My child has mental health problems. Where can I go for help?

If you have a child under the age of 18 with mental health problems you can get help from the paediatric mental health services (jeugd-GGZ).

Referral to paediatric mental health care

Your child will need a referral to obtain help from the paediatric mental health services (jeugd-GGZ). You can get a referral from:

  • a care professional employed by or acting on behalf of your local authority
  • your GP
  • a medical specialist (such as a psychiatrist)
  • a paediatrician

The paediatric mental health services employ psychiatrists, primary care psychologists and nurses. These professionals are specialised in child psychological development and associated parenting and behavioural problems. They work together with other youth care organisations and schools.

Treatment plans in paediatric mental health care

Before treatment starts the health professional assesses the nature and extent of the problem. Once there is a diagnosis, a treatment plan is drawn up. As parents, you will be involved in the treatment, and the health professional will discuss your child's treatment with you.

Treatment mostly on an outpatient basis

Children and adolescents referred to paediatric mental health services are usually treated on an outpatient basis, for example by a psychiatrist at a youth psychiatric clinic. Increasingly, treatment for children and adolescents also includes online support (e-health). In some cases, admission to a young people's ward in a mental health institution is necessary.

Supported accommodation for young people

The Youth Act also applies to adolescents up to the age of 18 who live in supported accommodation. As of 1 January 2015 the local authorities are responsible for providing supported accommodation. You should apply to them if you are looking for supported accommodation for your child.