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​Promoting Health and Preventative Measures​

  • Iceland does not see much sunlight. Everyone is advised to take vitamin D (cod liver oil or vitamin D tablets/capsules). The recommended daily dose is age dependent. ​
  • Physical therapists are on staff both at hospitals and in private clinics. They treat musculoskeletal pain. It is possible to get a referral from a physician for a physical therapist and the medical insurance will then cover a significant amount of the costs. ​
  • Massage therapists and health coaches can be found at fitness centers and private clinics.​
  • Hiking groups operate in various locations in Iceland. They are run independently or as part of sports teams or hiking associations, and
  • People will go to psychologists (or psychiatrists) to receive help with their anxiety and obsessive disorders, or to work through trauma. ​
  • Psychological therapy clinics also offer marriage counseling and family counseling. ​
  • The Icelandic Health Insurance ("Sjúkratryggingar Íslands") does not pay for privately operated psychological treatment. However, it is possible to contact the union or municipal social services and request financial aid. ​
  • Psychologists are also available within healthcare centers and hospitals. ​
  • There are many fitness centers in Iceland. They provide access to exercise equipment as well as an array of fitness classes. ​
  • It is common for both men and women in Iceland to go to the gym. ​
  • Swimming is a large part of Icelandic culture, for women, men, and children alike. Many will go to the pool every day to meet acquaintances and chat in the hot tubs. Many immigrants - including women - attend the swimming pools in Iceland and find it very enjoyable!​
  • Water aerobics are available at many pools and are particularly popular among senior citizens. ​
  • The swimming pools have hot tubs, massage tubs and steam baths. ​
  • Swimming is a healthy activity, but it can also be pleasant to just rest outside in the warm water. ​
  • Iceland offers organised screening for cervical cancer and breast cancer.​
  • Screenings for cervical cancer in women is conducted at healthcare centers around the country. Nurses and midwives take samples. ​
  • Women of the age of 23-29 are offered every 3 years to come in for screening. Women of the age of 30-65 are offered every 5 years to come in for screening. ​
  • Landspítalinn oversees breast cancer screenings in coordination with the hospital in Akureyri ("Sjúkrahúsið á Akureyri"). ​
  • Breast cancer screening is provided every two years for women aged 40-74. ​
  • Screening invitations are sent out by mail and can also be accessed electronically at under My Pages ("mínar síður").​
  • The results can be accessed electronically at („mínar síður") and . Women are also contacted directly if there is reason to do so. ​
  • Invitations, attended screenings, and screening results can be viewed at, both normal results and when there is reason for further examination. ​
  • Colon cancer in women and men, and prostate cancer (in men) is also common, and it is necessary to screen for that from the age of 50. ​
  • In Iceland, the use of seatbelts is mandatory. Seatbelts have saved many lives in car accidents. ​
  • Children should, by law, always be in a child car seat that is compatible with their weight and age. ​
  • Children must also wear bicycle helmets when riding bicycles. ​
  • Reflectors on jackets and bags are necessary in the winter, for both children and adults. ​

​Mental Wellbeing Help

  • Emergency number 112 and (online chat)​
  • The Red Cross Help Line Always open, confidential, and free. Call 1717 and online chat at ​
  • The Píeta organisation, carries out activity to help prevent suicides and self-harm, and to support the next of kin. TEL. 552 2218, always open. ​
  • The Icelandic Mental Health Alliance ("Geðhjálp"),, Tel. 570 1700. At the Icelandic Mental Health Alliance, trained consultants provide services to individuals with mental illnesses and their next of kin, free of charge. The consultants are obligated to maintain full confidentiality. ​
  • Hugarafl. A non-governmental organisation, consisting of people who have experienced a personal crisis and are in recovery. Diverse group work. TEL. 414 1550.​

Addiction – Help

  • SÁÁ. Treatment for alcohol and drug dependency. For men, women, and adolescents. Psychological services for the children of alcoholics. TEL. 530 7600.​
  • AA, Association of men and women in recovery from alcoholism. ​
  • The emergency number of the AA association is: 895-1050 for the Greater Reykjavík area, tel.: 849-4012 Akureyri, and tel.: 777-5504 Reykjanes. AA meetings are held all over Iceland. ​
  • Regarding violence in domestic relationships and support, see Chapter 3. Children and families.

Good Health - Worth Its Weight in Gold

  • It supports physical and mental wellbeing:
    • to sleep well​
    • to eat healthy and nutritious food​
    • to exercise and strengthen the body​
    • to go out for a walk every day - also in the winters, and try to take advantage of the daylight​
    • to watch out for stress and maintain a balance in life​
    • to think positively​
    • to maintain a healthy relationship with friends and family​
    • to do what gives one pleasure​
    • to nurture your soul​
    • to not smoke​
    • to avoid alcohol​


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