"Invest in healthcare, it pays itself back. "
An avid bilingual Helsinki resident who saw the opportunity to influence the capital. Born and raised in Helsinki, with a short turn to Turku for a bachelor's degree. Vice chair of the Swedish Youth International Committee, Staff Intern at Liberal International, the global umbrella organisation for liberal parties.
My childhood took place in Ruoholahti, where I played football while I wondered why the neighboring house had a Nazi flag in the window. Playing football with a diverse group of young people taught me a lot about racism. I learned not only about cultures, but that I want to stand for everyone and not just myself.
I want to see a Helsinki where everyone is welcomed and has the opportunity for sports. I want to see a Helsinki that continues to invest in our mental and physical well-being by creating cultural facilities, sports infrastructure, and that lowers the threshold for seeking help for mental disorders.
Young people's well-being
The Finlandia Hall is being renovated again, while the queues for mental health services have continued to grow. We have young people who felt bad even before the COVID19 pandemic, while the restrictions and layoffs continue. Is it time to question the renovation costs and invest better?
Mental disorders are common among youth. According to various surveys, about 20-25 percent of young people suffer from a mental disorder, the most common health problem among school children and young adults. Anxiety and depression are not something I want a single person to be forced to live alone with, especially during the pandemic - Helsinki can do better.
We must increase funding for mental health services, it supports young people and gives hope for the future. When anxiety creates a threatening atmosphere and thoughts, a supportive environment is needed. We can not leave anyone alone, there is help, but it is needed now more than ever and it requires work. An investment in health care is an investment in well-being.
Helsinki has the potential to grow as a sports capital. We have large sports teams in several sports, that attract people to the stands for domestic and international matches. Sports are fun to watch and it is important that we support team activities at the grassroots level - where else would the professionals of the future come from?
Playing sports always costs money. New shoes, balls, common team uniforms, camps, travel, tournaments, everything costs the parents. Not every team can offer cheap sports opportunities and not every family can afford the children's sports hunger.
Helsinki has many sports grounds, but many are neither heated nor frozen in winter. It is sad, that the sports fields are used in the winter for neither skating nor other sports. All sports opportunities must be used, especially under restrictions.
We can promote children's exercise by supporting sports teams and building better training infrastructure around them. We can be better at increasing the city's opportunities for sports all year round. Warm up the pitch and let the team play sports or freeze it and let the families skate. We can do better.
The city forgot Nosturi, Virgin Oil, and The Circus - In Helsinki we have several festivals, concerts, museums, and art exhibitions, but the premises are disappearing at a rapid pace. As an active cultural customer, I am aware of where concerts have taken place and where you have previously been able to enjoy music. Nosturi was a hotspot for culture but had to flee due to Helsinki's construction strategy. New spaces were promised but the plan sank straight into the Baltic Sea.
Nosturi, Virgin Oil, and The Circus all had several artists of each genre performing. 3250 customer seats and taxpayers have now disappeared. There are a need and a strong demand for culture. Now it's up to Helsinki to come up with the solutions. But what can Helsinki do?
Helsinki can engage in closer dialogue with private entrepreneurs and also build premises for culture, not just housing. Culture promotes well-being and now there is a chance to fill the space that Nosturi, Virgin Oil, and The Circus have left empty.