Some of the first telepsychiatry experiments in Finland were carried out at the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Oulu, where videoconferencing has been used for family therapy, occupational counselling, consultation and teaching. In 1996 videoconferencing was used for a total of 249 hours, which increased to 434 hours in 1997. During 1997, 45% of the time was used for teaching, 26% for occupational counselling, consultations and therapies, 23% for training and 6% for administration (mainly testing the connections). In a survey, 37 participants rated aspects of the quality of the videoconferences on a scale from 4 (poor) to 10 (excellent). The audio quality had a mean value of 8.0 (SD 0.9), the picture quality 7.5 (SD 1.5), and the general value of the videoconference was rated 7.5 (SD 1.0). Preliminary results with telepsychiatry in Finland have been promising. Interactive videoconferencing provides an easy, fast and relatively inexpensive method of providing psychiatric services over long distances.