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Sosped Foundation is peer support and communality

Sosped Foundation is a non-governmental welfare organization operating in the social and health sector in Finland. The mission of Sosped is to support and promote wellbeing and recovery through social and peer support in all spheres of life. The framework of the Foundation stems from social pedagogy and its holistic and relationship-centered approach to care and wellbeing. In the field of social welfare in Finland, Sosped stands out as a proactive and rapidly developing organization.

”Our mission is to enhance wellbeing through peer support, involvement and communality.

Sosped promotes and supports social and peer support, and the role of experts by experience in social and health sector. As a non-governmental organisation Sosped administers different projects and functions that are all based on social support and offer a wide array of meaningful volunteer opportunities for experts by experience. The foundation actively seeks to collaborate with similar organizations nationally and internationally. Major part of the activities administered by Sosped are financed by the the Funding Centre of Social Welfare and Health Organizations (STEA) which operates in connection with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Sosped operates nationwide in Finland and employs over 40 people. Sosped seeks to collaborate with similar organizations nationally and internationally.

The projects administered by Sosped are targeted to people that are affected by mental health problems, disabilities and disorders, obsessive gambling and digital gaming. Sosped aims to make a difference in the lives of people by enabling and enhancing social interaction and peer-support.

Peer support

Peer support lies at the heart of Sosped Foundation. It appears in different forms within Sosped Foundation’s projects and activities, but the idea remains the same:

  • mutually offered and reciprocal help among people with similar experiences
  • built on shared personal experience and empathy
  • focuses on an individual’s strengths not weaknesses, and works towards the individual’s wellbeing and recovery

    Peers benefit from the support whether they are giving or receiving it.

In Sosped Foundation peer support is regarded as mutual support and help among people with similar experiences. The distribution of experiential knowledge plays a key role. Trust, tolerance, equality and communality are also important values.

The peer groups in Sosped Foundation are based on voluntariness and are free of charge for all participants. The activities are for the public good and do not provide economic benefit to any party. Peer support prevents social exclusion.

Some examples of our peer support methods

Our projects and activities offer many different options of low-threshold peer support administered by coached volunteers called Peer Advisors, Mentors and Experts by Experience. These volunteers provide help based on their own personal experience and the abilities they have gained through training. Our trained volunteers work in various volunteer positions such as

  • organizing and leading peer support groups 
  • providing peer support online and/or on the phone
  • raising awareness by telling about their experiences in the media
  • collaborating with professionals to create better services

Guided functional peer support

Our six Culture Houses around Finland are all offering culture-related groups for young adults that have mental health problems. Functional peer groups are planned and led by Peer Leaders that have undergone our Peer Leader Trainig.

Guided functional peer support is based on the conception of rehabilitation in which the focus is on the person’s assets and interests instead of on sickness. Instead of discussion, guided functional peer support focuses on functionality, communality and a sense of peer support.

In guided functional peer support, volunteers are trained to direct functional groups while focusing on the strengths and interests of the participants. Through guided functional peer support, we aim to eliminate loneliness and restart the rehabilitative effects of learning.

Our framework stems from social pedagogy

Social pedagogy is based on humanistic values stressing mutual respect, trust, unconditional appreciation, and equality (to mention but a few). It’s a holistic and relationship-centered approach to care and wellbeing. Our social pedagogy “in a nutshell” is about social interaction, experience-based knowledge and sense of community.

We believe that people learn and evolve together.

This is what we are currently working on

Pelirajat’on | problematic gambling

Offers different options of low-threshold support for anyone concerned about their own or another person’s gambling. Services for both gamblers and people affected by gambling. Learn more

Digipelirajat’on | problematic gaming

Raising awareness about problematic gaming and tackling gaming-related problems by providing information and low-threshold support in peer groups. Learn more

VIGOR-project

Culturally sensitive mentoring model that trains immigrants to become  sexual health mentors and health promoters in their respective language communities. Learn more

Culture Houses

Our 6 Culture Houses offer culture-related groups for young adults that have  mental health problems. Functional peer groups are planned and led by Peer Leaders that have undergone our Peer Leader Training.

Epic Light-project

Publishes diverse media content that are created by young adults facing varying challenges in their lives. Content planning and creation is done in peer groups. The project aims to motivate and empower both the creators and the audience. 

Feeniks-project

Offers support and training for middle-aged men who are left unemployed because of digitalization and transformation of work.

Sosped Center Ltd

A development and training organisation owned by Sosped Foundation.
Learn more at sospedkeskus.fi