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President Halonen: "Loneliness a Real Problem in Finland"

President Tarja Halonen has characterised loneliness as a real and serious problem faced by all age groups in Finland. Her comments came in a TV address opening the annual Collective Responsibility fundraising campaign.

Presidentti Tarja Halonen
Image: YLE

She reminded her audience of their responsibility for relatives and others. Dialogue was the answer, she said. The President called for efforts to combat both loneliness and marginalisation during periods of economic hardship.

President Halonen said that a child or young person could experience loneliness as a sign of failure or rejection.

”Young people, too, need to feel a sense of belonging. Being a part of life and having friends helps to create one’s own strengths as well as learning to cope with everyday life and in personality building,” Halonen noted.

Change in society had been so rapid that support measures designed to help young people had not kept pace with modern society. Halonen demanded that all means be applied to promote the well being of youth and to protect them from marginalisation and other risk factors.

This year’s Collective Responsibility Campaign will collect funds to assist youth both in Finland and Mozambique.

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