Preventative health services

The municipalities have a range of services which can help you live more healthily

Read more and self-services

The municipalities have a range of services which can help you live more healthily and thus prevent illnesses. The services are targeted at, amongst other things:

  • alcohol
  • smoking
  • unhealthy eating
  • physical inactivity

If you have a chronic illness, the municipality may have services to ensure that you have the best possible quality of life and limit or delay the complications which may arise as a result of your illness.

Who can use the various services offered by the municipality varies:

  • some services are for all citizens.
  • other services are for certain categories of citizens.
  • services for citizens with chronic illness generally require a referral from your doctor.

You have the option of choosing treatment at a private hospital if you have a mental illness and have waited, or will have to wait, for more than 1 month for examination and treatment at a public hospital.

You can find the rules on the maximum waiting time for treatment and a summary of private hospitals and clinics at

Situations involving an acute need for psychiatric assistance may be, amongst other things:

  • loss of control
  • suicidal thoughts
  • severe anxiety or depression
  • post-traumatic stress
  • abstinences.

District psychiatry – also known as local psychiatry – is for people who have a mental disorder and need psychiatric treatment, but do not need to be admitted to hospital.

Treatment is carried out during the day either at the district psychiatric unit or at the patient's home. You must be referred by your doctor.

Mental disorders often cause various problems in everyday life. Therefore, the district psychiatric unit has teams made up of various professional groups, such as:

  • doctors, nurses
  • social workers, welfare workers
  • psychologists
  • occupational therapists, and physiotherapists.

If you need to be admitted to hospital, it can be either to a psychiatric ward of a general hospital or to a psychiatric hospital. There are both closed wards, which are locked around the clock, and open wards, which are appear more similar to general hospital wards.

A psychiatric ward and a psychiatric hospital:

  • makes diagnoses
  • treats and prevents mental and developmental disorders and illnesses
  • treats children, adolescents and adults

To be admitted to a psychiatric ward you need a referral from your doctor or a specialist.

In addition, in very exceptional circumstances it may be necessary to admit people who do not wish to be admitted (involuntary admission), just as coercion may be used during admission.

Involuntary admission and coercive measures, such as the use of fixation or coerced medication, can only be used at a psychiatric hospital if the patient is insane or suffers from a similar condition. Involuntary admission to a psychiatric ward or hospital also requires that the patient will otherwise not be cured, that the mental health of the patient will otherwise not significantly improve, or that the patient will impose a threat to himself or others.

Complaining about coercive measures in psychiatry

You may make a complaint about coercive measures in a psychiatric ward.

If you have been subjected to coercion in psychiatric ward or hospital, you may make a complaint to The Psychiatric Patient’s Board of Complaints. The board is part of the Danish Patient Complaints Agency.

You can find information on your options for making a complaint about the use of coercion on the Danish Patient Complaints Agency’s website.

By law, you must have a patient adviser who can help you to draw up your complaint.

You can also contact the Danish Patient Complaints Agency if you wish to complain about a health care professional or a treatment facility.

Last updated: 04 January 2024