The mental health service path intended for young people will tell you where to get help

Published: 29.9.2021 11.30Updated: 8.10.2021 12.07

It may be difficult to focus on where to get help when dealing with mental health challenges. That is why we are working together with young people from Western Uusimaa to build a distinct service path. The path will show young people how their care is progressing and which steps they can take themselves. We have also included other useful material to support mental health.

The mental health path for young people has been created by a team consisting of a group of young people from Western Uusimaa, mental health professionals working with young people and service design students from Laurea University of Applied Sciences.

The underlying idea is all about treating mental health: when you know what is happening, you are able to take an active role instead of only receiving help. This will allow for better commitment to care. Project Manager Petri Luomaa says that this can have a significant impact on the quality and success of treatment.  

You can see the service path test version under the text (in Finnish). The Karviainen joint municipal authority for basic security, i.e. Karkkila and Vihti, is the first to pilot the implementation of the service path in practice.

The service path includes information on services and tips on what you can do yourself to feel better. We have also included links to materials published by MIELI Mental Health Finland, among others. 

Reliable information and encouragement help with starting treatment

Family therapist and supervisor Petra Sjölund from the Hanko Child and Youth Outpatient Clinic works with young people. She was involved in planning the new service path. She thinks that the content is now sufficiently simple and unambiguous.

“I also think that it is great that there is reliable information available in the first place. I often hear that people can’t find the right information. Young people, in particular, value ease-of-use. We cannot offer ten different telephone numbers that you should know how to choose from.”

For some, starting treatment can feel challenging and frightening. It is no wonder that Sjölund’s task is sometimes to encourage and motivate. 

”I never push treatment on anyone; instead, I try to listen. Nor do I ever approach things from the viewpoint of issues. I try to figure out what the person in question values most,” Sjölund says.

Sense of security and trust important to young people 

According to Sjölund, all customers, but young people in particular, find it important to talk to a familiar face and be able to talk openly. She stresses the importance of the sense of security.  

”As professionals, many things are self-evident to us, but not to young people. If a young person is surprised by who is present at a meeting discussing their matters, for example, it may affect their ability to express themselves.” 

Petri Luomaa says that it is important to make a change for the better in mental healthcare. This requires that the people being helped commit to learning new things, in addition to treatment and support. It is important to identify feelings and the cause and effect of things, for example. When a person learns to identify how they behave in a given situation, they are able to react and change their behaviour. 

Luomaa provides a practical example of this:  

”If you are annoyed by the dishes someone else left behind in the kitchen, you may actually have unidentified contradictory feelings – or you may genuinely be annoyed by the dishes. It is important to learn to cope with difficult emotions.”

The mental health service path for young people is part of the development of the services of the Western Uusimaa wellbeing services county. Learn more about the Western Uusimaa wellbeing services county.

  • Wellbeing Services County