More Support for Children’s Mental Health Services

In a recent government announcement, an agreement has been reached to increase mental health services for children.

Ásmundur Einar Daðason, Minister of Education and Children’s Affairs, has signed an agreement with SÁÁ, an Icelandic organisation that offers treatment and counselling for individuals suffering from addiction.

The agreement is intended to increase support for SÁÁ’s services for children after the difficulties posed in the last years by the COVID-19 pandemic, including increasing services and reducing wait times for children who live with relatives suffering from addiction.

The agreement is one point in the measures taken by the government to increase government support for children and their families, consistent with laws on integrated services for children’s wellbeing.

Regarding the new agreement, Minister Ásmundur Einar Daðason stated: “To promote children’s success, it is not enough to focus only on them, but also the environment in which children grow up. The problems of relatives can become the problem of children in one way or another if the children and their families are not considered in a wider context with effective and early support.”

Projects to be supported in the agreement include an additional psychologist for children with parents served by SÁÁ, parents admitted to care facilities or receiving outpatient services will receive more information on children’s psychological services, and children’s psychological services are now set to begin at the same time as the parents’ alcohol and drug treatment.

Read more about mental health and Icelandic youth here.

Therapy for All

Kara Connect - Þorbjörg Helga Vigfúsdóttir

It’s a dark winter morning in Bíldudalur, a small, isolated town in the remote Westfjords, and 10-year-old Anna is preparing for a video meeting with a speech therapist to work on her lisp. While her classmates head to a grammar lesson, Anna works one-on-one with a specialist situated in downtown Reykjavík. That same afternoon, 51-year-old Kjartan sits down for his regularly scheduled appointment with a therapist, who is located in Akureyri, North Iceland. The only therapist in town is a close family friend. Battling with depression, Kjartan has up until now been unable to meet with a specialist. It’s impossible to hire specialists to come to every small town in Iceland – and that’s where Kara Connect comes in. All over Iceland, the start-up is making healthcare accessible to individuals who could not access it before.

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