In focus: Mental health
Half of Norway’s population will at some point in their lives experience mental health problems for which they will need professional help. The issue of mental health occupies a central place in Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s work.
The Crown Princess clearly demonstrated her interest in this area when she served as patron of the nationwide humanitarian telethon campaign on behalf of mental health in 2004. Since then, the Crown Princess has been deeply concerned with the issue, and is the patron of the Norwegian Council for Mental Health. She has also served as a member of the board of the Church City Mission.
Norwegian Council for Mental Health
Crown Princess Mette-Marit became patron of the Norwegian Council for Mental Health in 2001. Over the years, she has undertaken a number of visits and met people with mental health problems and their families.
The Crown Princess also participates at annual events in connection with the celebration of World Mental Health Day on 10 October. World Mental Health Day is an international event to promote awareness and understanding of mental health and mental illness. World Mental Health Day has been celebrated every year since 1992.
The Crown Princess outside of Asker Cultural Centre where she took part in Mental Helse Ungdom’s celebration of World Mental Health Day in 2016. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix
The Norwegian Council for Mental Health is an independent humanitarian organisation with 25 member organisations. The Council works to achieve the best quality of life possible for children and young people with mental health problems and their families. The organisation promotes access to local, integrated help, works to achieve an inclusive working life and addresses challenges related to the use of compulsory measures.
The Council puts great emphasis on the importance of preventive mental health measures, and believes these efforts must begin as early as pre-school: It is better to build a child than to repair an adult. The Everyday Happiness Project, which is targeted partially at pre-schools, was an important component of this.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit visited Keyserløkka pre-school on World Mental Health Day in 2012. The pre-school participated in the Everyday Happiness Project. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix.
Banquet at Skaugum
In connection with the telethon campaign in 2004, a banquet was organised at Skaugum Estate, the residence of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess in Asker.
Each year since then, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess have invited guests from all over the country to Skaugum Estate. All those invited work in their own way to create a warmer, more tolerant and more inclusive society. Some of the partners include the Church City Mission, the Salvation Army, the Landsforeningen for barnevernsbarn (“National Association for Children in Care”) and the street magazine Erlik Oslo.
The banquet has become an annual tradition, and 2014 marked the tenth anniversary of the event.
In 2014, Red Cross volunteers received a warm welcome to the banquet at Skaugum Estate. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix