In connection with the municipal elections, we will publish a series of blogs in which the political student organizations of the parliamentary parties will take a stand on mental health policy. At Nyyti, we want to increase the social debate on mental health and thus increase our turnout. You can find out about Nyyti’s municipal election goals here. You can also find a more detailed election schedule on the page.

There are internal protective factors: skills related to problemsolving, interaction and emotions. And external protective factors such as education, the living environment, and livelihood. 

Internal factors are often talked about. These skills can be practised in therapy – at least if youre rich or lucky enough to get there. One of the two is always neededeither money to pay for the therapy by yourself or sheer luck that sees the stars align in such a way that you qualify for the rehabilitative psychotherapy compensated by Kela. The student’s role is to foresee when the best time is to seek help for one’s mental health problems. 

The reasons for this gamble are clear: If you’re in good or even tolerable condition, you are able to seek help. What if you’re suffering from severe depression? Not that simple. In addition, in order to be qualified for the therapy compensated by Kela, your condition has to be bad but not too bad. An impersonal e-mail sent to a therapists gets lost in the mass of e-mails. Not all towns even have free appointments for therapy. 

This is why it’s fundamental to pursue the matter of a therapy guarantee and free psychotherapist training. There is still room for discussion on the prevention of mental health problems. External protective factors are covered much less frequently. Mental Health Finland lists loneliness, poverty, and inevitable life changes as risk factors for mental health. Does this sound familiar? 

A student moving to a new town to study leaves their old safety nets behind and takes a step into the unknown. An unknown where after paying your rent, you won’t have much left. Is it any wonder that student life, laced with strict credit targets and graduation deadlines, is hard on your wellbeing? 

I am a university student suffering from mental health problems, attending therapy compensated by Kela (thanks to the aligned stars!) and working. The external protective factors are in order, and the internal ones are currently being worked on. What else could I do for my own wellbeing? 

Oh yes, I could vote for people in the municipal elections who understand the importance of student’s mental health. 

A safe living environment, an opportunity for education, a sufficient and stable livelihood, and opportunities for influence in society are all factors that protect mental health. Everyone deserves to live in a place that invests in these. We need not only easily accessible help systems but also meaningful content in our lives before our mental health collapses: meeting places, culture, and the feeling of being heard.

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