History of ACCESS

In 1985, working at the American School and through meetings with school administrators, business people, and clergy, Patrick Foley, an American School Counsellor, became aware of a problem. There was a preponderance of family conflicts, marital problems, substance abuse, anxiety, and depression in English-speaking house-holds.

English-speakers were reluctant to work with Dutch psychologists because of cultural and language differences. As a result, there was no organised response to mental health issues specific to the English-speaking community.

With support from the broader English speaking community at the time, a Community Mental Health Needs Assessment was undertaken. It recommended the establishment of a network of “qualified and competent” English-speaking expatriate psychologists; developing educational and professional criteria for network membership; and creating easier access to the network via a “telephone contact point” with an on-call counsellor. A formula which continues to thrive and serve internationals relocating to the Netherlands.