Promoting the well-being of upper secondary school students

Kolme oppilasta kuvataiteen tunnilla. Kuvaaja: Jussi Hellsten.

The goal of the assessment
 
The main focus of the assessment was on whether the Education Division had progressed towards achieving the City Strategy and 2022 budget goal of strengthening student well-being in upper secondary schools and vocational education and training. The assessment was carried out as part of a joint assessment by the Helsinki Metropolitan Area cities and HUS on the well-being of children and young people.

Conclusions

Efforts have been made to improve access to student welfare services by increasing the number of staff and providing additional training to support them in welfare issues. In addition, students’ sense of community and inclusion has been promoted by hiring staff in learning institutions to provide low-threshold guidance, activities and support for community integration. Individual support at the upper secondary level has been increased. However, the number of psychologists has not kept pace with the increased demand, and access to the service is limited. The student welfare service also supports students with more severe symptoms, whose problems may worsen because it has been difficult to access further treatment, e.g. at the Youth Station. The service chain and staging of care in mental health services for young people have been developed as part of the development work on mental health and substance abuse services for children and young people.

The students’ sense of community and inclusion has been promoted by launching wellness cafés in educational institutions. Students and staff at the schools have welcomed the wellness café activities.
 

The Audit Committee concludes that

the Social Services, Health Care and Rescue Services Division, in cooperation with the Education Division’s student welfare services, should

  • finalise the service chain and staging of care in mental health services for young people as soon as possible in cooperation with all those responsible for the mental well-being of young people. The staging should clearly define how mental health clients move through the care chain, and who is responsible for the services.
  • ensure that the service chain, staging of care, and guidelines for youth mental health services are made known to staff and clients alike.
  • ensure that young people suffering from moderate mental health issues can access services at the Youth Station before their problems worsen.

The Education Division and the Social Services, Health Care and Rescue Services Division should cooperate

  • to improve the availability and retention of psychologists in student welfare services.

the Education Division’s upper secondary schools and vocational education and training should

  • support the organisation of wellness cafés so they become established in all upper secondary schools and on the campuses of the Helsinki Vocational College and Adult Institute (Stadin AO).

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