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All Points North #30: Tiina Ristikari and Elina Marjamäki on the mental health of youth in Finland

A study found that one in five 21-year-olds have received psychiatric diagnoses. Two experts tell us why this is a positive - and worrying - development.

Yle News

This week APN welcomed National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) research manager Tiina Ristikari and Elina Marjamäki, a specialist at the Finnish Association for Mental Health, to discuss a new THL study that found that more young adults are being treated for psychiatric illnesses today compared to 10 years ago.

Marjamäki pointed out that ADHD only became a recognised diagnosis in 1997, and this could in part explain the increase in psychiatric diagnoses, but she also said the growing numbers of youth receiving mental health services could be considered a good trend - as this means young people in Finland are more open to seeking and receiving help.

As the main author of the report, Ristikari spoke about the connection between troubled youth and family problems like financial distress and communication breakdowns between parents and kids. Ristikari said she supports addressing young people's psychological issues at the family level.

The guests also discussed how the tough job market and sometimes difficult-to-reach education opportunities are also to blame for increases in mental issues and societal marginalisation.

The study found that the number of children placed outside the home in Finland has nearly doubled in the last ten years. Nearly six percent of the cohort born in 1997 had been placed into care at some point during their youth. An accumulation of family problems was noted as an underlying reason for this trend, as the report detected a strong correlation between family welfare and children's school performance.

Glance at the news

The podcast also highlighted the three Yle News stories that attracted the most interest among our readership over this last week. First on the list was a look at an EF English Proficiency Index report that states that Finns are now ranked as the worst English-speakers in the Nordic countries.

Our audience also closely followed a story on how aviation GPS signals in northern Finland were jammed during recent Nato war games. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä said the signals were intentionally disrupted and said it was possible Russia was the culprit, but Moscow has dismissed the allegations.

And a story about an inebriated pilot at Helsinki Airport also enthralled our audience. Passengers had already boarded a Norwegian airlines flight from Helsinki to Dubai when police arrived on the scene to administer a breathalyser test to the pilot and led him away. Passengers eventually departed on another flight, five hours later.

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The All Points North podcast is a weekly look at what's going on in Finland. Subscribe via iTunes (and leave a review!), listen on Spotify and Yle Areena or find it on your favourite podcatching app or via our RSS feed.

This week's show was presented by Zena Iovino and Mark B. Odom with guests Tiina Ristikari and Elina Marjamäki. Our reporter was Denise Wall, the show's producer was Pamela Kaskinen, and this week's sound technician was Juha Sarkkinen.

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