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Waiting time first appointment in mental health center Flanders (Belgium) 2013-2018

From 2013 to 2018, the average waiting time for a first consultation in one of Flanders' mental health centers increased by over ten days. Potentially, a person had to wait over 1.5 months to get access to mental health care. In mental health, a long waiting time before a consultation can have consequences on the psychological state of a person.

Accessibility of mental healthcare

  In 2020, it was estimated that roughly 16 percent of Belgians suffered from a form of depressive disorder and 20 percent from a generalized anxiety disorder. Unsurprisingly, most psychological concerns expressed by patients in the Flemish mental health centers involved stress, anxiety, and depression. Although these disorders are treatable and well understood, treatment inherently depends on the accessibility of mental healthcare. The increase in the length of waiting times for a consultation questions the accessibility of mental healthcare in Belgium. In addition, longer waiting times also lead to fewer patients arriving for consultations.

Seeking professional help

  In 2018, only an estimated 14 percent of Belgians stated to have consulted a mental healthcare provider. Resistance to seek out professional help couple with lacking access to mental health care can have negative impacts on patients. Indeed, left untreated, certain conditions can worsen and even lead to a critical state. In some cases, this could heighten the risk of hospitalization or even suicide.

Average waiting time for a first consultation with a mental health center practitioner in Flanders (Belgium) from 2013 to 2018

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Statistics on "Mental health in Belgium"

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