Are you suffering from mental health issues as an expat in the Netherlands and are thinking of consulting a therapist? This article explains everything you need to know about getting mental healthcare in the Netherlands, from finding a psychologist, getting diagnosed and the different treatment options.

In the Netherlands, it is not uncommon for people to visit a mental health professional for help with psychological issues. Whether you are suffering from depression, anxiety, burnout or other mental health issues, the Dutch healthcare system offers a myriad of resources.

Here are a few things you should know before starting your journey:

Health insuranceMost basic Dutch health insurance packages offer either full or partial coverage for treatment of mental health conditions in the Netherlands. These insurance policies cover both primary and secondary mental healthcare.

Primary mental healthcarePrimary mental healthcare treats mild to moderate psychological issues. These treatments are shorter and usually last less than one year. They are also centred around specific complaints.

Primary care treatment includes interventions like in-person counselling and online mental health support (e-health), or a combination of both.

Secondary mental healthcareSecondary mental healthcare treats people with more complex psychological conditions that require a longer period of time to treat (usually more than a year).

Some examples of conditions which fall into the secondary-care category include:

Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADHD) Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Anxiety disorder Personality disorders (e.g. borderline, bipolar, schizotypal) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Schizophrenia People with more serious issues like the ones listed above will likely be treated by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. These professionals normally work out of a mental health institution, hospital or private clinic.

Public vs private therapyThere are two types of therapy in the Netherlands: public and private therapy. Public therapy is free (or heavily subsidised) in the Netherlands – as long as you have Dutch health insurance and you go with a contracted provider. If the provider is not included in your insurer’s list of contracted-care providers, then you may have to pay a small amount or pay the bill first yourself before sending it to the insurance company. Also, the waiting times for public therapy are much longer than for private therapy.

Conversely, it is easier to get an appointment with a therapist from a private clinic as the waiting times are usually much shorter. However, many private psychologists in the Netherlands do not have contracts with Dutch health insurers and you may be expected to pay for your treatment out-of-pocket.

First intake with the GPThe first step to any health journey in the Netherlands is visiting your general practitioner (GP) or huisarts. Most GP offices in the Netherlands will have a psychologist on staff who can help you. During (or sometimes before) the first intake session, the psychologist will ask you about your issues. You may then be asked to fill out a questionnaire to assess your overall mental state as well as your symptoms.

After the intake session, the psychologist will review your information and possibly give you a diagnosis. If your symptoms are mild, then you could get treated by the GP psychologist themself.

However, if your condition is more severe, the GP psychologist will likely refer you to a basis-GGZ (primary care) psychologist. If your issues are more complex or serious than that, you may be referred to a gespecialiseerde-GGZ (specialised or secondary care) psychologist. Both types of specialists require a referral from your GP.

Second intake with a therapistAfter you have been referred to either a primary- or secondary-care psychologist, you may be put on a waiting list. As there is a high demand for mental health services in the Netherlands, the process can take anywhere from six weeks up to a year before your first appointment.

Once you get off the waiting list, the referred psychologist will perform their own assessment. Similar to the intake at the GP’s office, they will ask you about your issues and require you to fill out some questionnaires. After that, they will give you a diagnosis (if applicable) and collaborate with you to create an appropriate treatment plan.

E-healthIf you have mild to moderate mental health symptoms, you can also use an e-health service for online counselling. This option offers flexibility as it can be done from the comfort of your own home. It is also a good option if you are on a waiting list and do not wish to go a long period of time without therapy.

InstitutionalisationIn case of a serious mental disorder or condition, it is possible to be admitted to a mental health institution. This option is often voluntary with the patient and their loved ones being part of the decision-making process. However, a person may be involuntarily admitted (or committed) to an institution if they pose a danger to themselves or to those around them.

Since institutionalisation is part of mental healthcare in the Netherlands, the first three years of hospitalisation are covered by most health insurers.

Emergency mental health servicesIf you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, such as suicidal thoughts or tendencies, acute depression, delusions or panic attacks, then you should contact a GP immediately. They can help you or your loved one by contacting the 24/7 crisis intervention team.

113 Suicide PreventionYou can anonymously contact 113 Suicide Prevention by calling 113 (normal calling costs) or 0800 0113 (free of charge). You can also use the “Chat” button on their website. They have a strong international orientation and many of their trained volunteers can help you in English, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Support linesIf you need emotional support or just need someone to talk to, there are several helplines and resources that you can use anonymously in the Netherlands:

Emotional support helpline (Stichting Korrelatie): 116 123 The Listening Line (De Luisterlijn): 088 076 7000 MIND Korrelatie: 900 1450 or WhatsApp: 061 386 3803 Social services: 070 205 2222 Domestic abuse hotline (Veilig Thuis): 0800 2000 If you find yourself in a life-threatening situation, contact the standard emergency hotline 112 for urgent assistance.

If you’re looking for some vegan and vegetarian restaurants to try out, the Netherlands has plenty of options, whether you’re a resident or travelling. Most restaurants and cafes in the major Dutch cities have a good selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes, but sometimes there’s nothing quite like a place that specialises in plant-based food. Here are some of our picks.

AmsterdamAs you might expect, the capital city of the Netherlands has a good number of dependable vegan and vegetarian spots. Take a break from biking around Amsterdam with its beautiful canals and try one of these restaurants.

Vegan Junk Food BarThe Vegan Junk Food Bar is a delicious plant-based restaurant that has every kind of decadent junk food imaginable – all of it vegan. With multiple locations across Amsterdam – and even a few international locations – Vegan Junk Food Bar serves burgers, fries, nachos, desserts, and much more. They also have an entire gluten-free menu!

Mr. and Mrs. WatsonEver had vegan fondue? Mr. and Mrs. Watson is a plant-based cheesery and restaurant located in Duivendrecht, a suburb of Amsterdam. This place has every cheese imaginable in a vegan version, perfect for delicious cheese platters. Their Prosecco fondue is one of their most popular dishes.

Betty’sBetty’s is a vegetarian restaurant that started off selling cakes and baked goods, but now has developed a full three-course menu of meat-free delights. The menu is not set, but rather has a “surprise” element that consists of creative, seasonal vegetarian dishes, created with fresh, impeccable ingredients.

TerraZen CentreTerraZen Centre is a funky, family-run café that offers vegan Caribbean and Japanese dishes like jackfruit karrage and vegan ramen. With its convenient location in the heart of the city centre, the café is very easily accessible via public transportation.

UtrechtUtrecht is a university city in the Netherlands known for its medieval centre, canals, and of course, great food. Here are some of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants to try in Utrecht.

GysGys is a restaurant that curates appetising, organic vegetarian food. The menu contains all kinds of dishes with everything from club sandwiches to shakshuka and Mexican tostadas. Don’t forget to top off the meal with one of Gys’s delightful desserts!

BROEIBROEI is located right outside the city centre, and it’s the perfect plant-based café for breakfast or lunch. All the ingredients used in the cooking are fresh and grown by local farmers, resulting in delectable culinary delights that change with the seasons.

Van PlantenVan Planten is a cosy vegan restaurant in Utrecht that serves delicious food, with all proceeds going to animal, nature, and environmental welfare causes. This sustainable spot has a monthly menu and serves various international dishes daily.

Life’s a PeachLife’s a Peach is a sustainable restaurant that focuses on authentic Italian bites – namely focaccia made from scratch. However, Life’s a Peach is more than a focacceria; they also serve cakes, pastries and much more, with every dish promising to satisfy your palate.

The HagueThe Hague, known for the Peace Palace and International Criminal Court, also has a wondrous amount of delicious vegetarian and vegan options for all to try. Here are the ones we suggest!

Vegane GlorieVegane Glorie, which translates into “Vegan Glory”, is a plant-based eatery that serves up organic grub with impeccable flavour. They offer a variety of dishes, from classic Dutch eats like kapsalon to international dishes like ramen and curries.

FOAM Breakfast & LunchFOAM Breakfast & Lunch is a popular vegan restaurant located just outside of the city centre of The Hague. The varied and delicious menu covers everything from pancakes and tacos to toasties and Turkish pizzas.

De Vegetarische TokoDe Vegetarische Toko is a vegetarian Indonesian eatery located near The Hague city centre that offers rice bowls with plant-based versions of traditional meats and proteins. Most of their menu is vegan with a few exceptions that are explicitly labelled.

Veggies on FireVeggies on Fire is an entirely plant-based diner, and has been declared one of the most sustainable restaurants in the Netherlands. Everything is made from scratch and the restaurant has the perfect cosy ambience for a relaxing and delicious meal.

RotterdamRotterdam is one of the major port cities in all of Europe, and it has incredible diversity and rich culture which is often reflected in its culinary scene. Here are some vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Rotterdam we would recommend.

BackyardBackyard is a vegan restaurant located right in the heart of Rotterdam, very close to the Maritime Museum. It has an extensive menu that offers hearty meals like burgers and loaded fries, making it a great option for when you’re spending a lot of time (and energy) exploring the city centre.

Leaf VegetarianLeaf Vegetarian is a vegetarian restaurant with plenty of vegan options that serves a variety of Asian dishes. Leaf is popular with local diners for its selection of faux meats, including faux fish and faux shrimp with fresh and authentic flavours.

Spirit RotterdamSpirit Rotterdam is a vegetarian buffet-style establishment that offers salads, hot and cold dishes, sweets, and much more. There are over 50 dishes, all made from organic ingredients that change with the seasons.

Gare du NordGare du Nord is an exceptional vegan experience that serves incredible food in an old train carriage in the north of the city. The unique location with great vegan, zero-waste classical Dutch food makes this the perfect treat.

GroningenGroningen is located in the northern region of the Netherlands and is famous for its medieval architecture and the University of Groningen. As a popular student city, it also has a great offering of vegan and vegetarian eateries. Here are just a few.

LustLust is the ideal place for a scrumptious burger that is entirely plant-based. With simple but tasty main dishes and sides, Lust is the spot for a juicy food craving without having to eat any meat. 

MahaloMahalo is a vegan breakfast and lunch café that features homemade, organic food. The culinary delights served here are colourful and healthy, and include everything from granola bowls and smoothies to soups and salads.

AchterwerkFinding it hard to find fine dining as a vegan? Achterwerk has you covered! This vegan fine-dining spot has a five-course surprise menu that can be paired with either an alcoholic or non-alcoholic package.

Mr. Vegan FoodbarMr. Vegan Foodbar is located near the centre of Groningen and has all your junk food needs – and it’s entirely vegan! With small bites like sushi to sizeable burgers and fries to indulgent sweets, Mr. Vegan Foodbar is the best guilty pleasure.

Delicious plant-based bites in the NetherlandsThere are a plethora of choices for a vegetarian or vegan meal in the Netherlands, but these are some of the ones we recommend. Did we miss your favourite spot? Let us know in the comments below!

The Netherlands is one of the friendliest countries in the world for expats and foreign workers, but there are still some tricky things to be aware of. In this article, Greenback Expat Tax Services explains a few key tax issues that US expats face, as well as how to file your US federal tax return from a foreign country.

Taxes in NetherlandsThe Netherlands is a member of the European Union (EU) and follows many of the same tax laws as other EU countries. This means that US expats living in the Netherlands are subject to Dutch taxes on most types of income, including wages, pensions, social security benefits and interest earned on investments.

The country has a progressive tax rate, meaning that your income will be taxed at different rates depending on how much money you earn. The Netherlands is one of the few countries in the world to tax residents on worldwide income. This means that even if you don’t work here and make all your money elsewhere, if you are a tax resident, you still have to state your foreign income on your Dutch tax return and potentially pay taxes on it.

Expat tax dilemmaThe expat tax dilemma is a situation where an individual is required to pay taxes in two different countries. This may happen because they have lived abroad for long periods of time or because they have made multiple moves across national borders.

The first step towards understanding your obligations as an expatriate is understanding tax residency, namely which state claims jurisdiction over your income. In most cases, but not all, this will be decided by where you reside from one year to the next.

If you move around frequently enough, or if you travel back and forth between two countries regularly, then things can get tricky. You would be liable under both sets of laws at the same time. US Expats living overseas are required to file a US tax return regardless of where they lived.

Tax residencyFirst, it’s essential to note that tax residency is not the same as tax domicile. In fact, they are very different concepts and are not related.

Tax residency is a legal concept determining where you will be taxed on your worldwide income. Tax residency looks at where you are living for each tax year. For instance, if you move to another country, this is where your tax residency will be.

Tax domicile, on the other hand, is simply a residence that has been permanently established by an individual who intends to remain at this location indefinitely. This is more of a long-term concept and is determined by where you consider your home to be throughout your life.

In other words, someone’s tax residency can change, but their tax domicile cannot – you can only have one at any given time in your life! This distinction matters because both factors will determine how much income tax you have to pay every year when living abroad in the Netherlands.

Tax planning for expats in the NetherlandsTax planning is a long-term investment. The more you plan for the future, the more money you are likely to save. In addition to helping you plan for retirement; tax planning can help your family and business thrive in the Netherlands.

As an expat in the Netherlands, you are subject to Dutch tax law, which is based on residency, not citizenship. You are subject to Dutch tax law if you spend more than 183 days in the Netherlands in any given year. If this is the case, you must file an annual income report.

The good news is that the tax system here is quite streamlined, and there are no state or local taxes on personal income. You may also be liable if your business is registered in the Netherlands; you may be taxed on your company’s profits and the value of your assets.

US-Netherlands Tax TreatyA tax treaty is an agreement made between two countries to avoid double taxation – which can arise when the same income is taxed simultaneously by both countries. The treaty generally sets out how much tax will be paid in each country, and it may provide relief from taxation in one country if you are a resident of the other.

If you’re an American who becomes a Dutch resident or citizen and earns money while living in the Netherlands, you’ll still need to file US tax returns each year. You must pay taxes on your Dutch earnings in the US, either directly or through your employer’s payroll system.

However, under the US-Netherlands tax treaty, the amount of tax due in each nation is reduced by up to 95 percent of what would otherwise have been owed.

This, in addition to other deductions expats can make use of, means that US expats living in the Netherlands generally don’t end up owing US taxes, but of course this depends on your individual circumstances.

In addition, if you have both US and Dutch citizenship, you can choose which country’s tax laws apply to your worldwide income. If you’re also earning income from property, such as rent payments from tenants living in your home abroad, that too is subject to taxation. However, thanks to the tax treaties, certain types of non-business income earned abroad may qualify for exemption under certain conditions.

Worldwide incomeWorldwide income is your income from all sources outside of the Netherlands. You are taxed on this worldwide income by both the Netherlands and the country where said income was earned.

If you earn money from a source outside of the Netherlands, it may be subject to taxes in both places. This can lead to double taxation, which is when a person is taxed on their income more than once. However, the Netherlands has tax treaties with most countries that reduce or eliminate double taxation.

To avoid paying taxes twice, you must report all your worldwide income annually to the Dutch Tax Authorities (Belastingdienst) regardless of whether it was already taxed abroad. Forms INT1, INT2 and INT3 will help determine which forms need to be filed if you have worldwide income.

Employment Income ExemptionThe Employment Income Exemption is an essential piece of Dutch tax law. If you’re eligible to claim this exemption, you don’t need to pay taxes on your employment income. It’s not only a great way to save money, but it’s also one of the most straightforward ways for expats to reduce their tax burden.

You are eligible for an income exemption from the Belastingdienst if either of the following applies to you:

You live abroad and are employed in the Netherlands, and only have income from wages in the Netherlands You are an employee recruited or sent from another country to work in the Netherlands If you are a Dutch employee, you can claim the employment income exemption by submitting an R-9 form when you fill out your tax return. The R-9 form is available on the Belastingdienst website. The amount of income that is exempt depends on how long you have been living in the Netherlands; the longer you reside in the country, the higher your tax-free allowance will be.

Hopefully, we’ve helped you understand the residency and tax implications of living in the Netherlands.

Got more questions about taxes and residency? Contact Greenback Expat Tax Services for more advice on your US tax obligations!