Stress is the overriding reason for seeking psychological help

Regardless of gender or nationality, stress is the common denominator that leads citizens in Denmark, Sweden and Norway to reach out for psychological help at SOS International.

Since 2018, when Healthcare was created as an independent business division of SOS International, stress-related issues have been the cause behind most referrals regardless of whether you look at the statistics in Norway, Sweden or Denmark.

“We can see that there are no major changes in the reasons for seeking psychological help. Stress is still the biggest and increasing culprit across nationalities and genders,” says Jes Laursen, Director of Healthcare in Denmark and Norway.

Most women seek help
More women than men seek treatment from a psychologist, and 57% of all requests for psychological treatment come from women.

However, there are national differences in gender distribution: In Norway, the gender distribution among psychology clients is 57% women and 43% men, while in Sweden, it is 54% women and 46% men.

While the gender distribution is roughly equal in Norway and Sweden, it has shifted in Denmark from a distribution in 2018 where three-quarters of psychology clients were women to a distribution of 65% men and 35% women in the first quarter of 2022.

“In recent years, men seem to have become a little more willing to seek help from a psychologist when they have mental problems, which is a positive development, as men are traditionally not as good at seeking help for their health problems as women,” says Jes Laursen.

In both Norway, Sweden and Denmark, people aged 31-50 make up the majority of enquiries about stress-related problems.


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