Mental illness was Prime Minister Erna Solberg's main focus when she spoke to the nation on January 1.
In the years ahead, the government will work towards strenghtening our mental health care. Today it is not good enough. It has to become easier to get help," Solberg said in her New Year's speech.
Close to half of all Norwegians suffer from mental illness some time during their lifetime. Although mental illness is one of the biggest health problems of our time, it is also still considered taboo by many people.
In addition to making it easier for people to seek help, Solberg emphasized that both private individuals and corporations can and should do their share to help people who are going through a difficult time.
"I want to urge employers to hire more people that have a gap in their resumé. There are many competent people who are longing for another chance in the labor market." Solberg referred to the many people who are faced with prejudice and skepticism when returning to the workforce after a difficult time.
Solberg highlighted that especially adults are responsible for preventing mental problems by addressing bullying among kids and youth. According to Solberg: "A ruined childhood can leave significant marks. A good childhood lasts for life."
The Prime Minister also mentioned that both the academic environment and teacher's education in Norway is in need of improvement.
She spoke highly of Norwegian values that will be celebrated during the 200th-anniversary of our consitutition, and thanked the many Norwegians who dedicate and risk their lives in aid projects or operations against war and terror abroad.