_ Tovi Support: a new way to care and share your time
_Anyone can sometimes need help
when going through a difficult moment. Life situations change – sometimes
you’re the one who helps, sometimes you’re in the receiving end. Tovi support (Tovituki in Finnish) is a low
threshold system of peer support for those situations when life takes a dip to
of Tovi Support was developed on the principle of time banking by the Time heals (Aika parantaa in Finnish) Network, a civic initiative that blossomed
within the Helsinki Timebank (Stadin Aikapankki). In a time bank members exchange a diversity of services
against time. The main guiding principle for each exchange in time bank is that
everyone’s time and work are of equal worth. The name of the time credit, or
currency, used in Finnish time banks is Tovi (Moment). One Tovi equals one hour
offers flexible and tailor made support; besides discussions, one can also get
concrete help with housekeeping, child care, etc. through the time bank.
Tovi Support is
not meant for treatment of serious illnesses or crises. Typical support period
lasts about five meetings. In return for their time the peer supporters receive
tovi time credits. The peer supporters may have acquired their expertise through education,
employment or life experiences.
is based on reciprocity – sometimes you’re the one who helps, sometimes you’re
in the receiving end.
From 2013 until 2016 Time Heals Network (Aika parantaa
–verkosto) and the Social-Psychiatric Association of
Southeastern Finland (Kaakkois-Suomen sosiaalipsykiatrinen yhdistys ry)
implement the Mainstreaming Tovi Support Project (Tovituki tunnetuksi
-hanke) with the aims of mainstreaming and expanding the system of Tovi Support to
different parts of the country and different spheres of society.
By doing so the project strengthens the core message
of Time Heals: Everyone can and may sometimes need support to cope.