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HUCH Jorvi Hospital

Author: Delphi Jarrett
Published Date: 18 October 2010

The JERI team aims to provide early support for adolescents affected by mental illness.

JERI (Jorvi Early psychisis Recognition and Intervention) was initiated by six mental health professionals at Helsinki University Central Hospital, Jorvi Hospital, Finland. These individuals were frustrated by the state of mental health care for young adults: psychosis is the most serious of mental health problems and tends to occur during adolescent years yet is difficult to detect and treat due to lack of tools. Consequently, health professionals felt they were only seeing young adults too late, once the psychosis had fully developed. Moreover, they noticed that stressful situations in everyday life were common in the past of many of these young patients' lives, and that patients experienced difficulties in their families or at school.

The JERI team was founded in August 2006 and members started to co-operate with those workers in the field who first detect that something is wrong with an adolescent and who refer adolescents to psychiatric care. Co-operative partners could call directly to the JERI team and immediately invite them to school or home, instead of referring the adolescent from worker to worker causing a delay in getting help. The team also co-operated with teachers, school nurses, social workers, psychologists and GPs and through regular social network meetings with the affected youths and their families, it was noted that stress levels were significantly reduced.

Moreover, since the JERI team took action, scientifically published results show improvement in mental health and functioning ability of adolescents. This had aided the team in receiving increased funding from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health for the years 2009-2011. To date, the JERI team has been contacted with regards to over 500 adolescents and positive steps have been made towards early support and social inclusion. Several teams from other areas of Finland are looking to replicate the JERI model as news of good work and good results has spread.