HUS Meilahti hospital area sign in Helsinki. LEHTIKUVA

Health & wellbeing

The Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) has announced the opening of a specialized Trauma Psychiatry Clinic in the Meilahti hospital area, set to launch in January. This clinic is poised to provide critical consultation and treatment services for patients suffering from trauma-induced stress disorders, a condition prevalently found among refugees and asylum seekers.

The primary objective of this new clinic is to advance the treatment of severe trauma-related stress disorders.

Refugees and asylum seekers, having often experienced extraordinarily traumatic events, are at significant risk. Psychological trauma is not only a risk factor for many psychiatric symptoms but is also a prerequisite for the diagnosis of trauma-related stress disorder.

"The Trauma Psychiatry Clinic offers consultation services and non-urgent diagnostic and treatment periods primarily for psychiatric unit patients suffering from trauma-related stress disorder," explains Dr. Tanja Laukkala, Chief Physician at HUS Psychiatry.

Another innovative aspect of the clinic's services will be the introduction of eConsultations in trauma psychiatry, initially serving the Uusimaa region. Once established, these eConsultations are expected to expand into a national service. In addition, the clinic will work in conjunction with the Defense Forces' psychiatric clinic, which has its national special tasks, further enhancing its capability.

The HUS Trauma Psychiatry Clinic is not just a treatment center; it's a hub of expertise focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of trauma-induced stress disorders. The staff is actively involved in drafting national treatment guidelines, serving as experts in various networks, including emergency preparedness, and outlining treatment pathways that extend to basic healthcare levels. They also play a crucial role as trainers and are instrumental in development projects, ensuring that issues related to psychological trauma are integrated into the healthcare system and addressed in wider societal contexts.