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Today, young people spend a lot of time online and also seek help with mental health challenges – Zoturi is one way to help

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Mental health problems have increased among young people/Pixaby

The COVID- 19 pandemic has significantly increased mental health problems of young people. They experience more stress, anxiety, frustration and depression. The Internet has become a channel for many young people to get help. They use the Internet every day, and that is their main source of information. Young people are often afraid of being and stigmatised when seeking help, but the Internet has made it possible to seek help without fear of stigmatisation. Young people feel they can better protect their privacy with the help of the Internet. However, the Internet might also cause more stress because there is also a lot of misinformation. So the various online chat groups, those we know to be led by trained professionals, alleviate depressive symptoms among young people (Kramer, Conijn, Oijevaar & Riper 2014). With help of the Internet, young people take responsibility and contribute to their own well-being, as the range of services on the Internet is wider and access is easier than by traditional means.

The School Health Survey conducted every other year by Finnish institute for health and welfare examines the well-being of young people. The survey is conducted anonymously, thus safeguarding the privacy of young people. The School Health Survey shows that the majority of young people feel satisfied with their lives and this is as it should be. However, a growing number of young people are experiencing dissatisfaction with their lives. There is also an increase in anxiety, especially among girls.

It is our time to act now, before many young people lose the basis of their well-being. In the School Health Survey in 2021, 30% of girls reported moderate or severe anxiety. From 2013 to 2019, between 13% and 20% of girls had experienced anxiety. Around 8% of boys reported experiencing anxiety in 2021, compared with 5% to 7% in 2013-2019. How do we help young people out of the clutches of anxiety? How do we get troubled young people into help? Every young person deserves to feel the sun on their skin, the warm glance of a friend, the joy of movement and the compassion of a loving neighbour in their lives. Could services like Zoturi increase the tools of the professional and thus spread the use of effective helping methods in youth work?

How can young people be reached and helped in mental health challenges? One tool is Zoturi, an easily accessible online help service

Since young people spend time online, the tools and ways to provide help in case of anxiety or other mental health problems should be available and easily accessible online. One tool is Zoturi, which is a Finnish online help service that aims to provide support in difficult situations and solve problems in life situations.

– Young people spend a lot of time on the Internet. Some spend up to days inside four walls being on the Internet. These young people are hard to reach. Online help is an effective tool in meeting them and it supports problem-solving in a home environment, says Janne Vepsäläinen, the CEO of Zoturi.

Zoturi is easily accessible for young but the digital learning environment also allows novice online helpers to learn basic skills independently for their important work and serves as a source of information for experienced helpers to strengthen their skills.

– Zoturi online help service is easy to use. It makes it easy for young people to approach us, because they can ask questions anonymously, and the fact that the chat is open after school also makes it easier to turn to us, says an online helper who reaches and helps young people using Zoturi.

Digitalization and various digital tools and services are certainly needed but online services cannot be the only solution to reach and help those young people in their mental health challenges. If we asked young people, many of them wish to have a possibility to choose if they want help online or face-to-face. So let’s not forget the importance of meeting and helping young people face-to-face.
Today, not everyone is online with proper devices or digital skills. Today, not everyone can be helped online. But online services, such as Zoturi, offer one option among others for professional helpers and young people to alleviate anxiety.

Young people are more and more often provided online help for mental health challenges/Pixaby

Blogs writers:

Anna Halonen
Virpi Pellikka
Ulla Särkkä
Jenni Tiitinen
Students of Health and Welfare Coordinator Master’s Degree Programme at Savonia UAS

Sanna Savela, Senior Lecturer in Languages, Savonia UAS
Marja-Liisa Rissanen, Principal Lecturer, Master School, Savonia UAS

References:

Finnish institute for health and welfare 2021. School Health Survey. Lasten ja nuorten hyvinvointi –kouluterveyskysely 2021. Tilastoraportti 30/2021. Published 19.9.2021. https://www.julkari.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/143063/ktk_tilastoraportti2021_2021-09-09_kuviot_kuvana.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y. Accessed 10.4.2022

Kramer, Jeannet, Conijn, Barbara, Oijevaar, Pien & Riper, Heleen 2014. Effectiveness of a Web-Based Solution-Focused Brief Chat Treatment for Depressed Adolescents and Young Adults: Randomized Controlled Trial. J Med Internet Res.2014 May 29;16(5):e141.doi:10.2196/jmir.3261. Accessed 28.3.2022.

Pretorius, Claudette, Chambers, Derek & Coyle, David 2019. Young People’s Online Help-Seeking and Mental Health Difficulties: Systematic Narrative Review. J Med Internet Res. 2019 Nov 19;21(11):e13873.doi:10.2196/13873. Accessed 28.3.2022.

Vepsäläinen, Janne. Date known. Zoturi on parempi tapaa auttaa. Video online. www.zoturi.com.
Accessed 30.3.2022.

Zoturi. Date unknown. On parempi tapa auttaa. Website. https://zoturi.com/. Accessed 30.3.2022.