Record number of Danes seeking psychiatric help

Mental illnesses are now less stigmatised than in the past, says an expert

New figures from the health data authority Sundhedsdatastyrelsen show that a record number of Danes are seeking emergency psychiatric help.

Compared to 20 years ago, the number of people reaching out for help with their mental health problems nearly tripled last year.

In 1995, some 12,099 people visited the emergency psychiatric wards, while in 2015 the number rose to 33,333.

According to Torsten Bjørn Jacobsen, the chairman of the Danish Psychiatric Association, it has been a slow and steady process that suggests mental illnesses are now less stigmatised than in the past and that more psychiatric help is being offered to the Danish citizens.

The number of people receiving out-patient care for psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression and personality disorders has also increased significantly from 76,000 in 2001 to 147,000 last year.

Meanwhile, hospitalised psychiatric patients tend to spend fewer days at hospitals. The number of days in hospitalisation has dropped from 40 to 20 over the past twenty years.