Our wellbeing

If you are anxious or need counselling, you can always contact the 1717 Red Cross Helpline or Online chat.

The service is free of charge for everyone.

Counselling is available for issues such as:  

anxiety, loneliness, depression, thoughts of suicide, self-harm,
trauma, grief, mental difficulties,
financial worries,learning difficulties, housing difficulties, unemployment
difficult communication, prejudice,
bullying and harassment,
child welfare,
sexual, emotional and/or physical abuse,
health issues, alcohol/drug use and/or dependency. 

Support in healthcare centres for emotional wellbeing

Your healthcare centre offers support if you start feeling worse and general advice is ineffective. Online counselling is also available through the website heilsuvera.is

Support from associations

Various associations around the country offer extra counselling, conversations and services to support mental health and wellbeing in these unprecedented times, e.g.:

Al-Anon provides information and resources for families of those with alcohol- and/or drug dependency. The Al-Anon emergency phone of the “Stattu með þér” division is: 768-7888.

AA provides information and resources for those suffering from alcohol- and/or drug dependency and who are willing to receive assistance. In addition, the site contains the emergency phone number of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Reykjavík area: 895-1050
Reykjanes: 777-5504
Akureyri: 849-4012

NA provides information and resources for those suffering from drug dependency. Their emergency phone number is: 661-2915.

Geðhjálp is an association of users, families, professionals and parties interested in increasing the wellbeing of people with mental health problems or mental illness.

Hugarafl is operated for all who have encountered emotional challenges, as well as their families.

Píeta samtökin offers preventative measures for suicide and self-harm, as well as familial support.

Online chat with the Churchis a platform offered by the National Church where people can have confidential conversions with a priest or a deacon. People can describe their emotional state and circumstances and have a conversation where they will receive support and counselling.

Useful information

The public health division of the Directorate of Health has issued these 10 guidelines for health and wellbeing.

Booklet about how to deal with worries and anxiety in the time of COVID-19.

Booklet with good advice for parents and guardians.

Information on heilsuvera.is about wellbeing, communication, loneliness and stress.

Manual on cognitive behavioural therapy, developed by Reykjalundur staff in the mental health department.

Video on worries and anxiety, remedies and what to do, longer version and shorter version.

When do worries become an issue?

Everyone worries, and thinking ahead can help us plan for the future and deal with upcoming situations. It is often difficult to determine when worries have become excessive. Sometimes worries are considered an independent problem when they prevent people from living the life they want or if they cause lethargy and considerable discomfort.

How do I manage my worries?

In the present situation, worries are normal. However, if worrying has become excessive and has started to control your life, e.g. if your worries cause anxiety or sleep issues, it is important to seek measures to feel better and limit the time spent on worrying.  

Balance in everyday life. Psychologists see wellbeing as a combination of activities that spark joy and closeness and make people feel a sense accomplishment. Communication is recommended; however, new methods need to be implemented to keep there commended distance when socialising, such as video chats and other kinds of online communication.

Are the worries about real problems or possible problems? If we worry about many possible future problems, it is important that we remind ourselves that the mind is occupied with problems we cannot solve at this time. Subsequently, it is helpful to find ways to relieve the worries and focus on something else.

Exercises in putting worries on hold. Worries can be relentless and cause you to feel the need to respond immediately. By practicing putting worries about possible problems on hold, you can often gain new insights and understanding in regards to your worries. In practice, it is all about taking the time daily (e.g. 30 minutes in the afternoon) to reflect on the worries as well as releasing and putting worries on hold during all other hours of the day.

Empathetic self-talk. Worries often involve people we care about. One of the main tools of cognitive behavioural therapy is to write down negative, anxiety-inducing or otherwise distressing thoughts and try finding a solution for each of them.

Mindfulness. Learning mindfulness and practicing mindfulness exercises can help to release worry and focus the mind on the present. Full attention on your breath or environmental sounds can be an anchor for directing the attention to the present and relieving worry.

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