Last days of September, I found an article from Talentia Magazine written by Markku Tasala “Psychological distress of children and adolescents is not heard” . It was about youths mental health issues and how they are taken care of in the Finnish welfare state system. In that article there was one mother who told her experiences of receiving help with her child’s mental health issues. One striking phrase was that when they had crisis worker to help them, the worker had asked the mother “what do they need”?
What do I need? If I ask that question to myself, even in a regular morning when I’m not particularly sad or happy, do I know the answer to it? Then how about if my child is going thru depression and is having mental health related problems, how do I know what do I need? Why do professionals ask this question? Do they just say it as a phrase without even thinking about it?
There are many studies, surveys and ongoing projects which attempt to lower the amount of youth’s malaise but still the results are that the amount of help isn’t enough or at everyone’s reach.
Facts and numbers:
– 10-15% of children and 20% of youth suffer from mental health disorders.
-mental health disorder causes Significant suffering or malfunction.
Few days after reading about this subject, Kuopio School killing happened, and the same subject rose to surface again. In what state is the mental care system at schools and how low is the threshold to reach these services. In Helsingin Sanomat there was an article “The nausea of young people was awakened 12 years ago by a national concern” written by Mika Ranta. In the article there was few results pointed out from the wellbeing survey done in schools during Spring 2019. Many of the youngsters had said that it would be easier to talk with some familiar adult from school rather than have a referral to see a psychologist. In the Talentia article I found connection between these two articles. To help youth with giving them some early stage help at schools there has been a pilot project for young people to receive guidance and help with mental health issues.
“The joint project of the University of Helsinki, Hus, Espoo city and THL yielded good results in bringing mental health intervention into the study of secondary schools for the treatment of mild and moderate depression in young people. The experiment showed that young people are able to cope with depression in schools.”(Tasala,2019).
“In total, 66 employees of the Espoo Upper schools were trained between 2016 and 2017 to give students the so-called IPC-directed. IPC is a shortened, six-appointment application for interpersonal therapy (IPT), a practical therapy model for treating depression.”(Tasala,2019)
These two articles both stated that many of the young people are left without help. Every time something irreversible happens like the school shootings in Jokela 2007 and this case now in Kuopio people start talking what should we do to prevent these to happen?
I think that we as Finns are not the easiest people to receive help, I know I’m not. But how about if us, as professionals, we would reach our hands and say It is going be ok. I’m here to help you and I know just how I can do it. Then start from there. Strat to offer guidance, share what you know. We all have a right to know what we are entitled to. There is just too much information and little capacity to handle everything, especially in a crisis situation.
https://www.talentia-lehti.fi/lasten-ja-nuorten-psyykkista-hataa-ei-kuulla/ Markku Tasala, 1 Jan. 2019. accessed 29.10.2019
Helsingin Sanomat, The nausea of young people was awakened 12 years ago by a national concern, Mika Ranta, 5.10.2019