Media & archives

Statement: HYY is pleased about the FSHS expansion and calls for investments in mental health services

01.03.2019

The Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) is glad that the parliament today passed the act on higher education students’ student healthcare during the final stretches of the government term. The new act will eradicate uncertainty and inequality from higher education students’ student healthcare.

From 2021 onwards, the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) will produce student healthcare on a statutory basis for all higher education students completing their degree in Finland. For students of universities of applied sciences, this is an improvement in the quality, availability and diversity of services. All higher education students benefit from the appointment fees being removed entirely. Students are represented on all levels of decision-making in the FSHS’s administration, which means that the voice of the users can be heard, ensuring satisfaction.

Psychotherapy guarantee to provide better availability of mental health services

Now that the structures of student healthcare are in working order, the focus should be increasingly shifted on content. Research has provided us with the knowledge that the psychological symptoms of higher education students have been on the increase for the entire 2000s.

‘According to the Finnish Student Health Survey conducted by the FSHS, one in three higher education students has mental difficulties’, states Riikka Hakala, member of HYY’s Board in charge of health affairs.

HYY believes that by strengthening services and investing heavily in preventive cooperation with higher education institutions, we must be able to at least stop this increase in the occurrence of symptoms. Mental health services for students must be available sufficiently and at the right time.

One improvement that can be decided on the national level is a psychotherapy guarantee. ‘HYY’s objective is for rehabilitative psychotherapy to be free for those under 29 years of age and for students. In Kela’s current rehabilitative psychotherapy, the own risk prevents some students from seeking therapy’, Chair of HYY’s Board Laura Wathén says.

One of the basic values in the FSHS’s strategy is equality. The new act means that the entire age group in higher education is covered by the FSHS. ‘Impactful community health work and individual services make it possible to ensure that students can move into working life in good health and with good work ability to secure the age dependency ratio’, sums up Riikka Hakala, member of HYY’s Board in charge of health affairs.

Further information:
Specialist Sofia Lindqvist
sofia.lindqvist@hyy.fi
050 543 9605