Media & archives

Students do not find the city's social services when in need

10.04.2013

Students who need social services do not find the services of the city, shows the survey conducted by the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY). More than 80 % of the care personnel of the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) in Helsinki and Espoo meet students whose income problems they consider to hinder or slow down the treatment of the student's illness. In the early spring of 2013, HYY conducted a survey to determine how the cooperation functions between FSHS and the Department of Social Services and Health Care of the City of Helsinki. Based on the survey, there are serious shortcomings in the guidance of students to the services of the Department of Social Services and Health Care.

In HYY's survey, none of the respondents believed that students in need of social services find the services well. One-third of the respondents estimated that students find the social services poorly. One-third of the respondents did not know whether students find the services of the Department of Social Services and Health Care. Three out of four staff members of FSHS have advised students in matters related to the Department of Social Services and Health Care. Social work is not included in the duties of FSHS and therefore it is necessary that the municipality's social services cooperate with FSHS.

In recent years, study time has been restricted and eligibility requirements for student financial aid have been made stricter. HYY has paid special attention to the students' need for social guidance, so that even difficult situations in life would not necessarily lead to the interruption of studies. In HYY's view, the creation of guidance practices between the Department of Social Services and Health Care of the City of Helsinki and FSHS is necessary in order to ensure the students' timely social guidance.

In February-March 2013, HYY conducted an electronic survey for general health and mental health nursing staff in the health service units of FSHS Helsinki-Espoo concerning the students' need for social services. A total of 36 general practitioners, public health nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses and psychiatric social workers responded to the survey which included 18 questions. The response rate was 40.

The survey report (in Finnish)

Further information:
HYY's Board Member Nelli Nurminen (health, communications, sports), 050 595 0318, nelli.nurminen(at)hyy.fi
HYY's Specialist Sofia Lindqvist (housing, health, city), 050 543 9605, sofia.lindqvist(at)hyy.fi