Mental health in the Netherlands
Where can I find help for mental health problems?
If you have mental health problems, you need to discuss this with your huisarts (GP). He/she can provide you with a referral to a psychologist. You will need this referral in order to get the costs covered by your health insurance.
Depending on the severity of your problems there are three options:
- If you have minor issues, your GP or an assistant of the GP specialised in mental health problems can help you
- If your problems are moderate, your GP will refer you to a psychologist for treatment according to the basic Geestelijke Gezondheidszorg – GGZ (mental health care)
- If your problems are very serious or complicated, your GP will refer you to a psychologist specialised in complex mental health care (specialistische GGZ). This usually involves a longer and multidisciplinary treatment
ACCESS offers a Counselling Service Network (CSN) of licensed professionals with practices all over the Netherlands. Counsellors are men and women who are psychologists, mental health counsellors and social workers from a variety of cultural backgrounds. All counsellors have a minimum Master’s level degree with at least two years’ supervised work experience. Every month, two ACCESS counsellors are on-call; they can provide a free referral to a member of the ACCESS CSN who can best assist you. You can find out here which counsellors are on call.
Some insurers have helpdesks which will assist you in finding a registered practitioner who speaks your language or who shares your cultural background. Otherwise you can check the Counselling Service Network (CSN) to find a practitioner in your area.