Danish authorities praised for offering municipal marriage counselling

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Danish authorities praised for offering municipal marriage counselling
File photo: Bjarke Ørsted / Ritzau Scanpix

A number of municipalities in Denmark have recently introduced relationship counselling services, drawing praise for their efforts to reduce divorce rates.


Jane Heitmann, a health spokesperson with the opposition Venstre (Liberal) party, said she was pleased to see local authorities trying to help relationships prosper.

“We can unfortunately observe that more and more couples are struggling for one reason or another, and that families sometimes find it hard to get along,” Heitmann said.

“That’s why I think municipalities deserve praise for taking the initiative to help more families prosper and stay together,” she added.

A recent survey conducted by newspaper Politiken found that 67 of the 98 municipalities in Denmark offer relationship counselling.

That is an increase from 2 out of 10 in 2013.

The social spokesperson with the governing Social Democrats, Camilla Fabricius, also said the trend was a positive one.

But Fabricius added that more data was required before any decision on whether to roll the scheme out to the rest of the country.

“It’s very interesting to see how much success municipalities are having with this, because it’s all about prevention on a mental health and personal level,” she said.

“We help a lot of people with the physical health aspect, so public services also helping with mental health is sensible,” she said.

Heitmann said she was open to the idea of state funding for the concept.

“If the municipalities want to expand this, it would be an ideal subject to look at when the municipalities negotiate their budgets with the government,” she said.

Denmark’s divorce rate in 2018 was 46.5 percent, and has remained at around that level for a number of years.

READ ALSO: Mandatory 'divorce course' for parents splitting up in Denmark


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