Mervi Issakainen, a postdoctoral researcher in social psychology, works at the University of Eastern Finland in the Center of Law and Welfare, which is based in the Law School. She is interested in various issues related to the course of life and well-being and its challenges. Mervi is a member of the Neuro-Ethics and Law Research Team, a member of the University’s multidisciplinary Neuroscience Research Community (NEURO RC).
Mervi is a researcher on several projects, including the Working Life and Memory Impairment – Mental Wellbeing, Legal Security and Occupational Capacity of People with Early Onset Dementia (WoLMI), an international project exploring specific issues for people living with mild cognitive impairment or early onset dementia (MCI @work) and project on the realization of the rights of people with dementia in the welfare state (VAPA). She currently works principally for the National Consortium Project (WELGO), which looks at safeguarding welfare in times of pandemics.
The WELGO project aims to develop sustainable solutions to sefaguarding wellbeing in future health crises, based on experiences of managing the COVID-19 pandemic. The project examines health crises as syndemics, which refer to the intertwining of different problems such as social, economic and health problems. Mervi is involved in studying how the corona crisis has affected the well-being, access to justice and rights of older people, people living with dementia and people living with epilepsy. To clarify these issues, co-research method is used; experts by experience and their advocacy organizations are involved in planning and conducting the research.
“As a social psychologist, I am particularly motivated by finding out the meanings associated with well-being and its challenges, and thus also examining the different dimensions of living with illness,” explains Mervi. It is important to increase knowledge and understanding of the ways in which societal conditions either complicate or support living a good life with illness. “Multidisciplinary research is very rewarding because through it the factors that contribute to well-being can be made visible holistically,” she says.
Center of Law and Welfare: https://uefconnect.uef.fi/en/group/center-of-law-and-welfare/
Neuro-Ethics and Law Research Team: https://uefconnect.uef.fi/en/group/neuro-ethics-and-law-research-team/
Neuroscience Research Community (NEURO RC): https://www.uef.fi/en/research-community/neuroscience-neuro
Kuopio Brain & Mind is part of a nation-wide Neurocenter Finland researcher network. For more information, please visit www.neurocenterfinland.fi