Psychosocial support and counselling services should be located close to the living environment of those affected, provide low-threshold access and be resource-oriented.



Almost every second person in Switzerland is affected by a mental illness at some point in their life. People with a low socio-economic status suffer disproportionately more from mental impairments and their consequences. Due to the high level of fragmentation and different financing structures in the mental health care system, not all people can benefit equally from existing services. In addition, there is a lack of low-threshold services in Switzerland that reduce rehospitalisations and thus relieve the burden on psychiatric care structures. There is also a lack of peer-supported support and counselling services that have a comparable effect.

Course of action

In a first step, the requirements and needs for a low-threshold and peer-supported counselling service with digital and analogue access will be clarified from the perspective of potential users and health professionals. Based on this, a concept for a peer-supported help and counselling service for people with psychiatric problems will be developed. The digital version uses existing platforms. The analogue version provides socially disadvantaged people with the necessary hardware for internet use free of charge in a specially designed room. The latter is to be embedded in the social space of Bern with low-threshold access (model prototype). By involving future users in the development of services, relevant aspects in connection with a sustainable and resource-saving development of the psychiatric help system will be researched. In addition, the requirements of the user group for the usability and design of low-threshold help and counselling services will be investigated. The project thus provides important insights into the potential and limits of digital technologies as well as analogue solutions in communicating with mentally impaired user groups.