Mental wellbeing

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Mental health and wellbeing comprise many individual, social, societal and cultural factors. WHO defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”. You can contribute to your own mental health and wellbeing in many ways.

The University also offers a wide range of related services, including support for when you need support for study-related challenges, need someone to talk to, or wish to seek peer support. This page contains a list of available student wellbeing services as well as links to relevant events organised by the University.

Please also visit the following pages for instructions for students: Study Support and Ground Rules.

Current events concerning mental wellbeing

A notebook and a pen on a table.

This section contains a list of current mental health related events organised by the University and its partners. Please also visit Guidance Corner for various study support related events.

  • University's Wellbeing Tuesday's program is designed to support mental wellbeing. Take part in workshops and webinars in the afternoon.
  • Check Nyyti's linktree to find out about chats, webinars, trainings and more. 

Where can I find help for a mental health emergency?

Health centre

In an acute mental health crisis, please contact your local health centre. Health centres employ a wide range of relevant professionals, such as nurses specialised in mental health and substance abuse. Health centres are open 8.00–16.00 on weekdays and you can contact accident and emergency departments 24 hours a day.

Crisis helpline

The national MIELI Mental Health Finland Crisis Helpline provides assistance in Finnish 24 hours a day (phone +358 9 2525 0111) and in English and Arabic on Mondays and Tuesdays 11.00–15.00, Wednesdays 13.00–16.00 and 17.00–21.00, and Thursdays 10.00–15.00 (phone +358 9 2525 0113).

SOS Crisis Centre

The SOS Crisis Centre in Helsinki provides assistance in mental health crises for anyone living in Finland. The centre offers short-term crisis counselling and guidance. You can book an appointment by phone (+358 9 4135 0510) 

Sekasin online chat

The Sekasin online chat (in Finnish) is a national discussion platform for young people aged 10 to 29. You can discuss issues or topics that are troubling you confidentially and anonymously. The chat is staffed by mental health professionals from various organisations as well as trained volunteers. The chat is open on mon-fri at 9–00 and on sat-sun at 15–00.

HelsinkiMissio Counselling and Crisis help for young people 

Crisis Services for Youth provides free and short-term counselling for young people, aged from 12–29. Find more information and phone appointment booking on HelsinkiMissions website.

Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS)

The Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) employs professionals such as public health nurses, registered nurses, general practitioners, psychiatric nurses, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists to help you with mental health related issues. For further information on FSHS and how to book an appointment, please visit the FSHS appointment services website.

To see a healthcare professional remotely or in person, you need to book an appointment. A healthcare professional will assess your situation and the level of urgency, provide self-care instructions and refer you to another provider or service if your needs fall outside the scope of student health services. You can book an appointment by phone or using the online chat service. FSHS nationwide service numbers are open Monday to Thursday 8.00–15.00 and 8.00–14.00 on Fridays.

The service number for general and mental health services is +358 46 710 1073.
A link to the SelfChat online service can be found on the FSHS website.

Counselling Services of the Finnish Central Association for Mental Health

If you are worried about your own mental health or that of someone close to you, feel helpless or alone with your worries, or are wondering where to seek help, you can call the counselling helpline of the Finnish Central Association for Mental Health (phone 0203 91920) or contact their online chatroom. The service is open 10.00–15.00 on weekdays.

The helpline is subject to a charge of 8.35 cents per call plus 16.69 cents per minute.

You can also contact mental health professionals through The Valoa chatroom (in Finnish), which is available 12.00–15.00 on weekdays. After that time, the chatroom serves as a peer support discussion platform from 15.00 to 18.00.

How can I take care of my own mental health?

Mental health information on the FSHS website

The Mental Health Information website of the Finnish Student Health Service provides information on various aspects of mental health as well as recommendations on how you can improve and foster your own mental health.

The website includes sections on

  • Emotional skills
  • Social relations
  • Self-compassion
  • Stress management
  • Performance anxiety

Nyyti ry

Nyyti is a national Finnish non-profit organisation which is aiming to support students’ mental health and ability to study. 

  • On Nyyti ry's website you will find a wide range of information, tips, and ways to promote and strengthen mental health, mental wellbeing, and the ability to study. You can also find information how to volunteer and provide peer support to other students.
  • Learn life skills –website provides you with information, tips and tools which can help you enhance your own wellbeing and independent self-help course (in Finnish).
  • Nyyti ry’s quizzes (in Finnish) help you to understand better your own well-being.
  • NyytiCast podcasts (in Finnish) and NyytiTalk YouTube / IG broadcasts (in Finnish, Swedish and English) talk about mental health and address topics related to student life and well-being.
  • Check Nyyti's linktree to find out about chats, webinars, trainings and more. 
  • You can find current information also on Nyyti's social media: Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook.

Mental Hub

The Mental Hub website (part of the Health Village service) contains various mental health related self-care instructions. The service is currently available in Finnish. The website contains information on how to cope with depression, anxiety or alcohol abuse. You can refer to these instructions to improve your health and wellbeing in your own time.

Learn Life Skills by Nyyti ry

Nyyti ry, a nonprofit organisation that works to support students’ mental health, offers a Learn Life Skills course, the purpose of which is to improve users’ self-knowledge and provide tools for increasing and maintaining your wellbeing. The Learn Life Skills course may help you gain insight into what constitutes a good and meaningful everyday life for you. You can also consult the online guidebook (pdf) and complete exercises independently.

Mindfulness and relaxation exercises

Oiva mental health exercises (in Finnish and Swedish) will help you focus and be present, identify issues that are important to you and cope with negative thoughts and emotions. The Oiva website contains more than 40 exercises you can complete, for example, on the bus, as you prepare to sleep, or in the course of a busy workday. Most exercises are 2 to 3 minutes in length and can be completed by reading or listening.

The Oivamieli website contains exercises for situations such as:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

Mieli ry exercises (in Finnish) help you to relax your mind and relieve stress:

Where can I find support for my studies?

Study Skills Course

The Study Skills Course (3 credits) is intended for all students of the University. The course trains students in a range of skills that help them feel and study better, as well as in important skills needed in professional life. The course includes online assignments completed independently and group discussion.

Key course content involves practising and increasing psychological flexibility. This is strongly linked to overall wellbeing and progress in studies. Psychological flexibility refers to the ability to act in accordance with the values and objectives that are important to you in spite of experiencing negative thoughts and feelings, as well as the ability to identify and examine your thoughts and to take action that aligns with your objectives. For further information, please visit the Courses website.

Groups to support your studies

Guidance counsellors, career counsellors and study psychologists organize groups to support studies throughout the academic year. The groups offer peer support and guidance in different themes of studying. Most of the groups are in Finnish. Find out more about the groups on the page Groups to support your studies in the Instructions for students.

Study psychologists

Study psychologists (sometimes referred to as counselling psychologists) offer individual and group guidance and counselling to University of Helsinki undergraduate students regarding issues such as academic skills, motivation, time management, coping, tension, anxiety and thesis writing. You can book up to five appointments as necessary. The number of appointments is agreed with the individual student. For further information, please visit this website.

Support for returning students

Nyyti ry offers an information and guidance package for students resuming their studies after an extended period of absence. For further information, please consult the Support for returning students on the Nyyti ry website (in Finnish only).

I need spiritual or religious support or counselling

University chaplains

You can contact one of the university chaplains if you wish to talk about spiritual or religious issues, your studies, work, relationships or other areas of life. University chaplains provide a safe space for everyone, regardless of religion or belief, gender, or sexual orientation. For further information, please visit the university chaplains’ website.

Walk-in therapy

Whatever’s on your mind, therapy with a professional gives you a chance to clear your mind. You can drop in for chat without an appointment or referral. You can come alone or with your partner. One hour may be all that’s needed. Psychotherapists and a solution-focused short therapist are ready to help and discuss with you.

This service is free and for persons aged 16–29. Open on Mondays at 12–18. Address: Varustamo, St Matthew’s Church, Turunlinnantie 3, Itäkeskus.

Mental health service Mieppi

Mieppi is a free, low-threshold mental health service available for all adults and for adolescents over the age of 13 living in Helsinki.

You can contact Mieppi if you have concerns regarding your life situation or mental health and are in need of counselling. You can book up to five counselling or guidance appointments as necessary. Counselling sessions can be arranged remotely or in person as per your wishes. For further information, please visit the Mieppi website of the City of Helsinki.

Kamppi Chapel

Kamppi Chapel offers counselling, assistance and guidance provided by parish employees and social workers of the Social Services and Health Care Division of the City of Helsinki.

Where can I find social and communal support? Where can I find help for loneliness?

Loneliness Work in Higher Education Institutions -project

The cooperation project by Nyyti ry and HelsinkiMissio offers help to beat loneliness experienced by students in higher education institutions. The student has the possibility to have:

  • One-on-one discussions with a trained professional for five times.
  • Peer support from other students who experience loneliness in Discord and Zoom groups.

More information and enrollment via ”Loneliness Work in Higher Education Institutions” Project website (only in Finnish). NB! The services are currently in Finnish only.

HelsinkiMissio against loneliness

HelsinkiMissio provides assistance for people coping with loneliness. You can visit the website (in Finnish) or book an appointment for personal counselling. HelsinkiMissio also provides a special crisis centre for young people.

Kaupunkiolohuone Kohtaus – Communal meeting spaces 

The Kohtaus communal meeting spaces in Vallila and Malmi, Helsinki, are spaces for community and communal activities. They are meant for young adults aged 18 to 30. The meeting spaces aim at decreasing loneliness among young adults. 

Surplus food provided by Stadin safka is available for pick-up at the Kohtaus locations. The available dishes usually include vegetables, fruit, bread and ready meals, but the daily selection may vary. Stadin safka is a cooperative effort between the City of Helsinki and the Parish Union of Helsinki aimed at developing food aid operations, offering surplus food to local people and decreasing the environmental impact of food waste.

Kohtaus Vallila: Päijänteentie 2, 00550 Helsinki
Kohtaus Malmi: Torikatu 3 (3rd floor), 00700 Helsinki

For further information, please visit the Kaupunkiolohuone Kohtaus website (in Finnish only).

Eskot Clubhouses

The Clubhouses operated by the nonprofit organisation Etelä-Suomen klubitalot Eskot ry are an egalitarian community of people in need of psychosocial support, psychiatric rehabilitees and Clubhouse staff. The Clubhouses provide support for everyday activities, job seeking and studies. For further information, please visit the Clubhouses website.

I am looking for peer support in mental health related matters

Peer support, exchange of ideas and experiences and reflection together - Nyyti ry

Nyyti’s Chat is a place for a common exchange of ideas and experiences. In group-style chats, you get to discuss various topics that affect a student's daily life and life. Chats are always accompanied by either a volunteer or an employee. Chats are in Finnish on Thursdays at 18 - 20 and in English on every other Tuesday.

Nyyti organises online groups which are held in Finnish. In the groups, you can immerse yourself in a special theme in a small group. The groups are organised in a secure, closed web environment and the discussion can only be read by the group members. Nyyti's staff acts as moderators for the groups together with experts in various subjects. The purpose of the groups is to offer peer support and provide new perspectives and solutions. The discussion takes place anonymously. Check out the theme on Nyyti's website.

You can also find peer support in the stories published by the students themselves on Nyyti's website. The stories deal with issues and phenomena related to the student's life and wellbeing personally, up close. You can also share your own story for others to read. You can also sign up to become a volunteer.

HelsinkiMissio peer support groups

Peer support groups (information in Finnish) operated by HelsinkiMissio are aimed at young adults aged 18 to 29. The groups are confidential and led by professionals.

Tukinet

Tukinet (in Finnish) is a platform where you can browse for services and organizations that help you with different kinds of topics related to mental and physical wellbeing. You can also take part in group chats or one-on-one chats related to different themes.

Mental Gaming

Mental Gaming is the largest low-threshold online community for youth in Finland. It is an actively moderated online platform and community for youth aged 13 years old and older. Mental Gaming functions on our active and secure Discord server free of charge. Platform is mostly in Finnish, but there are channels for talking in English and Swedish like #general. You can meet new people and find different activities, friends to chat or play with. You can also get help from peer support and from professionals. Gaming platform and services are accessible anonymously. Mental Gaming is open 24/7 and is actively moderated. The moderators are responsible of the server’s safety and activities, for over 20 000 members create the atmosphere. Gaming organizes functional small groups and various activities on Discord and streams on Twitch.

Mental Gaming is part of Sekasin Kollektiivi which is coordinated by MIELI Mental Health Finland, Finnish Red Cross, SOS Children’s Villages Finland and Finnish Federation of Settlement Houses together.

Where can I find help for substance abuse?

If you are having issues with substance abuse, please contact your local healthcare professionals as follows:

You can also find information about alcohol, drugs and addictions; tests; and contact information for parties providing help on the following websites:

Further information on the harmful effects of substance abuse and ways to prevent substance addiction is also available on the University webpages on substance abuse.

Tips for dealing with war-related reactions

The Finnish Student Health Services FSHS and Nyyti ry have collected tips on their own websites to deal with the feelings and worries caused by the war.