Student wellbeing and study ability and the FSHS
Maintaining student wellbeing and study ability are a key theme in SAMOK’s advocacy work, as the state of student wellbeing has deteriorated and performance requirements have increased. The mental health crisis particularly affects university students, and burnout is more and more common among students.
Students must receive timely support to ensure that their studies progress smoothly and to avoid challenges from worsening or leading to interruptions in studies. This requires adequate preventive services and accessible healthcare. SAMOK influences these themes by meeting with decision-making and in various working groups, as well as in cooperation with other organisations, such as the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) and Nyyti ry.
SAMOK’s goal is that each student receives individual support for completing their studies. This includes personal support arrangements, flexible ways of completing studies and sufficient access to services by study counsellors, social workers and psychologists.
Healthcare for higher education students is the responsibility of the Finnish Student Health Care Foundation FSHS. SAMOK cooperates closely with the FSHS and acts as a link between students and the foundation. SAMOK also strives to promote sufficient funding and resources for the FSHS so that access to care is not delayed and the services meet students’ needs as well as possible.
In addition to student support and healthcare services, a safe community improves wellbeing and study ability. SAMOK promotes a sense of community by strengthening equality and accessibility in higher education institutions and by training and guiding student unions.
The Finnish Student Health Foundation FSHS provides health and medical care, health examinations, mental health services and oral health care for higher education institutions and supports and promotes research into student health. The FSHS also carries out student community work, the aim of which is to enable easy choices that promote health and wellbeing for students in their study environment.
Electronic and remote services by the FSHS are available to students regardless of their place of study. The care needs assessment of healthcare services needed by a student is always performed through the FSHS by phone or electronically.
Services of the FSHS are available to all higher education students who have registered as attending for the semester and have paid the healthcare fee. This also includes international degree students. International exchange students and students enrolled in the open university of applied sciences are not covered by FSHS services.
As of 2021, healthcare services for higher education students are mainly funded by the state, accounting for 77% of the funding. Healthcare fees paid by students covers 23% of the total funding. From spring 2021, all undergraduate higher education students who have registered as attending studies must pay a healthcare fee to Kela each semester. More information can be found on Kela’s website.