The Sekasin Collective has a vision where no youth is forced to manage their mental health issues alone. To reach this goal, the Collective works to reach young people online in a variety of ways. Their channels are aimed at youths and young adults between the ages of 12 to 29 who are looking for someone who could listen to them.
At the core of the collective’s work is a low threshold for contact. No official diagnoses or medical referrals are needed to start a chat; if the person feels they’d like to chat with someone about how they are doing and holding up, that is enough.
Young people need someone to talk to – and they need it more than society’s equipped to handle
The Collective operates the Sekasin chat, an online service where a large group of volunteers and a host of social and health workers and youth professionals are available to chat with young people. Last autumn the chat, originally available only in Finnish, also started its first official Swedish-speaking service hours. In 2021, people reached out to the Sekasin chat approximately 17,000 times – unfortunately, the Collective had the capacity to respond to only about one in every five people.
Many of the online discussions revolve around anxiety and depression, especially when it comes to youths aged 15 to 19. Over the course of the pandemic, chats initiated by people between 25 to 29 (i.e., young adults shifting from studies to worklife) were also slightly on the rise. Around ten chats each day focus on suicidal or self-destructive thoughts.
The Sekasin Collective also reaches out to its audience on Discord: their Sekasin Gaming community offers Finnish youngsters a place to have anonymous discussions with almost 14,000 other youths. In addition to the peer group, the server also has professionals from different sectors supporting the young participants and moderating discussion to make sure it’s safe around the clock.
Sekasin – every day of the year
The Sekasin Collective’s operations are run by the MIELI Mental Health Finland association, SOS Children’s Villages, the Finnish Red Cross, and the Finnish Federation for Settlement Houses. The Collective’s channels are open for young people on every day of the year, including in and around the Christmas holidays.
The Sekasin chat is open on weekdays from 9am to midnight and on weekends from 3pm to midnight at sekasin.fi. The Sekasin chat is available in Swedish on Mondays and Thursdays from 2pm to 7pm and on Saturdays from 4pm to 8pm. The Sekasin Gaming community on Discord is available and moderated at all hours.
The Sekasin Collective’s work is made possible by charitable donations.