Action in Crisis Situations
These events include:
- situations that raise intense fear or are threatening
- being subjected to violence
- other serious crimes or suspicion thereof
- serious accidents
- personal injuries or deaths
- any other shocking or inappropriate activities or events on the campus of the University of Vaasa, elsewhere in Fin-land or abroad, where a member of the university staff or a student is involved.
These guidelines do not apply to activities in emergency conditions under the Emergency Powers Act. In that case, a separate contingency plan is applied, the transition to which will be communicated separately. Emergency situations under the Emergency Powers Act include war, widespread disease epidemics, and widespread interruptions in the distribution of water, food or electricity.
These guidelines were updated on 12 January 2021 by Safety Manager Ronald Pått and Specialist Sannakaisa Holmlund. You can download the guidelines also as a document.
University of Vaasa contingency group
The task of the contingency group is to organise activities in crisis situations, to call for external help and student representatives if necessary, and to take care of the measures required in a crisis. The contingency group is also responsible for operating in cooperation with the authorities.
The University of Vaasa strives to anticipate and prevent crises. Crisis preparedness aims to keep damage and harm to a minimum and to prevent the crisis from spreading. Crises include events that cause extensive material damage, as well as serious accidents, damage or other activities affecting the operations and reputation of the university.
The task of the university contingency group is to direct the crisis situation and instruct activities. Every member of the university community is obliged to act in accordance with the instructions of the contingency group.
Where possible, the university will also be involved in the management of crises occurring elsewhere and affecting members of the university community (e.g. natural disasters, catastrophes, accidents).
The university conducts an annual risk assessment, in which the most significant risks to the university are identified and action plans appropriate to the risks are drawn up. The plan addresses the following:
- how potential risks are prevented
- who is responsible for preventive measures and elimination of risks
- how the implementation and results of risk management are monitored.
Tasks of the contingency group in a crisis situation
The contingency group organises operations in crisis situations, acts as a cooperation party between the authorities and takes care of the follow-up of the situation and the unification of operations.
The group is convened by any member of the group who is informed of an event considered to be a crisis. The contingency group is responsible for ensuring that the Rector and the communications director are informed of the event immediately. In the event of a crisis, notify the safety manager.
After convening, the contingency group
- Evaluates what has happened, where the information came from, whether the information is reliable.
- Finds out whether any measures have already been initiated, how the matter has been handled so far.
- Outlines what issues need to be taken care of and how the crisis will be handled:
- considering the measures best suited to the situation, applying the guidelines below.
- Determines the levels of activities
- the whole university, staff, student group(s), individual students, authorities, media.
- Gives instructions on communications (media interest usually arises immediately):
- the extent to which information will be provided (remember privacy)
- who will give statements (as a rule, the event is communicated by the rector and the director of marketing and communications or, by separate agreement, by an authority)
- the authorities are ALWAYS responsible for communicating in an authority-led situation.
- Anticipates what the university's legal liability for the event will be:
- what legal liability consequences may be expected and how the consequences should be anticipated.
- Informs where staff and students can get legal help, for example
- University of Vaasa lawyer
- Legal Aid Office
- Victim Support in Vaasa
- Ostrobothnia Crisis Centre Valo in Vaasa
- Crisis Centre Mobile in Seinäjoki.
- Ensures the realisation of cooperation with the authorities.
Phases of a traumatic crisis
The phases of a traumatic crisis include the shock phase, the reaction phase, the processing phase and the reorientation phase.
1. Shock phase "Can't be true"
Lasts a few moments to a few days. In the shock phase, a person
- is unable to comprehend what has happened or even denies it
- behaves abnormally or inappropriately
- may not remember events at this phase later.
2. Reaction phase "What happened?"
Can last a few weeks to a few months. In the reaction phase, the person tries to get an idea of what happened; why and how did it all happen?
Mental defence mechanisms begin to work better, denial of the event decreases. The person may experience, for example,
- physical symptoms
- symptoms of depression: crying, withdrawal, guilt, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping
- hostility, including blaming others
- hiding emotions, apparent control of the situation.
3. Processing phase "How can I cope with this?"
Lasts a few months to a year / years. In the processing phase,
- the person accepts what happened
- focus on what happened and the past stage of life decreases
- symptoms and sensations decrease.
As recovery progresses, the mental and physical symptoms disappear and the mood improves. However, at this phase, the crisis reaction can also become locked and turn into a mental disorder, in which case professional help is necessary.
4. Reorientation phase "Life goes on!"
Final recovery happens in the reorientation phase. The person has been able to deal with what happened so that it no longer limits life. No one is the same after a crisis, but at best, the person is stronger and better prepared to face adversity.
See also Mental Health Finland's website Traumatic crises.
Crisis situations abroad
In crisis situations abroad, we act in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the police authorities of the country in question. The primary contact points are the university's HR Services and/or Mobility Services, which work in close cooperation with the university contingency group and other stakeholders.
A death at the university must be reported immediately to the police at the public emergency number 112. Share your observations related to the event. Do not end the call until you have given permission to do so.
In addition to the emergency centre, the person who became aware of the death informs the university contingency group. The contingency group meets as soon as possible after being informed of the event.
The contingency group outlines internal and external communication on the event. The contingency group further communicates the event,
- in the case of staff, to the HR director
- in the case of a student, to the Head of Education Services and to the Secretary General of the Student Union (in the case of an international student, proceed in accordance with the instructions of the authorities).
The police are responsible for informing the victim's relatives about the death.
In the event of a death abroad, the contact point is the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (on-call 24 hours a day, tel. +358 9 1605 5555 (calls are recorded)) and the police authorities of the country concerned, proceed in accordance with their instructions.
Remembrance of the victim
The contingency group provides information to staff and students about flying the flags at half-mast, arranging a place of silence, and takes care of communication on them.
The contingency group decides how remembrance by the university community will be organised.
- In the event of the death of a member of staff, the unit director takes care of remembrance to relatives. Where appropriate, an obituary by the university is prepared for the newspaper. The unit director decides on attendance at the funeral and remembrance related to the funeral (for example, flowers / condolence card), respecting the wish-es of the relatives).
- In the event of the death of a student, the same guidelines are followed in remembrance as for staff, as applicable.
- In the case of suicide, act primarily in accordance with the will of the relatives. As a rule, a member of the contin-gency group agreed in advance is responsible for contacts with the relatives.
The contingency group helps arrange special support for staff and students as needed.
After the death of a student/employee, there are separate guidelines for handling the data concerning them.
The guidelines on remembrance of a victim are followed mainly in sudden cases, otherwise where applicable.
Criminal cases, threats and fire safety
Operating instructions for fire, crime and threat situations are described in the university's rescue plan and in the university's safety guidelines
On the Equality and non-discrimination website, you will find e.g. contact information for harassment contact persons and the following guidelines:
- Abuse and workplace harassment are not part of the work community
- Sexual and gender-based harassment is discrimination
- Guidelines for situations of inappropriate treatment and harassment relating to studying.
Online harassment includes false information, slander and intimidation disseminated via email and the Internet, as well as the transmission of inappropriate or criminal material.
Employees must immediately notify their supervisor and the Chief Information Officer / safety manager of harassment in the university's information network as soon as possible. They will decide on further action, including deleting the messages from university servers.
If necessary, a crisis team is set up to assess the number of people in need of support and the organisation of aftercare support measures.
In the aftercare of a crisis, the following can provide help
- occupational health doctor/nurse or occupational health crisis team
- Finnish Student Health Service doctor/nurse
- representative of a religious community, e.g. university chaplain
- Ostrobothnia Crisis Centre Valo
- Victim Support
- Crisis Centre Mobile, Seinäjoki
- university study psychologist Ray Ohtonen.
The crisis team assists in contacting an external provider of help.
The crisis team evaluates and monitors the progress of crisis management measures and develops operations.
- General emergency number 112
The university recommends that all members of the university community download the free 112 Finland mobile application, which includes not only the emergency number but also other functions and on-call numbers.
- The service number 116 006 of Victim Support Finland (RIKU) is available in Finnish Mon–Fri 9am–8pm and in Swedish 12–2pm. The legal advice telephone service 0800 161 177 is available Mon–Thu 5pm–7pm Both services are free of charge. More information on the RIKU website.
- Crisis Helpline provides discussion assistance to those in crisis and their loved ones. The crisis helpline is available in Finnish 24 hours a day at 09 2525 0111. The Swedish-language helpline, Kristelefon, is available at 09 2525 0112. More information on the crisis helpline website.
- In addition to the crisis helpline, Mental Health Finland offers discussion assistance to young people in the Sekasin chat and in the Tukinet online service.
- Nollalinja 080 005 005 is a nationwide, free-of-charge helpline for people who have experienced or have been threatened with violence in a close relationship. More information on the Nollalinja website.
- In the MentalHub online service, you will find information, self-care programmes, guides, symptom navigators and service searches.
Contact information in Vaasa
- The main police station of the Ostrobothnia Police Department is located in Vaasa at Korsholmanpuistikko 45, 65100 Vaasa, tel. 0295 440 511 (exchange), helpline 0295 419 800. More information on the website of the Ostrobothnia Police Department.
- The Vaasa service point of the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) is located at Wolffintie 27–31 and 30, 65200 Vaasa. The service point is open Mon–Thu 8am–3pm, Fri 8am–2pm. Appointments and service guidance in SelfChat or national service numbers: oral health services 046 710 1085, other services 046 710 1073. More information on the operation of the Vaasa service point can be found on the FSHS website.
- The University of Vaasa study psychologist is familiar with the psychology of learning, guidance and counselling. The study psychologist works in support of students to promote motivation, time management, studying and well-being. Further information and contact details of the study psychologist can be found on the Students web pages under Well-being and safety > Study psychologist.
- Student counsellors are responsible for programme-specific study guidance. Each student has a student counsellor appointed according to their degree programme to help with matters related to their studies. Further information and contact details can be found on the Students web pages under Support and study guidance > Study counsellors.
- The university chaplain is present on the Palosaari campus and acts as a support for students and staff of both the University of Vaasa and Vaasa University of Applied Sciences. More information can be found on the Students web pages under Well-being and safety > University chaplain.
- University porters
- Tervahovi, tel. 029 449 8090, 029 449 8088
- Fabriikki, tel. 029 449 8089, 029 449 8093
- Tritonia, tel. 029 449 8092, 029 449 8250
- University campus security guard
- on-call guard, tel. 029 449 8096
- AVARN Security national alarm centre tel. 010 443 6100
- The service office of the University of Vaasa Student Union is located at the Domus Bothnica Student House, Yliopistonranta 5, 65200 Vaasa, tel. 044 324 8980. Contact details of the Secretary General of the Student Union: tel.
- 044 324 8964, paasihteeri(at)vyy.fi. More information on the Student Union website.
- You can find information about the services of Vaasa health stations on the City of Vaasa website under Living > Health and well-being > Health station services.
- The address of Vaasa Central Hospital is Hietalahdenkatu 2–4, 65130 Vaasa, telephone exchange: (06) 213 1111. You can reach the on-call telephone helpline at (06) 213 1001. You can find more information about the Central Hospital's services on the website of the Vaasa Central Hospital.
- Ostrobothnia Crisis Centre Valo offers discussion assistance when you have faced a crisis or want support in a difficult life situation. Appointments: Mon–Thu 9am–3pm tel. 044 979 2439 or info(at)pohjanmaankriisikeskus.fi. More information on the operations of Crisis Centre Valo can be found on the website of Mieli ry under Ostrobothnia Crisis Centre Valo.
- On-call assessments and admissions to the psychiatric ward of Vaasa Central Hospital are made Mon–Fri 8am–3:30pm at the psychiatric outpatient clinic, which operates in Huutoniemi at Sarjakatu 2, 65320 Vaasa, tel. (06) 213 2272. At other times, on-call assessments and admissions are made in the Acute psychiatric ward 1. A psychiatric on-call nurse is available at the joint emergency room 24 hours a day. A referral is not required. More information on the website of Vaasa Central Hospital under Psychiatric Emergency Clinic.
- You can find more information about psychosocial rehabilitation and support services for everyday management (in
Finnish) on the city website at Asu ja elä > Sosiaalipalvelut ja arjen tuki > Mielenterveys- ja päihdepalvelut > Arjenhallinnan tukipalvelut.
- Vaasa Substance Abuse Centre operates in the area of Huutoniemi Hospital in ward C1 at Sarjakatu 2, Vaasa, tel.
06 325 2400. The centre is open 24/7. More information (in Finnish) on the city website at Asu ja elä > Sosiaalipalvelut ja arjen tuki > Mielenterveys- ja päihdepalvelut > Päihdekeskus.
- The Vaasa office of the Central Ostrobothnia and Ostrobothnia Legal Aid Office at the Courthouse serves on weekdays during office hours 8am–4:15pm at Korsholmanpuistikko 43, 3rd floor, 65100 Vaasa. More information (in Finnish) on the Oikeus.fi website under Oikeusapu > Keski-Pohjanmaan ja Pohjanmaan oikeusaputoimisto.
Contact information in Seinäjoki
- Seinäjoki Police Station of the Ostrobothnia Police Department is located at Juhonkatu 4, 60320 Seinäjoki, tel.
0295 440 511 (exchange). More information on the website of the Seinäjoki Police Station.
- The Seinäjoki service point of the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) is located at Simunantie 10, 60200 Seinäjoki. The service point is open Mon–Thu 8am–3pm, Fri 8am–2pm. Appointments and service guidance in SelfChat or national service numbers: oral health services 046 710 1085, other services 046 710 1073. More information on the operation of the Seinäjoki service point can be found on the FSHS website.
- Seinäjoki Health Centre is located at Koskenalantie 18, 60220 Seinäjoki. You can find more information on the health centre services on the City of Seinäjoki website under Health and social services > Health services.
- The address of Seinäjoki Central Hospital is Hanneksenrinne 7, 60220 Seinäjoki, telephone exchange: (06) 415 4111. Emergency assistance (24h) 116 117. You can find more information on the website of the Hospital District of South Ostrobothnia.
- Crisis Centre Mobile Seinäjoki is located at Kauppakatu 15 C 14, 60100 Seinäjoki. Appointments Mon–Fri 8:30am–11am tel. 06 414 1256. More information on the website of the Crisis Centre Mobile Seinäjoki.
- Seinäjoki Central Hospital Acute Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic is located on the 1st floor of the Seinäjoki Central Hospital TC building at Hanneksenrinne 7, 60220 Seinäjoki. 24/7 psychiatric on-call service is also available on weekends at 06 415 4313. Nurses of the acute psychiatric outpatient clinic are available every day 8am–9pm. More information (in Finnish) on the website of the Seinäjoki Centra Hospital under Hoitopalvelut > Hoidot ja tutkimukset > Psykiatria > Aikuisten psykiatriset avohoitopalvelut > Akuuttipsykiatrian poliklinikka.
- Seinäjoki Substance Abuse Clinic is located at Ravitie 8 B, 60120 Seinäjoki, tel. 044 754 1638 / customer service on weekdays 7:30am–3pm. More information on the city’s website under Health and social services > Social services > Substance abuse and addiction treatment services.
- The Seinäjoki office of the Southern Ostrobothnia Legal Aid Office is located on the 4th floor of the State Office Building Fallesmanni at Juhonkatu 4, 60320. More detailed information (in Finnish) on the Oikeus.fi website under Oikeusapu > Etelä-Pohjanmaan oikeusaputoimisto.
Contact information in Lapua
See contact information in Seinäjoki.
Contact information in Kokkola
- Kokkola Police Station of the Ostrobothnia Police Department is located at Kaarleankatu 74, 67100 Kokkola, tel. 029 544 0511 (exchange). More information on the website of the Kokkola Police Station.
- The general and mental health services provided by the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) Kokkola are located at Talonpojankatu 2, 67100 Kokkola. The service point is open Mon–Thu 8am–3pm, Fri 8am–2pm. The oral health services provided by Oral Kokkola are only available to students in Kokkola and Pietarsaari and are located at Isokatu 5, 67100 Kokkola. More information can be found on the FSHS website under Service units > Kokkola.
- The main health station of Kokkola Health Centre is located at Mariankatu 28, 67200 Kokkola. More information (in Finnish) on the health centre's services can be found on the website of the Keski-Pohjanmaan sosiaali- ja terveyspalvelukuntayhtymä Soite under Terveyspalvelut > Terveysasemat > Kokkolan vastaanotto.
- The address of Central Ostrobothnia Central Hospital is Mariankatu 16–20, 67200 Kokkola, telephone exchange 06 826 4111. More information (in Finnish) on the website of the Keski-Pohjanmaan sosiaali- ja terveyspalvelukuntayhtymä Soite.
- Kokkola Legal Aid Office is located at the Office Building at Torikatu 40, 67100 Kokkola, tel. 029 566 1270. More information (in Finnish) on the Oikeus.fi website under Oikeusapu > Keski-Pohjanmaan ja Pohjanmaan oikeusaputoimisto.
Contact information in Helsinki
- Helsinki Police Department is located at Pasilanraitio 11, 00240 Helsinki, tel. 029 547 0011 (exchange Mon–Fri 8am–4:15pm). More information on the website of the Helsinki Police Department.
- The Helsinki, Töölö service point of the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) is located at Töölönkatu 37 A, 00260 Helsinki. The FSHS Malmi general and mental health service point is located at Malmin kauppatie 8, 00700 Helsinki. The service points are open Mon–Thu 8am–3pm, Fri 8am–2pm. Appointments and service guidance in SelfChat or national service numbers: oral health services 046 710 1085, other services 046 710 1073. More information on the FSHS website under Service units > Helsinki, Töölö and Helsinki, Malmi.
- Contact information for Helsinki health stations and more information about the services can be found on the city’s website under Social Services and Health Care > Health Services > Health Stations.
- You can reach the emergency service of HUS Helsinki University Hospital at the free-of-charge number 116 117. Contact information for emergency rooms and more information about the services can be found on the website of HUS Helsinki University Hospital.
- Helsinki Legal Aid Office is located on the 2nd floor of the Courthouse at Porkkalankatu 13 G, 00180 Helsinki. Customer service is open Mon–Fri 8am–4:15pm, tel. 029 566 0120. More information on the Oikeus.fi website under Legal Aid > Helsinki Legal Aid Office.
- SOS Crisis Centre in Helsinki provides short-term discussion assistance to support coping with a crisis at Maistraatinportti 4 A, 4th floor, 00240 Helsinki. To book a crisis appointment, call (09) 4135 0510, Mon–Thu 9am–12pm and 1pm–3pm and Fri 9am–12pm. More information can be found on the website of Mieli ry under Support and Help.