The City of Helsinki changed its line about the services of victims of human trafficking – “Now this works as it should,” says the director

Mikko Tamminen, director of psychiatry and substance abuse services, says that the city is now procuring psychotherapy for victims as a purchase service, if necessary.

Helsinki in the future, the city will ensure that victims of human trafficking receive psychotherapy that meets their needs, says the director of psychiatry and substance abuse services Mikko Tamminen.

According to Tamminen, the city now procures psychotherapy for the victims as a purchase service, if necessary.

It is a change in the line of the city. A week ago, on Sunday, HS wrote in an extensive article that victims of human trafficking have been left without the help they need..

For example, three cultural advisers had been interviewed for the story Veijo Baltzarin the victim of the cult.

Police suspects Baltzar of several crimes, including aggravated human trafficking, aggravated rape and aggravated sexual exploitation of a child. According to Baltzar’s lawyer, Baltzar denies having committed any crimes.

To the story the need for psychotherapy has been identified for all the cult victims interviewed, but all have felt left without help from the city.

The problem is not just about them. Many of the victims of human trafficking interviewed by HS have found it very difficult to obtain the services they need from the City of Helsinki.

Victims may have special needs, such as the need for long-term and intensive therapy.

Under the legislation on assistance to victims of trafficking, the state reimburses the municipality for the services that are considered to be assistance to victims of trafficking.

Despite this, many are left without the help they need. Many municipalities are either unfamiliar with the legislation or for some other reason do not purchase adequate services for the victims. Purchasing services are important because the municipality may not be able to provide the necessary psychotherapy itself.

Oak says that he cannot say why the victims have not received the help they need from the City of Helsinki.

According to him, helping victims of human trafficking should in future be a “very easy process”, much easier than applying for Kela therapy. According to Tamminen, the process takes into account the fact that victims may have special needs.

“Now this is working as it should be under the law. If a psychiatrist has made an assessment of the need for therapy, we will purchase a psychotherapy service. I sign the commitments, and the state pays the costs, ”says Tamminen.

“If there is a need for a milder service, even for short therapy, then we will even issue a service voucher.”

Helsinki will soon introduce a service voucher for psychotherapy services covering 10–20 visits.

Osalle For victims, Kela’s rehabilitation psychotherapy may be a suitable service. Tamminen says that it has its own difficulties, however.

This also came to the fore when HS interviewed the victims of the Baltzar cult.

Problems were caused, for example, by the therapy’s deductible, ie the fee, and the fact that the therapy does not enable the therapist’s network cooperation. It means dealing with the situation of the victim with the authorities and organizational actors.

Kela’s rehabilitation psychotherapy also has limitations in terms of duration and number of visits. Therapy can be continued for up to three years. Instead, psychotherapy purchased as a purchase service can be continued until there is no longer a need for it. Of course, the need for therapy is assessed regularly.

HS: n the victims of the Baltzar cult interviewed have found the pre-set maximum duration and the associated uncertainty distressing. The criminal and judicial process of human trafficking alone easily takes more than three years.

They have also experienced that it would be good to be able to meet a therapist in difficult times more often than Kela therapy allows. Interviewees are afraid of running out of visits.

In his statement to the City of Helsinki’s social and health service, one of the interviewees wrote that “the need for intensive support by intensifying therapy visits is topical and necessary” for a severely traumatized client, but “this densification is not possible with Kela therapy”.

Several victims have told HS that when they have tried to receive psychotherapy as a purchase service for a victim of human trafficking through the city’s social services, they have been told the director has outlined that this will not be the case.

This referred to the head of southern adult social work Sari Karistoon. Karisto has denied having made such a policy.

Therapy services The City of Helsinki Health Care is responsible for organizing the project. In practice, the interviewees felt that the social services acted as a gatekeeper in the matter.

The responsibility of social work is to coordinate the services needed by the client and to advance the client’s interests.

Tamminen says that the doctor makes a diagnosis and assessment that determines the need for treatment. But social work can always discuss with the doctor what is the best way for the client to arrange the service. For example, should the client acquire more extensive psychotherapy as a purchase service instead of the already arranged Kela rehabilitation therapy.

“In social and health care operations, situations are constantly re-evaluated and new solutions are made,” says Tamminen.

“It is important that there is multi-professional cooperation on these issues. It doesn’t go that way, if a doctor has found something, then it goes to the pin of the world. The assessment may be re-assessed if new issues arise. “

Oak believes that awareness of the need for assistance to victims of human trafficking and the possibility for the municipality to receive compensation from the state has not been sufficient in the municipalities.

“This is a marginal group and a relatively new phenomenon. And when you know how big the whole sote system is, it is quite understandable that this issue is not recognized and known, ”says Tamminen.

“This is especially true for Finnish victims of human trafficking. The phenomenon may be associated with refugees in their imaginations. ”

Tamminen says that other customer groups, such as foreigners with a war trauma or torture background, may also have similar special needs as victims of human trafficking. The state reimburses the costs for them for a certain period of integration.

Victims of rape, for example, may also have similar special needs. For such customer groups, there is no specific legislation per se that allows the costs to be reimbursed by the state.

According to Tamminen, however, the City of Helsinki assumes that they will also be given the necessary help and care, through normal services.

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