Birgit Valla, Norway

Clinical psychologist, Director of mental health service, lecturer, writer

birgit.valla@gmail.com

Birgit Valla is a Norwegian psychologist and the director of a community based mental health service called Stangehjelpa in Stange municipality, which serves children, adolescents, families and adults in the context of family work, mental health and substance abuse (www.stangehjelpa.no). The service has been developed based on the feedback from the people that ask for help, which has made the service leave the medical model as a way of structuring and delivering mental health services. The service focus instead on the needs of the person seeking help as they themselves describe it and work from there. Getting feedback is essential in the service, and constantly developing the staff in delivering better services that is more helpful for the individual.

She is the author of the book “Videre – Hvordan psykiske helsetjenester kan bli bedre», which will soon be out in english (Beyond Best Practice – How Mental Health Services Can Be Better) She has written several articles in Norwegian newspapers and journals. Birgit is an experienced lecturer and speaker and teaches how to build services based on feedback and how to train to get better. Birgit has a strong voice in the public debate in Norway for developing service based on humanistic understanding rather than assessments and diagnosis.