Improving the health and wellbeing of Helsinki residents

In Helsinki, the goal is that everyone can lead a good life regardless of age and health. Services will be developed in such a way that their use becomes more customer-oriented and as smooth as possible.

Goal: Seamless access to primary healthcare and oral healthcare

Helsinki strives to ensure smoother access to primary healthcare and oral healthcare services. Waiting times have grown longer partly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The goals set for the health stations’ treatment guarantee have been met well in the early part of 2022 in terms of urgent care, the same is true of non-urgent treatment provided by nurses. In the first half of 2022, also getting immediately through to the oral healthcare services nearly reached the target level. In contrast, treatment provided at the health stations during the first contact and non-urgent treatment provided by doctors have not met the target during the early part of the year. 

Realisation of health stations' treatment guarantee and realisation of getting immediately through to the oral healthcare services.

Goal: We improve the availability and accessibility of early phase mental health services and short-term psychotherapy

The deterioration in the mental well-being of children and young people was evident even before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the deterioration has been more pronounced during and after the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has also affected the mental health of adults. The waiting times have been long especially in accessing mental health services of for children and young people, and the shortage of mental health professionals has made it even more difficult to provide services in a timely manner. Helsinki will improve the availability of early phase services and expand low-threshold mental health services. These measures aim to tackle the increase in service needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to better prevent the deterioration of mental well-being in the future.  

The chart describes digital consultations with mental health and substance abuse nurses conducted through health centres.

Goal: Elimination of homelessness by 2025

Helsinki aims to halve the number of homeless people by 2023 and eliminate homelessness by 2025. 

The city has prepared an action plan for 2020–2022 with the aim of preventing and reducing homelessness. The action plan contains different measures to prevent and reduce homelessness. 

The number of homeless people has decreased compared to the situation in 2019. The homelessness of single Helsinki residents has decreased by 28 per cent and that of families and couples by 32 per cent. At the end of February, there were 501 chronically homeless individuals in Helsinki. Chronic homelessness has also taken a downward trend. 

Number of chronically homeless people.

Goal: Preventing an upward trend in the number of child welfare customers

The number of child welfare customers in open care has been on the decline for several years. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a momentary small rise in the number of customers, which has now been turned back to a downward trend. The number of children placed outside their home has remained relatively stable over the years. The biggest challenge of child welfare is the demanding nature of care required by the placed children, which results in high costs and longer placements. Many young people become customers of the substitute care services of child welfare instead of youth psychiatry, which should be their primary care provider.  

The chart describes number of child welfare clients aged 0-17 during the years 2018-2023.