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Mental Health Resources

Not Feeling Okay?
Mental Health Resources for Students at the University of Cologne


Please be aware: In case of an acute crisis, you can always go to the nearest hospital and seek help there!

Student life can at times be challenging, especially for international students. Mental health challenges can present a big obstacle to your access to and success at university. Fortunately, the University of Cologne offers a variety of resources for students whose mental health impacts their studies.

If you struggle with stress, feelings of uncertainty, or think it might help to talk to someone, please make use of the following resources:

Counseling is available for students at the University of Cologne. Please take a look at this website (available in German and English) where you can find answers to frequently asked questions and also make an appointment with a professional mental health counselor (via ILIAS):

In particular, Katharina Ortmanns and Jacqueline Schirmer offer psychological counseling in English for students. Should you be in need of counseling for a chronic illness and/or disability, Frieder Schumann from the Service Center Inclusion offers English-language counseling.

The nightline Cologne is a student-staffed phone helpline available during the semester. On Thursdays from 9pm through midnight, English-speaking volunteers are available and willing to listen or talk through whatever troubles you. The free phone number is 0800 / 470 3500.

There is a list of resources compiled by the city of Cologne (available in 15 languages):

If you would like to see a licensed psychotherapist on a regular basis, you can check out the webpage of the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung (public/statutory health insurance) (only available in German) or use their online scheduler (German).

You can further call the free service hotline 116 117 to schedule an appointment for a “Psychotherapeutische Sprechstunde” (psychotherapeutic consultation) or an “Erstgespräch” (initial meeting) with a psychotherapist. Importantly, up to four initial sessions with a licensed psychotherapist are covered by German public health insurance companies (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung/GKV) in order to ensure that the therapist is a good fit.

You can search for a therapist on this webpage dedicated to providing access to therapy in Germany (webpage in German):

Additionally, they have compiled resources for migrants and refugees in search of culturally sensitive counseling (available in German):

Although many therapists might not have the capacity to see new patients on a regular basis, a first meeting will be a good start. The therapist might help you to get an idea of what kind of therapy could be helpful for you and may be able to refer you to colleagues who are available.


If you survived sexual harassment, (attempted) sexual assault or rape, or domestic or intimate partner violence, you can always call 116 016 – a confidential helpline available in 18 languages that helps victims and survivors in Germany. This helpline is completely free and available 24/7.