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General considerations:
It is OK not to be OK! Experiencing mood fluctuations and overwhelming feelings in these times is normal for everybody. No-one can constantly maintain a good mood and top productivity, especially during a pandemic.

Although we recognize mood variations are normal, it's important to be aware of how often you experience “lows”, and how much they affect you and your life (not just work- e.g. relationships). If these feelings have a troubling or lasting negative impact, there are a few ways to get help.

Option 1:
Reach out to colleagues, peers or friends for support. Sometimes, just talking to a friend or someone in your support network can go a long way, and help you realize that you are not the only one feeling this way. This also helps to build mutual trust and support.

Option 2:
If it feels like you can’t cope by yourself for a sustained period, specialized services or professionals can help you deal with ongoing issues. They can also equip you with tools or support for daily challenges. This could be in shape of a counsellor from your institution, a therapist you visit regularly, or even the social psychiatric service of Berlin for moments of crisis. Many of these options are free or paid by health insurance and are available in multiple languages.


Many institutions offer free counselling services for staff and students. Scheduling a session with a professional can help you identify your current needs and decide how to move forward:

The social psychiatric service of Berlin (Sozialpsychiatrische Dienste) offers support in all districts of Berlin from Monday to Friday, 08:00 – 16:00. Find the closest center to you!

Berlin Krisendienst offers phone support 24/7. You can also visit their centers without an appointment on weekdays from 16:00 – 24:00 and during weekends and holidays from 08:00 – 16:00. Find the closest center to you!

Scholar Minds, an ECR-run group working to improve mental health for researchers, has produced a great step-by-step guide on where to find help, and what to expect when seeking out psychotherapy or self-help groups in Berlin.

If you feel that you are in immediate danger of harming yourself or others, please call 112 or visit the nearest emergency department.