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07/03/2012 - Submitted by: Tamminen Nina

The National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland has started the field trial of the Mental Health Promotion Handbook for the Older Peoples’ Residential Setting.

The field trial was launched by organising the 1st face-to-face training sessions. Two half-day sessions were held: one in Helsinki on February 8th, and one in Tampere on February 23rd. Five participants attended the session in Helsinki and 17 in Tampere. The participants represented various oraganisations that work with older people and mental health issues such as psychiatric hospitals, private care homes for older people and NGO’s proving home help and day centres for older people.

The aim of these 1st face-to-face sessions were to introduce the Hands project to the participants, familiarize them with the MHP Handbook for the Older Peoples’ Residential Setting and enable them to implement the MHP related topics and exercises from the MHP Handbook in their own setting.

The participants practiced few exercises during the session encouraging them to implement them in their own setting. This exercise implementation should take place between the 1st and the 2nd face-to-face sessions. They were also given a checklist which will help them to evaluate the handbook and its content – its usefulness and relevance.

The participants seemed interested in the topic and emphasised that promoting mental health of older people forms the core of their own work. The feedback from the sessions was positive: the participants felt that promoting mental health of older people is a very important issue and that the exercises practised were simple enough and easy to implement. They all felt that they can easily implement some exercises from the handbook in their own work setting.

The 2nd Face-to-face sessions will be held in Helsinki and in Tampere in the beginning of May. The main focus of these sessions will be the feedback from participants regarding the Handbook and its usefulness and possible further development ideas.

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Nina Tamminen