Mental health is a growing concern among populations all over the world. More than 970 million individuals worldwide struggle with mental disorders, affecting more than 10% of the global population. In Denmark, the Government, along with various stakeholders and organisations, has implemented policies, strategies and initiatives aimed at improving mental health services, reducing stigma, and enhancing the overall well-being of the population.
In Denmark, psychiatric treatment is primarily a public task managed by the regional authorities. The approach is holistic and characterised by a combination of comprehensive healthcare services, social support, and a focus on reducing stigma.
In September 2022, the Danish Government made a substantial pledge to give top priority to and promote psychiatry and mental health. This commitment was accompanied by a historic financial investment in the field. As a part of this initiative, the Government has committed full funding to a 10-year psychiatry plan, which serves as a strategic blueprint for the transformation of mental healthcare. Simultaneously, a comprehensive modernisation of the psychology system is underway to align it with changing disease patterns, including the rising prevalence of anxiety and depression. This modernisation effort aims to ensure prompt treatment for patients, strengthened digital services and improve geographical accessibility to mental health services.
The 10-year action plan for the improvement of psychiatric care prioritises prevention, early detection, and equitable access to high-quality care. It particularly addresses the unique needs of vulnerable populations, including children, young people, and individuals with mental disorders by establishing tailored and inclusive support systems. The intended outcome of the action plan is that people with mental disorders live better and longer lives, that they are included and accepted in the Danish society and that they receive treatment and services with respect for the individual person’s wishes.
Multi-sector collaboration and public-private partnerships furthermore play a vital role. They bring together resources, expertise, and innovation to tackle complex mental health challenges and improve outcomes. By embracing innovation, technology and evidence-based practices, Denmark continually enhances mental health services.
For example, Denmark has successfully implemented technology and digital solutions for psychiatry such as apps and telepsychiatry to reach more people with fewer resources. Furthermore, new psychiatric hospitals are designed to hinder suicide attempts, and healing architecture to promote mental well-being is integrated.
Stigma is a key issue when it comes to mental health, and several national campaigns to break down stigma have already been rolled out. For example, the national campaign against stigma called “One of us” with a vision to improve life for all by promoting inclusion and combating discrimination connected to mental health.
The Danish Approach to Mental Health
Mental health is a growing concern among populations all over the world. The Danish approach to mental health is characterised by a combination of comprehensive healthcare services, social support, and a focus on reducing stigma. In the light of renewed political efforts in Denmark, a 2nd edition of the publication on the Danish approach to mental health is now available. In addition to fresh statistics, the updated publication offers two brand new chapters about the latest Danish development in the field, including Denmark’s comprehensive 10-year plan for psychiatry and mental health and the role of public-private partnerships in fostering a healthier society through multi-sector collaboration.
Download the publication below to read more about the Danish approach to mental health.
Strengthening mental health care
In September 2022, the Danish government agreed on a 10-year action plan for mental health with political goals for improving mental health in the general population and for strengthening mental health and social care services across several public sectors within psychiatry. Below you can download a short version of the publication with recommendations from The Danish Health Authority and the National Board of Social Services, which forms the basis of the action plan.