So far in 2019, 48 municipalities have received grants for a total of 90 new psychologist positions. 14 of these are located in Nordland and eleven in Troms.
A total of 350 municipalities and districts have received grants for 591 psychology positions since the grant scheme started in 2013. Then there were only 179 psychologists in the municipalities and the number has increased every year since.
From 1 January 2020, a new requirement that all municipalities shall have psychological competence. This year, therefore, is the last year the municipalities can receive grants from the state to recruit a psychologist.
“Most people who get mental health problems develop it in their adolescent years. It is absolutely crucial that we manage to work preventively, get in early when someone is having a hard time and have a good low-threshold offer,” says health minister Bent Høie (H).
In total, NOK 205 million will be allocated to psychologists in the municipalities in 2019. NOK 32.6 million remains to be claimed by the application deadline in September.
“It is important that municipalities that do not yet have a psychologist make use of the grant scheme,” says Høie.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today