Introduction to the Helping Hands blog

Hands up everyone!  

You are warmly welcomed to explore our blog, called Helping Hands. We are five 2nd and 3rd year Social Services students from Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Tikkurila campus. 

Lue lisää Introduction to the Helping Hands blog

Exerting influence

Our task for this course was to exert influence. Influence according to Cambridge dictionary is “the power to have an effect on people or things”(No name, nd). Exerting is described “to use something such as  authority, power, influence, etc. in order to make something happen.” (No name, Nd) . Both of these definitions have negative sound in them. In the social services field there many of the workers use their power to evert influence in a negative way. Usually we are working with clients that are vulnerable under our influence. How we use this power of ours depends on a person. Many articles have been written on neglection. I found one article from Yle uutiset web page. There were stories about how parents who have lost their disabled children due to wrong or uncaring treatment see us care givers in social field. I have also witnessed mishandling from caregiver to autistic child.

Lue lisää Exerting influence

Important Role

During recent decades, there has been a significant improvement in people’s physical wellbeing. Never before, has the Finnish population been as healthy as they are now. Unfortunately, this kind of progress is not seen in mental wellbeing.  This is somehow ambivalent, as physical – and mental wellbeing often go hand in hand. What could be the reasons behind the phenomenon? Partly, because of the changes in diagnostic in the last 3 or 4 decades, the statistics are misleading, but surely, partly to blame is the changing working life with its demands, interruptions, and uncertainty. Blame is also put to media and the virtual world, as they are weakening people`s ability to see reality. This together with weakened norms and values, could be damaging especially for the younger generation, who are still seeking their identity. (Psykiatria, 2017)

Depression is one of the most overloading disorder among population, and the most significant risk factor are harmful experiences in childhood.

Without preventing measures, 60 % of children of the depressed parent will have some mental disorder before their 25th birthday. Risk factors are often accumulating to certain families, while others are enjoying growing wellbeing.

Among parent`s mental illness, poverty, substance abuse, loneliness and being bullied in school, are increasing the risk to develop a mental disorder.

Despite these dark facts, it is possible to effectively prevent mental problems, and most of these acts could be implemented at relatively low cost. Some of the effective and proven social measures to prevent mental problems are listed in the book published by Duodecim: Improved nutrition and living, promoting access to education, reduction of the disadvantages caused by unemployment, strengthening safety nets, reduction of substance abuse and violent, pre-schoolers psychosocial support, child friendly school environment, and preventive mental health programs in schools, have all proved to be effective ways to protect mental wellbeing. (Psykiatria, 2017)

Early intervention to mental problems in schools and families should be a norm, and discussion therapy in schools has brought promising results. One good example is from Ruutana`s elementary school in Kangasala region, where a successful pilot program has been in a run: A few years ago, they hired a socionom as an education provider. Among offering discussion help for school kids, her task is to give support and help with various issues and solve arguments. She is also giving a lecture for each class on a weekly basis to promote emotional skills, as well as social-, – and group forming skills. An education provider also has a big role in preventing exclusion and bullying.

Despite very promising results, these kinds of education providers are currently working in a very small number of schools.  But who knows, this might be a future profession for some of us social service students. However, works one of us as an education provider, kindergarden teacher, with immigrants, elderly, disabled or mentally ill in the future, I believe we all will have an important and responsible role preventing exclusion and promoting mental wellbeing. And thereby each one of us can do their part to turn the track to the direction with the development of physical health. And we should not forget how much small things matter: Often listening and being present can be a turning point for someone.


Minna Lahti huolehtii, että opettajat voivat keskittyä opettamiseen – Ruutanan koulussa kasvatusohjaaja hoitaa lasten riitojen selvittelyn

Psykiatria, 12. painos, Jouko Lönnqvist,Markus Henriksson, Mauri Marttunen, Timo Partonen, 2017, Kustannus Oy Duodecim

As normal as… What!

“The idea behind this photo was totally different, but I still think this describes the child’s mind about depressed mom/parent well. -Mom isn’t so cheerful and all glitter now!”

I subscribe this one magazine focused to families “Meidän perhe”(11/2019) and came across with a great article about depression in family setting. What effects it has to the family and beyond as well as how to deal with it.

Lue lisää As normal as… What!

History of Madness

William Hogart: Scene in Bedlam

Although 2500 years ago Hippocrates suggested that mental problems had a natural cause and that cause laid in the brain and imbalance of body fluids, giving treatment and therapy for mentally ill patients is relatively new practise.

Lue lisää History of Madness

Not capable of quickies- says who!

Imagine living your life without physical touch on your own! The only way to get or give touch would be with a help from third person or extended equipment. Basic hug or quick kiss to someone on the cheek would be so demanding that it needs a third person to succeed the small gesture. The physical touch which I’m going to refer here is sex between two people with mobility restriction.

Lue lisää Not capable of quickies- says who!

Shattered Glass

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”?

Lue lisää Shattered Glass