Background of projectAccording to studies, 25% of children live in a family with mental issues or substance abuse. Studies also show that 60% of those children are likely to have problems in later life. FinFami - Finnish Associations of Families of People with mental illness support families of people recovering from mental illness. Project workers develop "Moip!"-project during the years 2016 - 2018, and it is funded by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Moip! is the first process based on peer support in Finland aimed for the 16-29 year-old immediate family of those with mental disorders or substance abuse. The word "Moip!" can be translated to "From experiences into human capital" and it aims to advance participants' community and participation.
The main objective is to create opportunities for learning for young immediate family members and to develop suitable peer-to-peer practices to strengthen their sense of community and inclusion.The project also aims to raise awareness of mental health and substance abuse issues and remove the stigma, which makes them easier to discuss.This presentation aims 1) to describe a voluntary peer support model for young adults whose family members have or have had mental health problems or substance abuse 2) to describe the experiences of young participants
Moip! offers a unique opportunity to participate in a nine-month group process, get individual support from project workers, participate in open-ended activities and, if desired, train and volunteer as a "Moip Mentor".Young adults in the peer group process can choose from a variety of activities from the "Moip! action tray" that is compiled for the project. Moip mentors have participated in the group process and then trained as volunteers. Their purpose is to provide peer support for new participants in Moip! and share their experiences in different contexts.
In the spring 2017 a total of 76 young adults had participated to project, and 22 of them attended to the nine-month group process. We also have 5 trained and active Moip mentors.
Participants have benefitted a lot from peer support. It was described as a relief to realize that others have similar experiences and that one is not alone. Sharing helped to cope better and to get a clearer view of the demanding situation. Being able to influence to the process has proven to be important on the empowerment perspective.
ConclusionTo conclude, the situation of young adults has proven to be challenging. When coming to the project, many of them had already experienced challenges with their own mental health and the concern for the diagnosed family member has been substantial. It is extremely important to continue to develop peer-to-peer activities for young adults and especially from immediate family's point of view so the prevention of these problems continuing for generations can be successful.
If you want more information in English,
please contact project workers Pinja and Sofia!