Public welfare concept defies epidemic of loneliness

How to stop the tsunami of mental illnesses

Künzelsau, 30 October 2020 - Psychiatrists from the renowned Harvard University are alarmed. As a result of the Corona measures, they expect a "worldwide tsunami of mental illnesses". Futurologists expect an "epidemic of loneliness" that could make both young and old people mentally ill. The experts of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina recommend an expansion of the range of treatments to cope with the predicted long-term psychological consequences. The Gradido Academy for Economic Bionics, on the other hand, pursues a very basic approach with its concept of public welfare in order to strengthen mental and physical health in the long term. The Gradido model promotes a humane coexistence that can give strength in crises, strengthen the immune system and, moreover, explicitly integrates older people into the community.

Wave of mental illnesses

At the online conference of the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, the internationally renowned psychiatrist from Harvard Medical School, Viktor Patel, warned of a "worldwide tsunami of severe mental suffering" as a result of prescribed isolation and fear. Katharina Domschke, who was part of the Leopoldina's Corona working group as psychiatrist and director of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University of Freiburg, also reported that "all studies so far say that a third wave is to be expected, that of mental illnesses". According to initial studies, the German Federal Chamber of Therapists as well as Irish scientists expect similar scenarios.

Epidemic of loneliness

Especially for older people, contacts are demonstrably an extremely important resource. They structure everyday life and strengthen both mental and physical health. The sense of belonging, human warmth and the feeling of being needed make people happy. "Enthusiasm is fertiliser for the brain", emphasises the internationally renowned neurobiologist Gerald Hüther. It keeps us fit into old age, strengthens our immune system and lets us live longer. However, due to contact restrictions, more and more people are living alone in their own four walls. "The number of people almost without any human contact in big cities is greater than one might think," says Stefan Deutschmann, head of the Department of Counselling and Pastoral Care at Diakonisches Werk Hamburg.

Fear of isolation

The Hamburg futurologist Horst Opaschowski warns of a veritable "epidemic of loneliness". In a representative survey, he has found that the fear of loneliness is almost as widespread as the fear of poverty in old age. Opaschowski therefore predicts that "the greatest poverty in old age will in future be contact poverty. The boundaries of loneliness, depression and mental illness are fluid".

Fear and isolation

The Federal Chamber of Psychotherapists had already pointed out in August the danger that "in addition to depression and anxiety disorders and acute and post-traumatic stress disorders, also alcohol and drug addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorders and psychoses may increase". Chamber President Dietrich Munz sees older people in particular at risk here: "For many people who are 75 years and older, the fear of infection often turns into fear of death, and withdrawal develops into total isolation. In the end they torture themselves with the expectation of dying alone because of Corona". Because of the dreaded nocebo effect, many actually die earlier.

Gradido model creates a new attitude to life

The declared aim of the Gradido Academy is to strengthen mental and physical health and to enable people of all generations to live together in a fulfilling way and to have a lively exchange. For more than 20 years, bionic economists from this Academy have been researching those successful models of nature that can be transferred to human society. Gradido, the currency of the common good, is much more than 'just' a new monetary system. In contrast to the old financial system, which destroyed man and nature, Gradido follows the laws of nature and allows people of all ages to regain their strength.

The Gradido model

Bernd Hückstädt, co-founder of the academy, describes one of the most important findings as follows: "In the old financial system, where the assets of one are necessarily the debts of others, we are at war with man and nature. But a fruitful coexistence of all generations can only function in harmony with nature". The Gradido economic and financial model therefore says goodbye to the principle of debt money and thus creates a healthy basis for a dignified life for all people worldwide. "People can contribute to the community according to their inclinations and abilities free from existential fears. This creates a zest for life, stabilizes the psyche and strengthens the immune system," Hückstädt concludes.

Threefold good and triple money creation

Gradido's basic ethical principle is based on reconciling the well-being of the individual with that of the community and the greater whole - in the interests of nature and the environment. The individual is part of the community, the state, and the state is part of the 'big picture', the ecosystem. Per capita, therefore, 3 × 1,000 Gradidos are created. 1,000 Gradidos each for the 'Active Basic Income', for the state budget and for the compensation and environmental fund.

Active basic income ensures basic supply at any age

The 'Active Basic Income' originates from the idea of 'unconditional participation'. Those who wish to take advantage of it can contribute to the community at any age with their personal talents, inclinations and possibilities. For each person, 1,000 Gradidos (GDD) of the common good currency are available monthly as a basic income. One Gradido corresponds to the value of one Euro. A maximum of 50 hours per month are remunerated with 20 GDD each. This sum is a basic amount, in addition to other sources of income. A flexible pension scheme allows the basic income to rise to 2,000 GDD per month. In this way, older people also remain free of existential fears.

Unconditional participation creates lively community

Every person is allowed to take on a task for the 'Active Basic Income' which he or she is happy to perform. Without existential fear, everyone can do what he or she would like to do from the bottom of their heart - i.e. follow their inner calling. The resulting enthusiasm is the best prerequisite for being successful on all levels. A large part of the stress-related illnesses could be eliminated by this. An extremely positive effect on many diseases of old age is also the chance to be an active and valued part of the community until the end of life. Loneliness should therefore be a thing of the past. Young and old people are already developing new - joint - forms of living, in which everyone benefits from the closeness of the other. This is a welcome trend that will be further strengthened by the 'unconditional participation'.

Coaching for communication

The economic advantages are also immense: With the 'Active Basic Income' the community has the greatest interest in supporting each member in the best possible way. Because people who develop their highest potential are not only healthier, they also bring the community the greatest benefit. Whoever likes to help others can be trained as a 'potentials development coach' within the framework of 'unconditional participation'. He or she then supports others in finding out what they really like to do and removes possible obstacles. Potentials development coaches also enable senior citizens, for example, to access the digital world with the appropriate support - in order to be able to keep in touch more easily in case of future contact restrictions. A positive side effect: the Gradido Academy is currently developing an app that will soon enable older people to enter what tasks they perform for the community. This could be reading aloud for children or friends, shopping for the neighbour or helping those starting out on their careers. Every hour spent is rewarded with a corresponding Gradido credit - for the good and healthy feeling of being needed and appreciated.

For details of the complete 'Gradido model' see

About the Gradido Academy
The Gradido Academy for Economic Bionics has developed an alternative 'common good currency' based on the models of nature. Nature follows the rule that only where something passes away can something new emerge, and thus long-term improvement (evolution) is possible. Its recipe for success is the 'cycle of life'. If our economy were also to follow this natural cycle, then, according to the assessment of the bionic economists, practically all the world's monetary problems could be solved. The Gradido model is based on the idea that not only every person, but also every state receives income generated on a credit basis. It can thus fulfil all its tasks without having to collect taxes. Deflation or inflation are a thing of the past. The economy is freed from the constant compulsion to grow, the danger of a collapse of the financial system is finally averted.(

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