A new report compiled by Diakonia University of Applied Sciences' innovation center, DiakHub, raises concerns about the well-being of Finnish youth. The Zekki Finland report, launched on World Mental Health Day, October 10, 2023, reveals that up to 37% of young people in Finland are dissatisfied with their lives.
The Zekki Finland report, a collaborative effort from researchers at DiakHub, presents a comprehensive analysis of the well-being of Finnish youth.
The data was gathered through the Zekki digital service, a platform specifically designed for young people, and highlights areas where young individuals require additional support.
"In the happiest country in the world, the satisfaction of young people with their lives is only at a moderate level, rated at 6.1 on a scale of 0–10. In comparison, the overall satisfaction of adults in Finland is 8.0. While 63% of young people are at least somewhat content with their lives, a significant 37% express dissatisfaction," stated Sakari Kainulainen, a professor, researcher, and specialist at DiakHub.
The report underscores that young people particularly need support in areas related to self-esteem and overcoming life challenges. Nearly half of the respondents indicated dissatisfaction in these areas, with average ratings of 5.3 and 5.8 on a scale of 0–10. Previous research suggests these are the areas with the least available support services for young people.
Encouragingly, the report also revealed that 79% of young individuals are at least somewhat content with their families and living situations, with average ratings of 7.4 and 7.3 on a scale of 0–10.
Of significant concern is the well-being of young individuals identifying as non-binary. Their overall life satisfaction, rated at 4.9 on a scale of 0–10, was lower than that of young men and women in every aspect of life. Only 40% expressed contentment, while 60% reported dissatisfaction.
But what does youth well-being encompass? "The well-being of young people involves the smooth flow of everyday life, engaging activities, sufficient income, a sense of security, supportive social connections, optimism, a sense of purpose, and overall life satisfaction. Resilience is built in a safe atmosphere," explained Reija Paananen, the lead developer of Zekki from DiakHub.
The Zekki Finland report offers policymakers and social service providers a comprehensive overview of the well-being of Finnish youth. Through DiakHub, regional data specific to individual municipalities or well-being areas can be accessed.
"Reducing the distress among young people requires comprehensive measures that consider the entirety of their lives," emphasized Paananen.
What is the Zekki Finland Report?
Produced semi-annually by Diakonia University of Applied Sciences' DiakHub innovation center, the Zekki Finland report compiles data from the youth-focused Zekki digital service. The report provides insights into various aspects of youth well-being, such as health, daily functioning, and social relationships. The data presented in the current report is from spring 2023, offering an up-to-date snapshot of the well-being of Finnish youth.
About the Zekki Digital Service:
The Zekki digital service, an internationally and nationally recognized social innovation, connects young people with support services while collecting real-time data about the well-being of 15–25-year-olds using the 3X10D life situation measure. Nearly 32,000 self-assessments from individuals of this age group have been recorded on the platform. During spring 2023, a total of 7,527 young people, including 4,553 girls/women, 2,265 boys/men, and 304 non-binary individuals, participated in the self-assessment. Responses were collected from all well-being regions and 263 municipalities.