Vappu Taipale

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Vappu Tuulikki Taipale (born May 1, 1940) is Finnish doctor of medicine and surgery. She was the chief executive officer of Finnish National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES in finnish) from 1992 to 2008, the year of her retirement. Before that she worked as the head of Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, as well as the chief executive officer of Finnish Board of Social Issues and Health, the predecessor of STAKES. She lectures in Tampere University's School of Public Health, specialising in child and youth psychiatry, and in Kuopio University, specialising in psychiatry of children.

  • Told in Ylioppilaslehti 08/2001 (27.04.2001) interview that her graduate years were full on party and that she also got acquainted with LSD.
  • "The chief executive officer of Finnish National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health [STAKES in finnish] and doctor of medicine Vappu Taipale admits to using LSD - currently categorised as a dangerous narcotic - in her university student years in the beginning of 1960's. According to the ex-minister, it was about a young medicine student's "enthusiastic battle for a better world".
- At that time and age people were very interested in these new medicines of the mind, Taipale reminisces.
By that time LSD, discovered in the 1950's, was still an experimental stage medicine. Taipale and a bunch of her fellow students still managed to get their hands on some LSD from the university.
- We tried it couple of times. It was very interesting to test a chemical substance induced artificial psychosis.
According to Taipale, LSD was expected to provide aid to the treatment of alcoholics and the mentally ill, among others.
Taipale was left with pleasant experiences with the substance.
-Probing my mindscapes was pretty interesting. Well worth the experience.
Taipale emphasizes that at the time it was not criminal nor forbidden.
- Back then, we were at the frontline of science, trying new substances and searching for information about what's going on in the world, Taipale nostalgises.
Taipale doesn't consider her LSD-backround awkward in relation to her later position. She brought it up by herself in the Ylioppilaslehti interview.
- It's not that unusual. Been there, done that, and now I'm one experience wiser.
Is that also a message to contemporary students?
- No, I can't recommend it by any means. To be exact, I cannot even recommend alcohol or tobacco to anyone.
Are you implying that you parallel tobacco, alcohol and LSD?
- You get addicted to them but it would be hard to believe that LSD could be used as a narcotic.
You think that LSD doesn't belong to the narcotic substance category?
- No, I do think that it's wise to have in that category. But back in the 1960's we really didn't know that much about it, Taipale recalls.
-- Freely translated from Ilta-Sanomat 9.5.2001 Media:Vappu taipale.jpg