Effective help from occupational health brief psychotherapy more smoothly

Terveystalo's Näin Suomi voi Study* found that although mental health challenges are affecting more and more people, the number of absences due to illness has remained relatively stable in recent years. Research has shown that one of the main reasons for the effectiveness of treatment for mental health problems is well-functioning and rapid referral to treatment in line with Current Care recommendations.

In the treatment of a single acute problem, brief psychotherapy in occupational health has been successful in significantly increasing clients' mental wellbeing while reducing mental health-related sick leave. A follow-up study conducted between 2020 and 2022 found that brief psychotherapy improves work and functional capacity, reduces psychological symptoms and increases psychological well-being, resulting in a reduction in sickness absence from the very beginning of the treatment period and by up to around 40%. Rapid access to appropriate and effective treatment has thus clearly reduced the need for and duration of sick leave for mental health reasons and accelerated return to work.

– Early help for mental wellbeing problems is essential and helps to reduce long-lasting problems that can lead to long-term disability. One of our goals for the coming year is to streamline access to care so that patients are not unnecessarily delayed in starting treatment. The earlier clients are put on a treatment pathway in line with the recommendations of Current Care, the more effective it is likely to be," says Kaisu Norbäck, Senior Occupational Health Physician.

Providing appropriate and effective treatment for mental health problems is one of the priorities of Terveystalo's medical development. Mild and moderate depressive states have been shown to be treated through good and timely occupational health cooperation and brief psychotherapy, enabling occupational health clients to receive high quality and appropriate care already within the same organisation, without the immediate need to seek mental health services elsewhere.

– To streamline access to treatment, we have trained our staff extensively to identify situations where brief psychotherapy can achieve the best results. To ensure smooth and quick access to treatment, in the future Terveystalo will offer referrals to occupational health brief psychotherapy not only from an occupational physician, but also from a general practitioner, occupational nurse or occupational psychologist," says Norbäck.