Lapinlahden Lähde

Lapinlahden Lähde

The centre for culture and well-being

Lapinlahden Lähde is located in the old Lapinlahti psychiatric hospital in Helsinki. It serves as a centre for mental well-being and cultural events, and it is open to the public every day.

It organises serminars, gatherings and various events pertaining to culture and welfare. It also provides venues for the aforementioned activities. Moreover, it hosts art exhibitions in the Corridor Gallery in the main building and in the Open Space gallery in the Venetsia building located on the shore. Café Lähde in the main building is a lively forum that provides both salty and sweet treats. The old sauna of Lapinlahden Lähde is heated regularly and it provides both mental and physical relaxation for locals and visitors alike. The museum showcasing the history of the area and mental health care, called Mental Museum, is located on the ground floor of the main building, adjacent to Café Lähde .

In addition, there is the Lähteen Puoti shop in which visitors can purchase handcrafted works from a selection produced by independent artists. Or perhaps one could enter Patina next door, a shop dealing in wholesale second-hand goods.

Events

Every week, Lapinlahti organises various events, lectures, seminars and discussions. It also provides venues for them.  We do, in fact, have about 200 events a year and 70 000 visitors. Please, visit our event calendar and Facebook page for more information on current events.

Everyone is welcome to come meet us, to participate and to enjoy the ambiance of Lapinlahti. Most of our events are free of charge.

Spaces available for hire

There are several beautiful rooms available for hire in the Lapinlahti hospital that are all flooded with natural light through large windows. The spaces are splendidly suitable for workers’ training events, lectures and even for drama performances.

Catering can be ordered for events, as well as guided tours around the Lapinlahti hospital and its surroundings. The guided tours can discuss the history of the hospital, the hospital park, psychiatry or some of the past patients of the Lapinlahti Hospital.

More information can be found on this page and in the contact form.

The history of the Lapinlahti Hospital

The nearly 200-year-old Lapinlahti hospital was built in 1841 by the czar’s decree as the first specialised psychiatric hospital in Finland. Many famous individuals, such as Aleksis Kivi, have been treated in Lapinlahti, and Christian Sibelius, the brother of Jean Sibelius, the world-famous composer, worked there as a senior physician and is altogether an important figure in the history of psychiatric medicine in Finland.

The main building, designed by Carl Ludvig Engel, served as a hospital until 2007 when the City of Helsinki decided that it had become too old and no longer suitable for its original purpose. The last patients of the hospital were relocated in 2008 after the polyclinic for eating disorders was moved to the Psychiatric Centre of the Helsinki University Teaching Hospital, the former Hesperia Hospital.

Lapinlahden Lähde is rooted deeply in the history of the building because the hospital is also the birthplace of an organisation called Skyddsföreningen för Sinnessjuka – Turvayhdistys mielenvikaisia varten (now MIELI Mental Health Finland), founded in 1897.

Today, Lapinlahden Lähde functions as a centre for mental well-being and it organises various events open to the public. It stems from the initiative of Pro Lapinlahti mental health association and MIELI and it is designed to preserve the old hospital building as a guardian figure of mental health and welfare. The north wing of the hospital is occupied by Osuuskunta Lapinlahden Tilajakamo, the Lapinlahden Lähde Co-operative.

The Pro Lapinlahti mental health association, in turn, organises events, projects and volunteer work for Lapinlahden Lähde. The current projects of the Pro Lapinlahti mental health association are:

  • The Miitti Project’s name is an initialism formed from the following Finnish words: monikulttuurisuus “multiculturality”, ihmisyys “humaneness”, ilo “joy”, toiminnallisuus “functionality”, turvallisuus “safety” and innovaatio “innovation”. The project facilitates immigrants’ integration and rapport with the locals.
  • Kaupunkiluontokeskus in the Venetsia building espouses the city’s nature and it organises nature-themed events.

The essential values of Lapinlahden Lähde:

  • Openness, communality and participation: Lapinlahden Lähde is open to all, and everybody is welcome to take part in events and workshops. We contribute to society by preventing isolation and decreasing social exclusion.
  • Mental well-being: Lapinlahden Lähde organises refreshing and relaxing services and events. Most of them are free of charge.
  • The positive influence of nature and culture: We organise talks, writer meetings, concerts and events focusing on nature for the public.

Lapinlahden Lähde organises nearly 200 events with 70 000 visitors every year.