‘Crazy is human’ Hamburg

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‘Crazy is human’ Hamburg

Translational mental health strategy

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Irre menschlich e.V.
public anti-stigma-work, sensitisation for individuals with lived experience

History and background of Irre menschlich e.V.

Irre menschlich e.V. was founded in 1999 and is based on the Trialogue psychosis-seminars, initiated 1989 at the UKE by Dorothea Buck and Prof. Dr. Thomas Bock.

Trialogue is based on interchange of viewpoints and ideas at eye-level between individuals with lived experience such as psychosis, carers/ family members, and healthcare professionals with an attitude of openness and equality.

Since its first establishment, this concept has had strong national and international resonance – in Germany alone, there are now more than 100 psychosis seminars based on the Trialogical idea.

Postulates of Irre menschlich e.V.

mental illness…

  • …is common and can affect anyone
  • …is experienced differently by each individual and his or her social network
  • …is an expression of/ reaction to adversity
  • …affects several areas of life
  • …means being a highly sensitive individual
  • …affect perception, emotionality, and thinking
  • …has ‘scary’ labels, such as ‘psychosis’, ‘schizophrenia’, ‘depression’, ‘neurosis’


Prof. Dr. Thomas Bock
Founder of Irre menschlich e.V. from the UKE

Dorothea Buck (5 April 1917 – 9 October 2019). Writer and sculptor, diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 19, Nazi victim and survivor; advocate for a reform for individuals with mental illness in psychiatry, founder of the national service user organisation

Outreach and Impact of Irre menschlich e.V.

The association has launched and successfully conducted more than 1.000 projects to sensitise and promote tolerance for individuals with lived experience in schools, public institutions (police, universities, health service sector). Irre menschlich e.V. regularly launches cultural projects such as media campaigns, public and cultural events (movies, theatre, lectures, open discussions) to further sensitise the public, fostering tolerance, as well as anti-stigma and resource-orientation attitudes. Irre menschlich e.V. offers regular, open lectures, such as ‘Anthropological Psychiatry’, led by Prof. Dr. Thomas Bock, Dr. Candelaria Mahlke, and by individuals with lived experience.