The latest articles on "spectra online"


The course is set for the new addiction strategy

Addiction policy. Since time immemorial, mankind has consumed psychoactive substances, and what a society considers to be an addiction is continually being renegotiated. Besides substances such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs and medication, there are also new substances such as neuroenhancers, whereas opiates (which had long been prominent in addiction services and policies) have recently become less prominent in Switzerland. In the 1980s and 1990s, answers had to be found to the plight of the open drug scenes. Nowadays, thanks to substituent treatment and harm reduction programmes, the heroin problem has somewhat faded into the background. The massive increase in opioid use in the United States, however, illustrates that ongoing monitoring of such developments remains vital. Besides the lingering problems that occur as a result of high-risk alcohol and tobacco consumption, this also means addressing newer manifestations of dependencies that are unrelated to substances. The National Strategy on Addiction which was launched this year takes on the entire spectrum of dependency and addiction, spanning all types of substances and other kinds of addiction. The strategy views addiction as a comprehensive phenomenon that is affected by interacting biological, psychological and socioeconomic aspects and is also dependent on current consumer trends and cultural behaviours. Together with the NCD Strategy, (1) it replaces the National Prevention Programmes on Alcohol and Tobacco as well as the Package of Drug-Related Measures from 2017 on. more


Stigma – the "second disease"

Mental health. Stigmatisation is a form of social discrimination. For people with mental disorders, but also for their families, it constitutes an additional burden on top of the existing illness. Persons with addictions are particularly at risk of stigmatisation and are marginalised at several levels. more


Improving health and quality of life at every stage of life

Addiction in old age. Older persons are an important target group of the National Strategy on Addiction and the National Strategy for the Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases (NCD). Their relevance is further underscored by demographic ageing: according to the Federal Statistical Office, the number of people over 65 will almost double by 2045. These prospects illustrate the importance of health promotion measures that will contribute towards longer-lasting autonomy and relieve health systems. more


The federal government supports caregiving relatives

Caregiving relatives. The Swiss population is getting older, and there is an increasing shortage of skilled carers in the labour market. This affects the need for nursing staff as well as the willingness of relatives to take on caregiving and nursing responsibilities for their family members. There are many reasons for this. As the level of education in Switzerland increases, fewer and fewer employees are prepared to take on unpaid care and nursing tasks. Other factors include changed family structures, the increasing number of single-person households and the higher spatial distance between family members, which make these tasks more demanding. The "Relief programme for caregiving relatives" is designed to make it easier for family members to provide home care or nursing without significant loss of income or an irreparable reduction in your pension. more


At first hand

Editorial. When a child, a life partner or a parent falls ill, relatives are often the first to provide support. These caregiving and nursing tasks can be demanding and time-consuming, but they are still taken for granted – even though they reduce the services required from the healthcare system. more


The new Palliative Care platform supports the relatives of people who are severely or terminally ill

Palliative Care. Relatives play an important role in the care and support of patients who are severely ill or dying. It is therefore vital that they are supported in this challenging responsibility. With its new Palliative Care platform, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) publicises and supports services that assist relatives in this situation. more


A vaccination protects those close to you

Protection with vaccination. To have yourself vaccinated against an infectious disease not only protects you – it also protects those close to you, and helps to protect the whole population. more


"The relatives have a right to be heard."

Interview with Sibylle Glauser. Ms Glauser is President of the Psychiatry Network for Relatives (PNR), the psychologist in charge of the service for counselling relatives at University Psychiatric Services in Berne (UPD AG), and she is a member of the care team of the Canton of Berne, which provides emergency psychological support. Sibylle Glauser talked with spectra about working with relatives in psychiatry and is affected herself – her brother has suffered from schizophrenia for many years. We learned that information from discussions with relatives is important both for the patient and for the relatives, who feel appreciated and relieved as a result. more


Information for migrants, their relatives and other interested persons and institutions

Information. In Switzerland, numerous publications address migrants to inform them on health issues in their mother tongue. Owing to the various language and structural barriers they face, access to preventive medicine and healthcare is difficult for many of them. The internet site is an important source for health guides translated in various languages of the migrant population. more


Information platform sheds light on female genital cutting

Female genital cutting. In Switzerland, around 14,700 women and girls are affected by or threatened with female genital cutting (FGM/C). For the first time, a nationwide Swiss platform is providing key information for those affected and also for professionals, thereby helping to prevent this practice. The Federal Office of Public Health FOPH is supporting this important matter since 2003. more