Kukunori is a vehicle for change, providing individuals and organisations with the tools and inspiration to be the best they can be while working toward a broader cultural shift in the health and social care sectors, promoting active citizenship and societal participation among mental health survivors and people with disabilities..
The world is never ready. Kukunori plans to play a major part in showing to the world that being “special” is the new normal. We all, undeniably, have burdens to bear. What is truly important, however, is what we can achieve in spite of them.
In nine years, we see Kukunori blazing a trail in mental health service design and shaping NGOs of the future. We want to lead the way in moulding future practices in mental health work, flying the flag of civil rights both at home and further afield. Above all, we hope to always remain curious. Having the presence of mind to call one’s actions and thoughts into question is, after all, the only way to bring about sustainable change for the better.
A desire to break boundaries is the driving force behind everything we do. We do not shy away from doing things differently and strive to always do better than before. We firmly believe that people deserve better than what is currently available and will leave no stone unturned in our search for solutions and services that work. They are out there, waiting to be discovered.
We currently have 43 member organisations, to whom we offer various trainings and project partnerships, among other benefits. We promote interests in the health and social care sector and foster discussion and debate on social issues related to the mental health, substance abuse and intellectual disability sectors through campaigns.
We also offer, at no cost, advice on topics such as fundraising, project planning, experimentation, change design and digital tools for evaluation. You can either send us an email or call! We’ll keep you up to date on the latest developments in mental health services from around the globe, as well as the seismic shifts in the NGO scene.
What’s more, all our events, activities and training sessions are free of charge for members. Since we believe in working together rather than charging high membership fees, our membership fee is 50 euros per year. See more on our events here.
The Kukunori story begins in 2012, when Mr. Heikki Hyvönen and Mr. Markus Raivio decided to set up a civil and human rights organisation injecting creativity and culture into mental health advocacy. Mr Raivio explains: “We saw a need for an organisation prepared to do things differently, to encourage unconventional thinking and do what others don’t. Kukunori started out as a network for mental health survivors passionate about culture to connect with industry professionals. Things stayed quiet and as time went by, Kukunori was left on the sidelines, as other projects took priority. The tide began to change in 2017, when the Mental Beauty Records project saw the light of day. During the years we have grown from a small volunteer organisation to having 15 paid staff members. I’m eager to see how far we can go in pursuing our dream of a new kind of NGO, dedicated to the search for innovative solutions to societal challenges.”
The name ”Kukunori” comes from a children’s novel written by renowned Finnish novelist Lauri Viita. The author, who struggled with mental health issues throughout his life, is an example of how mental health survivors can exercise cultural agency. Conversely, his life also serves as a reminder of the fact that possessing artistic talent does not make one immune to mental health difficulties.