Counselling and support on-site
Are you looking for individual counselling and support in your area? Then this page is exactly what you've been looking for: With our search engine, you can easily find free counselling centres, language cafés and other offers nearby.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, almost all counselling centres closed down throughout Germany. You can still reach many of these centres by phone or email. Under the sections "Where can I find help?" and "Help for special target groups" you will find several direct links to counselling centres' websites where you can find help with various problems.
We currently offer information regarding the following cities ®ions: Aachen, Berlin, Bielefeld, Bochum,Braunschweig, Chemnitz, Dortmund, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt am Main, Halle an der Saale, Hamburg, Hannover, Kiel, Köln, Leipzig, München, Nürnberg, Offenbach, Oldenburg, Recklinghausen, Saarbrücken, Schweinfurt, Stuttgart, Wiesbaden, Wuppertal.
There are also similar search engines available for the following cities:
Your city/region is not included? Below you will find counselling centres, hotlines and online offers you can access from all over Germany.
- All the counselling centres mentioned above are non-governmental. The employees do not work for the state and do not pass on any information to authorities.
- All the counselling centres mentioned provide their service free of charge. You do not have to pay to seek advice or support. In some cases, the call itself is also free. In other cases, you will have to pay the usual telephone charges.
Where can I find help?
Do you have questions regarding education, work, learning German or, in general, life in Germany? Migration Counselling Centres help you with all questions and issues concerning your life in Germany, e.g. work, accommodation, family, health, learning German and residence permit. On bamf.de, you can search for a Migration Counselling Center in your area. The staff there speak many languages, and the service is free and independent, which means the staff there are not BAMF employees. If you are under 27 years old, you can seek help from a Youth Migration Service nearby. The staff at the Youth Migration Service counselling centres specialise in issues concerning teenagers and young adults.
The Migration Counselling Centres in the states of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia also provide counselling via an application called mbeon. On mbeon, you can ask questions and seek advice regarding jobs and employment, learning German, family, health, accommodation and residence permits. The app is available in German, English, Arabic and Russian. You can also ask your questions in these languages as well as many others.
- Do you have questions about the asylum procedure or face a problem regarding your residence permit? You can find help at Pro Asyl. You can reach their staff every week from Monday to Friday (10:00-12:00 and 14:00-16:00) on the phone at 069-24231472 or via e-mail (email@example.com). The staff there speak mainly English and German, and can also recommend a counselling centre or a lawyer in your area for further support. Their service is free of charge, so you only have to pay for the regular call charges.
- Are you looking for a skilled lawyer or a counselling centre? On the website of the National Refugee Council, you can search for a Refugee Council office in your area. The Refugee Council can provide you with specialised counselling centres or lawyers. Their service is free of charge.
- Do you have questions about family reunification or face difficulties in this regard? The IOM staff can help you. You can reach the team by calling 0151 - 17660442 or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The staff speak German and English, and the service is free. You only have to pay the regular call charges. Your family can also contact the Family Support Centres of IOM in Beirut, Amman, Erbil and Istanbul. The addresses of these Family Support Centres are available on IOM's website. In addition, the DRK Search Service provides counselling and support for family reunification. Their staff speak German, English, Arabic and Tigrynia. You can reach them on the phone at 040 - 43202176, 040 - 43202221 and 040 - 43202202 as well as per email (email@example.com).
Recognition of foreign professional qualifications
- Would you like to have your vocational certificates recognised in Germany? Do you have any questions in this regard? IQ-Netzwerk (Integration through Qualification) can provide you with advice on the subject. The staff there support you during the recognition process and also for further qualifications you may want to obtain. Search for an IQ-Netzwerk Counselling Centre in your area online and check beforehand which languages the staff speak. You can seek advice from them in person, via phone or per e-mail. Their services are free.
- Do you have questions about the recognition of vocational qualifications in Germany? You can seek help from the IHK Fosa. If necessary, the staff can also introduce you to an IHK office in your area. You can reach their team from Monday to Thursday (9:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 17:00) and on Friday (9:00 to 14:00) at 0911-815060. You can also e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their staff, however, speak only German. Their advice is free; so you just have to pay the regular call charges.
If you have problems with your employer, you can turn to one of the advice centres of Fair Integration project. The staff speak different languages and support you free of charge when you face challenges in the workplace. You can find a counselling centre nearby at faire-integration.de. Their staff can also recommend a lawyer if you want to take legal action against your employer.
University Education & vocational training
You like to study or do vocational training in Germany, but you are not sure where to start? On Make it German's website, you can seek advice on the education-related issues online. The staff there are university students themselves and speak German and Arabic. In order to be able to ask a question, you have to register using a form on makeitgerman.com. The advice is free of charge.
- Are you looking for books or learning materials to improve your German proficiency? One way is to try and find a public library in your area. There you can register and borrow books and other media. In many libraries, there are numerous learning materials and also special opportunities for refugees to improve their German skills. To learn more, check library offers for refugees and asylum seekers.
- Are you looking for a German class or Integration Course nearby? At Kursnet you can search for a German class, integration courses, German vocational courses and alike in your area. On bamf.de, you can search for an Integration Course nearby.
- If you cannot attend an integration or vocational German language course, visit our chapter "Learning German" where you can find various links to free learning materials and search for language cafés nearby.
Do you need support in dealing with a mental health problem? At ipso-care you can seek help, anonymously and free of charge, from experienced counsellors online, in case you suffer from mental health problems or traumas or are experiencing a personal crisis. The staff speak German, English, French, Turkish, Russian, Ukrainian, Somali, Italian, Farsi, Dari, Arabic, Tigrinja, Pashto and Burmese. You need to fill this form to register for the consultation. The service is free of charge.
On the website of the "Nationwide Association of Psychosocial Centres for Refugees and Torture Victims," you will find a list of all psychosocial support centres available for refugees and victims of torture in Germany. You can search for a centre nearby and contact them directly.
On the Refugee Trauma Help’s website, you will find plenty of information and support for refugees with mental health problems. The information and exercises are available in many languages.
There is also almhar.org- a free App for refugees with mental health problems who are looking for help. The app provides support for the most common mental health issues and gives you some initial tips on how to deal with your difficulties- it is available in English, Arabic and Farsi.
Are you suffering from excessive alcohol consumption, drug abuse or gambling? Or does a relative or friend of yours have problems regarding addiction? You can call 089-282822 at any time to anonymously speak with an addiction and drug counsellor and share your concerns or ask your questions. The staff speak German, English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish, and the service is free of charge- i.e. you only have to pay the regular call charges.
Have you recently experienced discrimination due to your origins, nationality or sexual orientation, gender or age? You can seek advice from the Anti-Discrimination Agency at 030-18555 1855. They can be reached on Mondays (1:00 to 15:00) and Wednesdays and Fridays (9:00 to 12:00). You can also reach the staff via e-mail (email@example.com). The staff, however, only speak German, English and Arabic. The service is available free of charge and also anonymously if desired. You just have to pay the regular call charges.
Have you lost a family member during your flight to Germany? The DRK Tracing Service helps you find the family members who have been lost as a result of war and flight. You can submit your search request for your missing loved ones online. This service is free of charge.
If you or anyone else is at risk, you can call the police at 110. The call is free of charge.
Rescue Service and Fire Department
In acute medical emergencies, i.e. if you or someone else needs immediate help or if you notice a fire or flood, you can contact the Rescue Service or the Fire Department at 112. The call is cost-free.
Poisoning Emergency Service
If someone around you shows symptoms of poisoning, you can search for the nearest Poisoning Emergency Center online. They are available day and night.
If you need to buy medications outside the regular opening hours, you have to go to an emergency pharmacy. On aponet.de, you can search for the nearest emergency pharmacy.
Medical help for people without health insurance
At Malteser Migrants Medications, you can seek medical aid, even if you do not have health insurance or proper papers. You can benefit from their service anonymously and free of charge. Your stay there will not be shared with the social welfare office or the immigration office. You can search for such an organization near you on the gesundheit-ein-menschenrecht.de website. Other than that, you can search for anonymous medical assistance in your area also on the websites of Malteser and Medibüros. For more on that, you can check our chapter Healthcare for Refugees.
Please note: Hospitals are not allowed to pass on your data to other people or authorities. So don't be afraid to go to a hospital in an EMERGENCY or to call the emergency doctor.
On bamf.de, you can search for the Immigration Office ("Ausländerbehörde") and the regional office of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) responsible for you.
Special offers for specific target groups
Questions regarding life in Germany
Do you have any questions about education, work, learning German or, in general, life in Germany? Or are you having difficulties with your parents? The Youth Migration Service helps migrant/refugee children and adolescents up to the age of 27 with all their questions and issues. You can search for a Youth Migration Service counselling centre nearby on their website. The staff there speak various languages, and the service is free of charge.
Troubles and Crises Support for Children and Adolescents
Do you have concerns or difficulties and need someone to consult? At 116111, you can reach the "Nummer gegen Kummer" staff to share your concerns and seek help. You can contact them from Monday to Saturday (14:00 - 20:00) and share your problems anonymously if you prefer. The staff, however, only speak German. The service and the call are both free of charge.
Unaccompanied Minor Refugees
Are you a minor who fled to Germany without parents? Do you have questions or concerns about your life here? The staff at the Federal Association for Unaccompanied Minor Refugees (BUMF) can provide you with advice and support. They can be reached on Thursdays (10:00 to 12:00) via phone at 030-82097430. The staff, however, only speak German. You can also e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Their service is free of charge, so you just have to pay the regular call charges.
Are you pregnant and have questions or concerns? You can call the Helpline for Pregnant women in distress at 0800-40 40 020 for assistance and support. The staff speak many languages and are available day and night. They can also introduce you to a counselling centre in your area. You can benefit from their service anonymously and free of charge - the call itself is also free.
Have you recently experienced violence? Do you fear you may face violence? Call Helpline for Violence against Women at 08000 - 116 016 and seek help. The staff are available day and night and speak various languages (German, English, Arabic, Farsi/Dari, French, Turkish, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Kurdish, Romanian, Polish, Russian, Albanian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Vietnamese and Chinese). Their service is anonymous and free of charge, and you do not need to pay the regular call charges either. You can still call them even if you do not have any credit on your mobile phone.
You can seek anonymous and cost-free counselling from the Parents' Hotline. You can tell the staff about your worries and difficulties, and they will listen to you and try to help you find a solution. They are available every day between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (the cost-free number) 0800 777 18 77 in German and English. Or you can write to them (email@example.com) in German, English, Arabic, Farsi, French, Turkish, Kurdish, Bulgarian, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Polish or Croatian. The staff will answer you within 24 hours.
Alternatively, you can 0800-111 0 550 and seek help from their staff regarding childcare. Keep in mind that the staff speak only German. The staff of Elterntelefon are available from Mondays to Fridays (9:00 to 11:00) and also on Tuesdays and Thursdays (from 17:00 to 19:00). You can benefit from their service anonymously if you wish so. The service and the call are both free.
Do you belong to the LGBTIQIA+ community and seek a doctor, lawyer or counselling centre specialised in LGBTIQIA+ issues? Gladt, an association providing support for LGBTIQIA+, can offer you help. You can reach them at 0152-11859839 or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The staff speak German, English, Arabic and Turkish, Farsi, French, Hebrew, Urdu and Punjabi. Their service is free, so you only have to pay the regular call charges.
Do you or a family member of yours have a disability and require counselling and support? At teilhabeberatung.de, you can search for a EUTB counselling centre in your area. The EUTB ("Ergänzende unabhängige Teilhabeberatung") provides people with disabilities or those on the verge of it, and their relatives with cost-free support and counselling throughout Germany.