City of Helsinki Social Services and Health Care Division is developing
low-threshold mental health services for the elderly in the Future Health and
Social Services Centre project. There is a need for mental health services
specifically for older people.
“Problem drinking is most common among people aged 60–79 in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, with 46% of people in this age group using too much alcohol. The pandemic restrictions have increased loneliness among the elderly, which is a significant underlying cause of mental health and substance abuse problems,” says Maritta Haavisto, head of the Future Health and Social Services Centre project developing mental health and substance abuse services for the elderly.
New services for the elderly
With the project, the availability of discussion help by the social instructors in service centres has increased, new peer support groups for the elderly have been set up, and staff have been trained to interact with older people who struggle with substance abuse and mental health problems.
The City of Helsinki’s services for the elderly also develops low-threshold substance abuse and mental health rehabilitation that is carried out at home and includes individual, social and group-based 24-hour rehabilitation.
“The elderly also need specific substance abuse and mental health services because the life situations, needs and resources of pensioners are different from those of people of working age,” continues Haavisto.
When everything doesn’t add up – campaign on the importance of early help
Today, Monday 23 May, marks the start of the Future Social and Health Centre project’s When everything doesn’t add up campaign. The campaign will be visible on public transport, bus stops, social media and city information screens.
The purpose of the campaign is to raise the issue of substance abuse and mental health problems among the elderly and to remind Helsinki residents of the need to report their concerns about an elderly person, including substance abuse and mental health issues, at a very low threshold and without delay. The campaign also encourages elderly people to contact Senior Info themselves if they are worried about their situation.
The campaign includes a website (www.hel.fi/kerrohuolesta) containing information about the services supporting the mental health and well-being of the elderly.
Are you an older person and worried about your situation?
Contact Senior Info. Senior Info serves on weekdays from 9:00–15:00 on +358 9 310 44556.
For more information about the services, peer support groups and discussion help, visit the campaign website at
Contact information for the service centres (The Page is in Finnish / Swedish)