TEK launches Heltti’s mental health supportline for its member

News article

Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK provides its members with access to mental health professionals by launching a new mental health supportline HuoliLinja.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to many challenges in the economy and caused uncertainty among many TEK members. In March, the number of temporarily laid off university educated employees in the tech sector nearly doubled. TEK's Service Director Miia Seppi says that the increased need for help and support is apparent not only in the unemployment fund but also in TEK's legal and career services. TEK has reacted to the situation by launching a new mental healt support service, HuoliLinja, in cooperation with healthcare company Heltti Oy.

– Our members have already faced temporary lay-offs and these will only increase in number as the situation drags on. Many also feel genuine concern for their livelihood, the continuation of their employment and their own coping and well-being. We wanted to react to these worries by offering support for mental well-being in addition to current services. Fortunately, we found an agile partner in Heltti, and we could quickly set up the service. HuoliLinja also provides us with valuable information about the demand for well-being services among our members, Miia Seppi says.

As a professional organisation with 72,000 members, TEK is very familiar with the different sides of working life. Over the last years, depression, anxiety and other mental afflictions have been increasing among the working-age population. Highly educated tech employees are no exception. TEK spends a lot of time thinking about how the organisation can do its part to help reverse the trend.

– For us, a member is a totality. While a professional organisation such as us stands with its members in matters relating to collective bargaining, important career decisions and the rules of professional life, we are also needed in other areas. Each of us faces uncertainty, anxiety or problems with our own coping from time to time. We want to prevent problems from developing and offer our members a shoulder to lean on when they need it, says TEK's CEO Jari Jokinen.

Occupational health reformer Tanja Lappi from Heltti says that digitalisation allows a wide range of remote mental support services ranging from short 10 minute chats to more extensive and long-term treatment.

– In the time of COVID-19, up to 90 per cent of our services are offered remotely with the help of digital technologies. We were quickly able to start up HuoliLinja since we already had the needed technologies and remote healthcare processes in place. Heltti employees are used to helping people via digital channels, tells Lappi. 

Heltti’s HuoliLinja is a mental health supportline provided to its members by TEK. The purpose of HuoliLinja is to offer members the opportunity to discuss their worries – big or small – with mental health professionals. The service is launched on 7.5.2020 and it is set up in cooperation with Heltti Oy. HuoliLinja serves all TEK members on weekdays 09.00-16.00.