Mental healthcare for adults in Norway

If you are experiencing mental health problems, there are many 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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Illustration: ArenaCreative / Mostphotos (illustrasjonsbilde)

Around half of people in Norway experience mental health problems or disorders at some time during their life, and it can affect people of any age and any demographic group in the population. The way in which the problems manifest themselves varies from person to person, depending on their life situation and the extent of the problem.

If you are experiencing mental health problems, contact your general practitioner (GP) or the municipality in which you live. Municipalities offer a wide variety of services to those in need of mental healthcare, and to their families and relatives.

How your GP can help you

Your 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, specialists 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

​The municipality in which you live will offer a wide variety of treatments and support for people who are experiencing mental health problems. Here are some of the services that are available to you:

The Family's House

The Family's House ("Familiens hus") are multidisciplinary centres which are available in about half of the municipalities. At these centres, children, young people and their families can get help to look after their mental and physical wellbeing, without first having to be referred or put on a waiting list. Please contact your municipality.

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 use. Contact your municipality or one of the Healthy Life Centres.

Psychologists in municipalities

The health and care services of many municipalities employ psychologists, who offer short-term therapy for mild or moderate mental health problems and disorders. This service is free. Contact your municipality or GP.

Outreach team

Most municipalities offer outreach services or multi-disciplinary treatment and support teams, which help people with mental health and drug problems in different areas of life. You can access these services where you live or in your community. Contact your municipality.

Urgent mental healthcare

Urgent mental healthcare ("Rask psykisk helsehjelp", website in Norwegian) is a municipal low-threshold service offered to adults over 18 years of age (over 16 in some municipalities) suffering from various types of anxiety and mild and moderate problems with depression – possibly with sleeping difficulties accompanied by incipient drug problems.

The service is free and offers direct support without referral from a doctor. The goal is to offer you help within one to two weeks to ensure that your problems do not become established. The service is available or being introduced across a total of 45 municipalities/districts.