Mental healthcare abroad: the similarities and differences

Nursing student looks at the similarities and differences between Finnish and British mental healthcare

On a second year placement in Finland, nursing student Emma Sheridan discovered that nurses' education was a dedication met by all staff, and a crisis ward initiative was vital in reducing lengthly admissions. So what are the similarities, and differences, between Finnish and British mental healthcare?

During the second year of my mental health nursing degree in Liverpool John Moores University, I was offered the opportunity to undertake a two-week placement in an acute mental health ward in North Karelia Central Hospital and Honkalampi Centre in Joensuu, Finland.

It was evident how dedicated the staff were to the development of student nurses’ education. Mentors dedicated time to translating handovers and meetings – as well as explaining the Finnish mental health system. They organised spending time in their crisis ward, hospital-based community teams and isolation areas.

The crisis ward is an excellent


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