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Citizens' initiative calling for tuition-free psychotherapy training headed to Parliament

Tuition for the specialty can reach up to 60,000 euros, according to the initiative's authors.

terapeutti ja asiakas
Psychotherapists' training can cost as much as 60,000 euros (file photo). Image: AOP

A citizens' initiative calling for free-of-charge psychotherapy education has garnered enough signatures to send it to Parliament.

The organisers of the petition said there is a shortage of psychotherapists in the country, noting that training for the specialty was the only one for which tuition fees are paid by students and that hurdle was a "major barrier" in generating new psychotherapists.

The petition noted that tuition for such training ranges between 30,000-60,000 euros in the capital area, depending on the field of specialisation.

"There is no health without mental health," the petitioners stated on the initiative (in Finnish).

Support for the citizens' initiative breached the required 50,000 signatures on Wednesday morning, which meant that it could be sent to Parliament for consideration.

Late last year, the Association of Finnish Pharmacies (AFP) announced that sales of psychiatric drugs had increased by around nine percent since 2019.

In response to the development, mental health advocates said lack of access to therapy may have caused the threshold for prescribing antidepressants to be lowered.

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