At the beginning of July 2022, Copenhagen faced tragedy when a 22-year-old man killed three people and attempted to kill seven others. The man was found with both a rifle and a knife and was known to be associated with mental health issues previously.

The day before the shooting, the man posted a video on his social media, showing his weapons and talking about how his psychiatric medication does not work. This tragedy caused Denmark to question its public psychiatric system’s efficacy and ability to control its more at-risk patients.

The Social Democrats, currently running the government, have promised a ten-year plan to improve psychiatric services in the country. However, many question whether this ten-year plan will be enough and whether the government is taking the issue seriously.

The SF is a green left-wing Danish party founded in 1959 and is currently a European Green Party member. The SF calls into question the Social Democrats’ strategy to deal with the psychiatric issue.

Government negotiations have begun for the 10-year plan to improve psychiatric services. The SF has threatened to leave the negotiations unless more money is put on the table.

Since the summer has begun, there have been two rounds of negotiations where the government has given one sheet of paper with 12 measurements to improve public psychiatric services but has not included extra funding.

“We will come, we will meet, and so far an agreement has been set up without money, even though psychiatry lacks billions. After all, without commitments and money, the government’s plays are just among the headlines”

Jacob Mark, deputy group chairman

The SF says the government needs to invest money to truly improve the health department. The Scientific Association of Psychiatrists and the Danish Psychiatric Society have calculated that the psychiatry domain needs 4.5 billion dollars per year to properly function and care for its patients.

The same groups have found that in the past couple of years, the need for psychiatric services has risen, while the government funds have not followed. To make matters worse, the number of psychiatrists has decreased due to the lack of funds. The professionals are moving to the private sector, where money is less of an issue.

This is becoming an issue of protecting the Danish population. The SF believes investing money in psychiatric services has become a priority. If there is none, they believe there is no point in negotiating.

“Therefore, the only right thing is to reserve the funds, but wait for the negotiations in the coming weeks, so that we have a real ten-year plan to invest from. In addition, it is our proposal for a finance law, which means that we have to negotiate the specific content with the finance law parties”  

Denmark Minister of Health

Catherine Harvey

Catherine is an undergraduate student at Concordia University, pursuing a BA in Political Science with a minor in Law and Society. She focuses on international relations, foreign policy, and human rights. She is fighting for a brighter future for people in need.

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