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Bemoeizorg in Nijmegen

Bemoeizorg in Nijmegen


June 13, 2024


The report "Bemoeizorg in Nijmegen" immediately caught my attention as Nijmegen is one of my alma maters. It addresses what I call the pandemic of mental health disorders. The report begins with a statement about how a woman with suicidal tendencies was saved simply by giving her a cat, which provided enough purpose to her life.

This is the story of Stefan Bäcker, a social psychiatric nurse, followed by Jonah Falke (Falke J. , 2024). The report features several poignant cases. Stefan approaches these situations pragmatically, like taking a patient for a ride on his motorcycle, which is officially not allowed. Another case involves a man arguing with his brother over the sale of their deceased parents' house and feeling lost about what to do next.

There is also the case of a young man who walks naked down the hallway, whose father committed suicide, and whose girlfriend participated in BDSM to maintain a good atmosphere. To cope with all this, the team discusses these issues with a light-hearted and jovial attitude.

One patient is eagerly awaiting his antipsychotic injection because he felt a bit aggressive in the past few days. Another patient was left in her parents' garden because no institution would take her in. Yet another case involves a trembling patient who, with no money left on a Wednesday, does not know how he will eat or get drugs. This is one of Stefan's cases during his rounds, where he visits patients who need their medication at home. Most of them are men struggling with addiction issues.

This report paints a picture of people in a city in one of the world's wealthiest countries. Curaçao is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands but is the poorest country. This makes me wonder about the state of mental health care here.

Miguel Goede

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