GFP (Guided Functional Peer Support)

GFP (Guided Functional Peer Support) -model is a combination of peer support and creative activities. The main goal is to support the young adult mental health clients to find natural means of life management and social skills development, both at work and disability rehabilitation.

GFP-model aims to a new type of peer-guided functional development. Instead of traditional disease-centered dialogue of the peer support, GFP focuses on human resources and functionality through interaction. Professional staff has trained the peer tutors to support the activities and the rehabilitation clients jointly in the groups.

The contents of functional groups are versatile. There are for example groups of music, multimedia, drama and visual arts. GFP-model is working on strong cooperation with a local Youth Services Center as using their space and equipment.

First GFP-house ELVIS was founded in Helsinki on May 2009. ELVIS has over 25 functional groups running every week. Professional staff consists of two music therapists and one occupational therapist.

The evaluation of effectiveness was carried out by the Rehabilitation Foundation in 2011. The results of the evaluation indicate that there is a genuine demand for GFP-houses like ELVIS and that there are not equivalent services available in mental health rehabilitation field in Finland. ELVIS had 72 young mental health clients with various diagnoses. After the first year 21 of them applied for school or work.

We are building new GFP-houses (Young adult`s Culture House-project) in 3 different cities in Finland within the next 3 years. It is estimated that five 20-year-olds retire for mental health reasons every day in Finland.

Read Young Heroes – Pamphlet on mental health and functional peer support. Raivio, Markus (2012) Sosped Foundation. (pdf)

Markus Raivio
Project Director and Music Therapist Young Adult’s Culture House -project
markus.raivio (at)