (German Depression Foundation).
The Deutsche Bahn Foundation is the first corporate foundation dedicated to the subject of depression and mental health.
Stiftung Deutsche Depressionshilfe (German Depression Foundation)
The German Depression Foundation (or SDD for short) is a non-profit organization, whose aim is to improve the situation of people suffering from depression. The focus of the foundation’s work is on national and community-based regional programs with the goal of improving the care of those with depression as well as suicide prevention, the training of doctors and medical professionals, empowering people to help themselves and developing healthcare-related research. With financial support from the Deutsche Bahn Foundation, in 2014 the SDD is developing the “Forschungszentrum Depression” (Depression Research Center), which deals with topics that are directly or indirectly important for the improved care of patients with depressive disorders as an independent non-pharmaceutical body.
European Depression Day
“European Depression Day” has been taking place throughout Europe since 1994. Its aim is to improve people’s knowledge of depression as a widespread illness and thereby also improve the possibility of early diagnosis. Awareness-raising events and campaigns also aim to help bring sufferers out of their emotional and social isolation, to help relatives and friends develop a greater understanding of the illness and break down society’s fears and the associated stigmatization of those affected.
Depression is an illness like many others. On the one hand, society often dismisses it as an anxiety disorder, and on the other as an “emotional” illness or a “modern” illness with ideological and metaphysical connotations. There is a great need for factual information. The aim is to highlight the topic of “depression” as an illness that can happen to anyone and should not be seen as a personal failure. This should be linked with the positive message that the illness can be treated. With more knowledge about the illness and the possible therapy options, a lot of people can be spared a great deal of suffering.