Dutch mental health care
If you need support with your mental health, or if you are facing problems within your family, there are various professionals who may be able to help you. The first step should be to go see your GP; they will be familiar with your situation and will help you find the treatment that is most suited for you. They will also need to provide you with a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist in order for insurance to cover your treatment.
Dutch mental health care has 2 main lines of defence. You do not need to use all 2 lines of care and will not have to choose by yourself. Your doctor will indicate the care you need in his referral, which will help you to find a suitable medical professional.
Psychological and psychiatric help
First line care (Eerstelijnszorg)
Your GP is the central coordinator to help you with your problems. They may refer you to a social worker in the GP practice, or to a psychologist (GGZ, municipal mental health care, or otherwise) who can help you sort out your situation. A first line care professional will help with mild psychological issues, providing short term treatment in 5 to 8 sessions. Your treatment will be fully covered by your insurance with exception of your deductible if you have a referral.
Second line care (Tweedelijnszorg)
Specialised care and diagnosis in hospitals and other facilities. Services such as psychiatry require a more specialised approach. Unlike psychologist in the first line care, a psychiatrist will be able to prescribe medication if needed. If you are under treatment in first line care, you may need one or several treatments with a second line care professional to set a diagnose. Once a treatment plan is advised, your psychologist will be able to continue treatment with you. A second line care professional treats moderate to severe issues. Your treatment will be fully covered if you have a referral.
Algemeen Maatschappelijk Werk (AMW), or Dutch Social Services, helps people with a wide variety of issues. Trained professionals will help you with any personal or psychological problems, ranging from loneliness and insecurity to stress and relationship problems. They can also be of assistance if you have problems with (government) authorities, or find yourself in a difficult financial situation. You do not need a referral from your GP to make an appointment with AMW.
- Contact Social Services at +31 (0)70 205 22 22 or find online support (in Dutch).
Support for young people with mental health issues
Children and adolescents up to the age of 18 with mental health problems are eligible for assistance from the paediatric mental health services (Jeugd GGZ). First, however, they need a referral from a designated expert, such as their GP or a care professional employed by or acting on behalf of the local authority.
- For The Hague: contact the Centre for Children and Families at +31 (0)800 285 40 70 or visit the website (in Dutch).
- For Delft, Rijswijk and Leidschendam-Voorburg: contact JGZ South-Holland West at +31 (0)88 054 99 99 or visit the website (in Dutch).
Emergency mental health
If you or someone you know is having a mental health emergency, and/or is having suicidal thoughts or tendencies, there is help available at all times. You should contact your general practitioner (GP) immediately. The GP will contact the local crisis intervention team (available 24/7) if necessary. Or contact 113 Suicide prevention by visiting the website (click the ‘Chatten’ button in the top right corner) or call 0900-0113 and immediately talk to someone.
International Mental Health Services
PsyQ International Mental Health Services provides discreet and professional support for all mental health challenges for internationals living in the Netherlands. Each patient will start with a treatment plan catered to their individual needs, with a focus on an intensive and brief series of sessions. In addition to English, they also offer therapies in different languages, ranging from Hindi to Spanish and Arabic.