Mental healthcare for adults in Norway

If you are experiencing mental health problems, there are many good services available for you. Contact your local municipality, GP or other healthcare professional. The sooner you seek help, the better your chances of getting better.

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Do you need urgent help? Call 113

If the situation is critical and about life or death, call 113.

If it is less urgent, call the out-of-hours medical centre on 116 117.

Most people will experience symptoms such as anxiety, agitation and depression during their lifetime. This is completely normal and a part of life. Experiencing symptoms such as these is not the same as suffering from a mental illness, but it is important to ask for advice and support if symptoms persist, become more severe or prevent you from living a normal life.

How your GP can help you

Your general practitioner (GP) can offer you treatment for mild or moderate mental health problems and refer you to a specialist. Your GP will help you get in touch with the mental health service and other services in your municipality, or refer you to a psychologist, specialist at a district psychiatric centre, psychiatric clinic or hospital.

Everyone registered in the National Registry as being resident in a Norwegian municipality is entitled to have a GP assigned to them. If you are wondering who your GP is, you can log in to helsenorge.no or call the helsenorge.no helpline on 23 32 70 00.

If you need urgent assistance but are unable to get hold of your GP, please contact your nearest out-of-hours medical centre ("legevakt", 116 117). Some major cities also have a psychiatric casualty clinic.

Mental healthcare in your municipality

Your municipality will have a number of services that can provide treatment and support for people in need of mental healthcare and their next of kin. In order to access these services, please contact your GP or the municipality.

Here are some of the services that are available to you:

Urgent mental healthcare

Urgent mental healthcare is a low-threshold treatment service offered by municipalities to persons over the age of 16 who are experiencing various types of anxiety together with mild or moderate depression. The service can also help with sleeping difficulties and incipient substance misuse problems.

The service is free and provides direct assistance without the need for a referral from your doctor. The aim is to ensure that you can access support within one to two weeks so that your condition does not become more severe.

This service has been established, or is in the process of being established, in 75 municipalities/neighbourhoods. Municipalities that do not offer or have yet to establish urgent mental healthcare may have other, similar low-threshold services.

Psychologists in municipalities

Municipalities are required to employ psychologists within their health and social care services. Many of these psychologists provide short-term treatment for mild and moderate mental illness and disorders. The service is free. Please contact the municipality or your GP.

Outreach teams

Most municipalities have outreach services for people who are unable to attend appointments and who may experience more severe and complex issues. This ensures that you can get help at home or in your local community. Please contact the municipality if you need help at home.

There are also interdisciplinary treatment and follow-up teams that can help if you are struggling with mental health issues or substance misuse. Examples of interdisciplinary outreach teams include FACT and ACT teams.

Healthy Life Centres

Over half of municipalities and districts in Norway have a Healthy Life Centre ("frisklivssentral"), where you can get help to change your lifestyle or cope with various ailments and diseases. Some of them can also help you to cope with depression and stress, sleeping difficulties and alcohol problems.

Mental healthcare at a hospital or outpatient clinic

Mental health symptoms may develop into more serious issues and disorders, such as severe depression, severe anxiety or psychotic symptoms that make you lose touch with reality.

In these cases, your GP will, in consultation with you, send a referral to a hospital or district psychiatric outpatient clinic ("distriktspsykiatrisk poliklinikk / DPS") and the patient pathway for mental health.

e-Mestring

Several hospitals offer supervised online treatment, also referred to as e-Mestring (e-Coping), for mental health issues such as panic disorders, social anxiety or moderate depression. Please ask your GP or look at your local hospital website to find information about such services within your local area.

Digital self-help tools

Digital self-help tools can help you master mental health issues such as stress, agitation and mild to moderate anxiety, depression, sleeping difficulties and stress. Helsenorge has a tool directory listing free self-help tools that have been professionally approved by Norwegian professional communities and have undergone security and privacy assessments.

Content provided by The Norwegian Directorate of Health

Last updated Monday, August 22, 2022

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