Prof. Dr. Hartmut Göbel, chief physician at the Kiel Pain Clinic

Suicidal headache, orphan of medicine, headache without a name: the names testify to the time when the medical care system hardly knew about cluster headaches and did not diagnose or treat them. The topic was almost never encountered in medical training, further education and training. Patients hardly found anyone to contact. The proper diagnosis was only made after many years of suffering or not at all. Many had given up and lost trust in medicine and science.

The Federal Association of Cluster Headache Self-Help Groups (CSG) eV has, out of nowhere, fundamentally changed the care of patients with cluster headaches and autonomic headache disorders. Instead of giving up, committed patients affected by cluster headaches came together, exchanged ideas and gathered strength and courage to found the Cluster Headache Self-Help Groups (CSG). A stroke of luck was founding president Dr. Harald Müller, who led the federal association with commitment for years and paved the way for today's successful work.

Networks were built tirelessly. A particular highlight was the creation of cluster headache competence centers at various locations. The idea and beginning found their origins in the Kiel Pain Clinic. For the first time, a specialized center for the care of patients with cluster headaches was established. The very successful concept quickly spread throughout Germany. This initiative was accompanied by extensive further education and training measures for doctors. Continuous nationwide meetings of those affected and their relatives also contributed to better care and knowledge transfer. International meetings under the patronage of the President of the European Union and in the presence of the President of the European Headache Federation were held for the first time at the Kiel Pain Clinic with the active participation of experts and those affected. Publications, member magazines, websites, weblogs, health policy information, involvement of health insurance companies and many other activities were important steps in the dissemination of knowledge and better care for patients with cluster headache. Numerous scientific studies have been initiated so that future care for the next generation can also be improved. Today, cluster headache can be diagnosed precisely and quickly. The specialized contemporary treatment is very successful in most cases. Even the most daring visions could not have foreseen such a development.

The Federal Association of Cluster Headache Self-Help Groups (CSG) eV is an example of extremely successful self-help work. Networking and collaboration with experts was a crucial key to significantly improving the diagnosis and treatment of affected patients. The Federal Association of Cluster Headache Self-Help Groups (CSG) eV is a role model in self-help work. The collaboration with those responsible on the board and the members has been characterized by professionalism and friendly cooperation over all these years. I congratulate the Federal Association of Cluster Headache Self-Help Groups (CSG) eV on its 20th anniversary and wish it all the best for the future.

Prof. Dr. med. Dipl.-Psych. Hartmut Göbel

Kiel Pain Clinic