MIELI Mental Health Finland

As a leading mental health NGO, MIELI Mental Health Finland provides expertise through training, crisis support, journals, guidebooks and promotional material. MIELI is well accustomed to working in collaboration with research initiatives, material production, in political spheres, as well as in customer facing initiatives, both nationally and internationally.


Professor Kristian Wahlbeck, Director of Development at MIELI, has more than 30 years’ experience of the mental health sector. He is a psychiatrist by training and also holds the position as a Research Professor at the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). He was responsible for the public mental health research strategy within the EU-funded roadmap for mental health research (ROAMER). He was the leader of the mental health in all policies work package in the EU Joint Action for mental health and wellbeing. and he leads the EU-funded CEPHOS-LINK project on psychiatric readmission. He has contributed to Finnish recommendations for training of experts by lived experience. Current research interests include mental health policy and service research as well as stigma research. He has co-authored more than 100 original publications


Johannes Parkkonen is a Project Coordinator at the Finnish Association for MIELI currently focussing on the further development and implementation of the EU-Compass for Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing as well as development of other European collaboration projects. He is also Secretary of the cross-party Mental Health Policy Committee, which brings together representatives from all parties in the Parliament, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, as well as four national mental health organisations. Prior to returning to Finland in 2013, Johannes worked for seven years at Scotland’s national See Me programme tackling the stigma and discrimination that people with experience of mental health problems still face too often. He also worked in homelessness for two years, advancing the involvement of people with experience of homelessness in the development of new services as part of Glasgow’s hostel decommissioning programme. Johannes holds MA (socsci) Honours from the University of Glasgow, MA from the University of East Anglia and Postgraduate Certificate in Management from the Open University.

Suvi Piironen is an Advisor at MIELI, SOS-Crisis Centre offering crisis counselling and support for clientswith immigration backgrounds including stability training group model for traumatised immigrants. She also offers training and consulting for professionals working with immigrants and works in policy and advocacy level for immigration, mental health and human rights. Suvi studied at the Educational science, Sociology and Psychology in Freie Universität Berlin (2002-2007) where she obtained Diploma in Social Pedagogy and a Master’s degree in Intercultural Education. Currently she is participating in a two year training course for cognitive brief therapy.

Sonja Maununaho is currently a Project Planner in the Mirakle – Building Blocks for the Mental Wellbeing of Older People Project. For the past decade Sonja has mainly been focusing in issues around everyday life and wellbeing of older people both in her studies of ethnology and social gerontology and in her profession. She finished her Ph.M. in university of Jyväskylä and has done postgraduate studies in special education in the Open University of Helsinki. For the past few years she has been working in research and development projects at MIELI and the Finnish Association for the Welfare of Older People.

Maarit Lassander is a Project Manager at MIELI, Psychologist and Psychotherapist. She specialises in mental health promotion and projects that use the new technologies to support well-being. She is also a doctoral student, preparing her thesis on the effects of mindfulness programme in middle school context. Maarit has worked as a clinical psychologist mainly with children and adolescents, and as a project coordinator in the WHO Collaboration Centre for Mental Health Promotion in Helsinki. She holds MSc in Political Science and licentiate degree in Psychology from the University of Helsinki and a Higher Education Certificate from the University of London, Royal Holloway.

Marjo Hannukkala After graduating in Education Theory at University of Helsinki, Marjo continued with a Licentiate Degree in Young Peoples Life Skills and as a visiting lecturer in the Department of Teacher Education at University of Helsinki. Marjo has been involved as an expert in the Finnish National Board of Education (FNBE), establishing the Finnish curriculum for Health Education. Marjo is currently Director of Mental Health Promotion, Children and Young People at MIELI actively contributing to training materials and sessions in skills such as emotional and co-operation skills, self-esteem, and coping. Marjo is also a certified Occupational Counselor.

Katja Müller is a marketing professional working in MIELI Civic Actions team. As a Marketing and Digital Communications Planner she works together with local Mental Health Associations (over 50) all over Finland. Katja provides associations help and tools to execute effective communications, to create engaging content for digital channels and in recruiting new volunteer workers. She is also responsible for volunteer work marketing development work.  

Elina Marjamäki works as a Specialist Coordinator and has a Master’s degree in Social Sciences (M.Sc.). She has worked at MIELI since 2007 promoting mental health of children and young people through development projects with teachers in primary and secondary schools, vocational schools and gymnasiums in collaboration with youth workers and with early childhood educators and child health clinic nurses. She is aslo a co-author the book “Child’s Mind – Mental health promotion in early childhood education and in child health clinics”. 

Lauri Hovi is a Communications Specialist with a journalist background and a Human Centered Design mindset. He is specialized in digital communications and service design. He has a Master's degree in Social Sciences (M.Sc.) and his major subject was Social Policy. He is the webmaster of mieli.fi website and leads MIELI's social media communications.