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Mental health services

The MSAH is responsible for national planning, guidance and monitoring of mental health work. Legislation pertaining to mental health:

The aim of mental health work is to strengthen people's good mental health and to reduce factors that undermine it. This work includes activities to promote mental health and prevent mental health disorders, as well as mental health services.

The MSAH strategy for social and health policy and the Government Programme emphasise

  • the reform of the mental Health Act
  • improving the availability of mental health and services for substance abusers
  • continuing to implement the development plan on mental health and services for substance abusers
  • instilling practices concerning depression prevention and preventing work incapacity due to depression

The organisation of mental health services

Mental health services include

  • guidance, advice and, when necessary, psycho-social support
  • psycho-social support in crises
  • examination, treatment and rehabilitation for mental health disorders

Municipal social and health services deal with the prevention of mental health disorders, early diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.
Treatment chiefly uses outpatient and primary social and health services. Mental health services are also organised under specialised health care at psychiatric clinics and psychiatric hospital care.

Municipal social services arrange housing services, home services and rehabilitative work activities for people undergoing mental health rehabilitation.

Access to treatment

The same timeframes apply concerning access to treatment for mental health disorders for adults (over 23 years) as with other medical services.

The treatment evaluations and specialist assessments of children and young people (under 23 years) must be carried out within six weeks referral. Treatment must be provided within three months of its prescription.

Child welfare clinics and school and student health services play an important role in the prevention, detection and provision of support concerning mental health problems in children and young people. Occupational health supports mental health and problem prevention among the working population.

The Social Insurance Institution reimburses mental disorders and those suffering from 16-67 years of age for work or school performance improvement at rehabilitation psychotherapy.

The Social Insurance Institution (Kela) reimburses the costs of rehabilitative psychotherapy to improve the capacity to work or study for people aged between 16-67.

Other agencies

The National Institute for Welfare and Health (THL)

The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) and Regional Administrative Agencies supervise mental health services.

Developing mental health services with services for substance abusers

Many municipalities combine mental health services with services for substance abusers. Social and health services collaborate on the prevention and treatment of mental health and substance abuse problems. Municipalities coordinate public, NGO and private services for substance abusers as a functional entity.

The MSAH's ‘Mieli' working group provides support and evaluation for implementing the national plan on mental health and substance abuse:

See also the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) on the implementation of the plan: