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Olvi Foundation has participated in “State of Mind” campaign organised by the Association of Friends of the University Children’s Hospitals. The campaign is funding the spreading of evidence-based treatments to support the mental health of children and young people. One of these is the Cool Kids treatment method developed to treat anxiety disorders, and with the campaign’s support, experts are trained in the method in different parts of Finland. Olvi Foundation has supported the campaign and the project with EUR 160,000 in 2021–2022.

“Children and young people in Finland have many different kinds of mental health issues, and their overall impact on society is significant. Anxiety can lead to other serious problems, which is why preventative work is important,” says Mervi Toivainen, Executive Assistant at the Olvi Foundation.

Anxiety disorders are among the most common health issues of children and young people. Anxiety disorders include, for example, panic disorder and fear of social situations. In Finland, effective treatment methods do not reach children and young people experiencing symptoms soon enough, which means that they are directed to special health care at a fairly late stage.

In the project, the Cool Kids treatment method is spread on a national level, spanning it from special health care to the basic level, such as child guidance and family counselling centres, and pupil welfare. Helsinki University Hospital’s child and adolescent psychiatry has utilised the treatment method for several years with good results. The method is among the most used therapies for treating anxiety disorder globally. According to studies, up to 60 per cent of children and young people who have undergone the treatment do longer meet the diagnostic criteria for anxiety disorder after the episode of care.

“When we get tools for children’s mental health work for the basic level, more and more children can receive help at an early stage. The Cool Kids method is well-suited for treating mild and moderate anxiety disorders,” says Leena Repokari, Head of Child Psychiatry and Head Physician at Helsinki University Hospital.

Helsinki University Hospital’s specialists in child psychiatry train experts in the method for both hospitals and basic health care. The Association of Friends of the University Children’s Hospitals is part of the project’s early stages in implementing the treatment. By the end of 2022, a total of 309 Cool Kids method employees had been trained all round Finland.