Kristian Wahlbeck

Voting region: Helsinki

"No health without mental health. I want to work for everyone's right to mental health in a climate-smart and safe Finland with good education for everyone."

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I am a specialist doctor in psychiatry and psychotherapist from Itäkeskus. I work as Senior Expert at MIELI Mental Health Finland and part-time as Research Professor at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). I also have lived experience of psychotherapy.

Mental well-being is best built in a democratic society built on equity and respect for all fundamental rights. Wellbeing is shaped by investing in children and young people. I want to work for an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable Finland, and want to invest in carbon neutrality and good quality education.

I am an urban activist, defending the Lapinlahti area in Helsinki as an open urban space for mental health from nature and culture.

Name: Kristian Wahlbeck
Year of birth: 1960
Town: Helsinki/Itäkeskus
Title: Psychiatrist, Research Professor
Email: kristian.wahlbeck@gmail.com
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Important political topics

Healthcare and social services

Everyone in Finland must have the right to high-quality healthcare, regardless of whether you are a citizen, refugee or undocumented migrant. Language must be taken into account in care pathways and choice of place of care.

Social and health care must be an attractive place to work. We need a national program to solve the staff shortage in social and health care.

Both society and individuals benefit from us investing in health promotion and prevention of ill health - and this also results in large savings in costs of social services and healthcare. The government must support the municipalities in their health promotion efforts.

I want to work to implement the national strategy for mental health and support the welfare areas to focus on the public health problem of our time, mental ill health. I want to see a therapy guarantee in primary care for help at the right time - to reduce suffering, to achieve better treatment outcomes and substantial savings. The universities' psychotherapist training must be made free of charge to remedy the shortage of therapists. Mental health must become a priority on the political agenda in Finland.

Young people need respite to grow and develop. I want to tackle the growing mental health problems among young people by developing schools and strengthening parenting support. Harmful content in social media must be regulated.

Old age must be secure and elderly care must be humane. I want to work for a memory-friendly society and more support for informal caregivers.

Social security must be renewed to remove the welfare traps. The own contribution for various healthcare, medical and travel costs must be combined and distributed in stages during the year. Our fundamental rights must be strengthened and different alternatives to involuntary commitment must be developed.

Finland must take responsibility for those who are vulnerable. I want to see stricter regulation of payday loans and a ban on the promotion of payday loans. Taxis reimbursed by Kela must function and you must be able to use a familiar driver. We need supervised injection sites to reduce excess mortality among drug addicts.


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Climate and the environment

We all bear a responsibility for the future of the earth, for protecting nature's diversity and to stop global warming. I want to contribute to Finland being climate neutral by 2035 at the latest and then carbon dioxide negative as soon as possible.

Unnecessary consumption must be avoided, a sustainable lifestyle must be favored, and the use of limited natural resources must be curtailed, also taking into accoubnt needs of future generations.

It is important that we continue with an ambitious climate policy both nationally, at the EU level and internationally. The oceans form the basis of all life on earth, and we must strengthen the measures to reduce the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. All emissions of methane gas or uncleaned sewage or washing water from ships in the Baltic Sea must be prohibited. Dumping of snow into the sea must be prohibited.

Forestry must strive to turn the Finnish forests into a carbon sink. This also means restoring ecosystems and increasing the number of nature conservation areas.

The energy policy must be based on a transition to renewable energy and the use of fossil fuels must be ended. Renewable domestic energy sources that create jobs and wealth must be prioritized. Vehicle traffic with large carbon footprints should eventually be phased out, and switched to more modern forms of passenger transport. Public transport must be developed.

The construction sector accounts for a large part of carbon dioxide emissions. We must therefore invest in carbon-neutral construction, which means that we must promote wooden buildings. Renovating buildings is often more climate-smart than demolishing, and we must develop incentives for building renovations.

Business subsidies or tax breaks must not be granted for the use of fossil fuels and all ecologically harmful forms of government subsidies or grants must be phased out.


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Research and innovation

Research and innovation build our future. Sound research is a pre-requisite for the much needed green transition. Finland must invest in new technologies and also globally become one of the leading forces for the green transition.

The investment in research and development should be increased to 4 per cent of our GDP.

The Nordic welfare societies face similar challenges. We need to strengthen Nordic research cooperation, which is based on the common Nordic values.

Research and innovation are based on an education system with sufficient resources. The basic funding for all stages of education must be raised to the level before the cuts.

Tuition at universities and universities of applied sciences must continue to be free of charge. This must be extended to include also psychotherapy training.

People feel better on an educational path with support, guidance and room for joy in learning, instead of scarce resources and stress. A model for study safety and health that provides support must be put into use (cf. occupational safety and health). The model should protect students' mental health, promote study skills and prevent exhaustion. Student safety and health must include measures that systematically promote the student's psychosocial and physical well-being, ensure that there is enough time for sleep and leisure, and prevent unnecessary strain. In the universities' funding models, an indicator must be added that measures students' well-being.

The universities' intake of students must be developed to become less burdensome and the quota for first-time applicants must be abolished.


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