MIELI is a Finnish non-governmental organisation and a federation of over 50 local mental health associations making part of it, hosting approximately 4 000 individual members.
There are also over 30 individual so called association members, which are other social welfare and health organizations, patients' associations and trade unions.
MIELI assists and supports its local member NGOs by providing training and producing material. There are 5 regional employees collaborating with local associations. Local mental health associations are engaged in versatile work. They have their own development projects and counseling services.
Voluntary work has been an important asset of the MIELI activities for many decades.MIELI trains voluntary support personnel whom the local associations engage in personal support activities. They work voluntarily as crisis helpline councellors, leaders of group activities and supporters to those recovering from mental health problems as well as adolescents in their path towards independent living.
Voluntary support personnel are given basic training in interacting with people. They are also given a comprehensive further training that covers diverse themes including the resources and risk factors of mental well-being, crisis situations and crisis behavior as well as an obligatory course in supervision of voluntary work. To date, there are about 10,000 people having received the training in Finland.