Health Centres and the School Health Service

The Health Centres and School Health Service in Norway are free services for all children and adolescents (aged 0-20), as well as pregnant women.

Maternal and Child Health Centres (0–5 years old)

The Maternal and Child Health Centres are a service which is provided for children aged 0–5 and their parents. The core staff consists of a midwife, public health nurse, doctor and physiotherapist. When necessary, the Maternal and Child Health Centres also work with municipal psychologists, preschool staff, family therapists, the child welfare service, the coordinating unit and the pedagogical psychological service (PPT).

The Maternal and Child Health Centres see children of all ages from birth upwards and monitor the child's physical and psychological development. You can ask for an interpreter if you need one.

Support and guidance are provided in the following areas:

  • Child motor and psychosocial development
  • Breastfeeding
  • Vaccination
  • Nutrition
  • Language development
  • Dental health
  • The role of parent
  • Cohabiting
  • Interaction
  • Violence, abuse and neglect

The school health service

The school health service is available at all primary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools and may include a school nurse, school doctor, psychologist and physiotherapist, as well as other health professionals. The school health service is responsible for vaccinations and, in collaboration with the school, offers teaching in classes, groups and individual discussions. All enquiries will be answered and the service is subject to duty of confidentiality.

Possible topics for discussion include:

  • Absence
  • School life
  • Learning difficulties
  • Thoughts and feelings
  • Falling in love
  • Body
  • Sadness
  • Arguments
  • Bullying
  • Violence and abuse
  • Puberty
  • Self-harm
  • Problems at home
  • Exercise
  • «The perfect body»
  • Smoking and tobacco
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Sex and contraception
  • Circumcision
  • Injuries at school

It often helps to talk to an adult, but sometimes people need more help. In such cases, the school health service will be able to refer you to a GP, dentist, physiotherapist or psychologist.

Youth Health Centres (up to 20 years old)

The Youth Health Centres are a free multidisciplinary service for young people. The service may comprise a school nurse, doctor and psychologist, and is available in the afternoons.

They provide guidance concerning:

  • Mental and social problems
  • Growing up in two cultures
  • Falling in love/love
  • Pregnancy
  • Contraception
  • Morning-after pills
  • Abortion
  • Sexually transmitted infections (testing and treatment)
  • Eating disorders
  • Drugs and alcohol (excessive alcohol consumption, taking cannabis or other drugs)
  • Problems at home
  • Violence, abuse and neglect
  • Any other things you may have on your mind