Suomen Punainen Risti SPR

Discussion support needed – Youth Shelters open all summer


Young adults talk about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic at, an event organised by the Finnish Red Cross Youth Shelters and research project ALL-YOUTH. Coping with daily life, distance learning and loneliness provoke discussion. Young people need discussion support quick and easily. The Red Cross Youth Shelters provide support throughout the summer.

Photo: Anni Heinonen, Finnish Red Cross
Photo: Anni Heinonen, Finnish Red Cross

The prolonged COVID-19 situation has tested young people’s reserves of strength and increased loneliness. This was revealed by the event co-organised by the Finnish Red Cross Youth Shelters and research project ALL-YOUTH in April, in which the participants discussed the experiences of young people over the age of 18 during the pandemic.

“Even without any ‘difficulties’ or greater challenges, I feel like I am starting to ‘fall apart.’ Living under these unusual circumstances for such a long time has been exhausting and sometimes I just feel numb,” says one young participant.

The participants also raised concerns about the sufficiency of mental health service resources as the need for help has increased during the pandemic. They said that low-threshold support is particularly important in the prevention of mental health problems. The participants also felt that young adults’ needs regarding e.g. distance learning have not been addressed properly.

“In my opinion, young people’s needs have been addressed poorly. Especially university students have been forgotten. You must remember that many first and second-year students are under 20 years old and they have been studying from home for more than one year already,” says another participant.

Youth Shelters provide support in the summer

Youthservices must respond quickly to the increased need for support. The Red Cross Youth Shelters offer discussion support throughout the summer.

“We want young people to trust that our Youth Shelters are always there for them – even in unusual situations,” emphasises Anne-Maria Pitkänen, Family Therapist, Coordinator of Helsinki Youth Shelter.

Youth Shelters provide support either online or in person, whichever is the best option, and follow the valid COVID-19 restrictions. Young people, their family and close relatives are welcome to discuss anything related to youth with the professionals and trained volunteers of the Red Cross. Lately, the youth shelters of the Red Cross have been increasingly popular among young adults who have already turned 18.

“You can talk about your loneliness, melancholia, independence-related pressure, studies or poor sleep pattern,” Pitkänen gives examples of topics for discussion.

The Red Cross Youth Shelters’ special characteristic is that they offer help free and without appointment around the clock. Young people can even stay the night at a shelter, if necessary. They also provide nationwide help online through the Sekasin chat.

Youth Shelters’ summer opening hours:

The temporary accommodation services of the Helsinki, Espoo, and Vantaa shelters provide help and discussion support for young people and their families. The shelters are open around the clock on weekdays and from 5 p.m. to 10 a.m. on weekends.

• Vantaa Youth Shelter from 24 June to 4 July
• Helsinki Youth Shelter from 5 July to 18 July
• Espoo Youth Shelter from 19 July to 1 August

The Tampere Youth Shelter provides discussion support in person and online from 28 June to 30 July on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The temporary accommodation service is closed from 24 June until 1 August 2021.

The temporary accommodation and discussion support services of Turku Youth Shelter are open around the clock throughout the summer. When other shelters are closed, you can contact Turku by phone or email.

Youth Shelters’ contact details:

You can also reach us online through the Sekasin chat. The chat is open to young people on weekdays from 9 a.m. to midnight and on Sundays from 3 p.m. to midnight.

More information:

Manager of Finnish Red Cross Youth Shelters Leena Suurpää, tel. +358 50 543 8251,

Manager of Red Cross Youth Shelter Helsinki Miki Mielonen, tel. +358 40 570 9397,


Photo: Anni Heinonen, Finnish Red Cross
Photo: Anni Heinonen, Finnish Red Cross

About Suomen Punainen Risti SPR

Suomen Punainen Risti SPR
Suomen Punainen Risti SPR
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Suomen Punainen Risti on yksi Suomen suurimmista kansalaisjärjestöistä. Punaisen Ristin tehtävänä on auttaa apua eniten tarvitsevia kotimaassa ja ulkomailla.

Punainen Risti auttaa ihmisiä katastrofien ja onnettomuuksien sattuessa ja kouluttaa heitä varautumaan niihin. Järjestö kannustaa ihmisiä hoitamaan terveyttään ja pitämään huolta toisistaan. Inhimillisyyden puolustaminen on yksi järjestön päätavoitteista.

Finlands Röda Kors är en av de största frivilligorganisationerna i Finland. Röda Korset har i uppgift att hjälpa dem som mest är i behov av hjälp såväl i hemlandet som utomlands.

Röda Korset hjälper människor i samband med katastrofer och olyckor och ger utbildning i beredskap. Organisationen uppmuntrar människor att sköta sin hälsa och ta hand om varandra. Att försvara humanitet är en av Röda Korsets huvudmål.




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