JAMKO: Together towards better mental health
Students’ mental health day will be celebrated on 13th of April. Past pandemic years and accelerated Ukrainian crisis has had their negative impact specially on young adults and students, who might not have too large support net in unfamiliar town. Due the Covid pandemic, the lack of community and coming back to campus could cause hard times and affect negatively on students’ abilities to study. Those who started their studies in fall of 2020 might have met their classmates first times face to face during this spring.
During the fall of 2021 Finnish institute for health and welfare published alarming results from their research. every third UAS or Uni student suffered from anxiety or depression. During the last year, 13% of UAS or Uni students has got diagnosis in depression. This is unacceptable.
The biggest issue through the whole mental health services sector is the lack of money and staff. UAS students are under the services of FSHS, but unfortunately locally these services are badly jammed and that has led for waiting in lines for multiple months. In situation like this student must find their help elsewhere, but in Jyväskylä one can call to psychologist of health-care center during Tuesdays 9am to 11am and during Thursdays 1pm to 3pm. In theory the fast lane to the services is via Acute Psychiatry services, but those are deep in the internet where they are hard to find and their web page does not even exist in English.
Theme for the Students mental health day this year is compassion and from that point this issue should also be solved. It is important that every single professional in health care services has got enough tools to understand mental health issues and talk about them with clients. Student with mental health issues does not need waiting lines, but even discussion via phone with professional, who has time and compassion would take them towards in a long way. One great solution has been the discussion groups held by FSHS, but so far they have not got so many students there as they should. Thus these groups should be marketed more.
The easiest solution for this issue would simply be giving more money and resources to FSHS, but unfortunately that is not always possible. That’s why its important that coordination between FSHS, Public services and private sector would be as fluid as possible. There is multiple ways to get help with mental health issues such as Crisis center Mobile and Nyyti ry. If we could get all these existing services to work together against common issue, we would get more results than in this slow and bureaucratic current one.
Students are the future. If these issues are not fixed, we don’t have future.
On behalf of The Student Union of JAMK University of Applied Sciences JAMKO
Peetu Luiro, Chairperson of the Representatives Council
Nilla Selänniemi, The Social Policy Responsible of the Board