Today the BDP has welcomed the Finnish Psychological Association (Suomen Psykologiliitto) at their headquarter in Berlin. The two associations discussed the theme of school psychology and psychologists in German and Finnish schools. We concluded from our exchange that while the ratio of students per school psychologists is much better in Finland (1:780) than in Germany (1:8900), the Finnish association aims for Finnish school psychologists to have the defined role and tasks school psychologists in Germany already have (coordination of network & prevention, amongst others). While many differences in the nature of Finnish and German school psychologists may lie in historical and cultural differences it might also be affected by the differences in school systems as well as the diverging positions and roles that teachers have in Finland and Germany, respectively.
Further, the two associations exchanged experiences of their countries´ healthcare systems and the position psychologists and psychotherapists have, respectively. Suomen Psykologiliitto is worried that the upcoming health and social service reform in 2023 does not guarantee the positions for psychologists in primary healthcare. In Germany the primary care is not organised in healthcare centers while mental health care service is directly accessible. Costs of psychological problems and disorders constitutes nearly 50 % of the overall healthcare expenditure worldwide. However, there is also much room to improve mental health care in Germany such as the limited number of psychotherapists who have a licence to be refunded by the statutory health insurance.
Lastly, the importance of psychology in relations to tackling the climate change was discussed and we are open to continue our exchange on selected topics such as climate anxiety and others.
The BDP is grateful for this encounter and is looking forward to continue this very constructive and informative dialogue and join forces with our colleagues from Finland in the future! Thank you for your visit!
The Finnish Psychological Association is grateful for the opportunity to visit the BDP and to strengthen our cooperation. Hopefully we will see you in Finland next time!
Puheenjohtaja, Suomen Psykologiliitto