Government: determined action required to guarantee sustainable wellbeing at all stages of life by 2030
The Government has decided on the long-term measures for reducing inequalities in wellbeing, health and safety by 2030. The aim is to guarantee sustainable wellbeing for people at all stages of their lives.
On 17 June, the Government adopted a resolution on promoting wellbeing, health and safety.
The preparatory work on the resolution began well before the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The coronavirus epidemic and the resulting emergency conditions have further highlighted the need to take determined long-term measures to reduce inequality. The Government’s decision on these measures will also support people’s daily lives in potential future crises. It will also help society return to normal everyday life after the coronavirus crisis.
There are no easy solutions to problems related to wellbeing, health, safety and inequality. Social disadvantage and its causes must be addressed in all population and age groups. What is needed is money, structural changes, and both big and small everyday actions.
Structural changes also mean a bold change in thinking and action, and this is not possible unless different branches of government have common objectives and cooperate with one another.
Comprehensive wellbeing of people as an objective
Fulfilment of the objectives set out in the resolution would mean that people feel well and happy. They can study and work, they have a good functional capacity, and they feel that they can have a say about matters affecting themselves. To achieve all this, it is necessary to adopt measures in all branches of government. Measures are also needed from civil society, businesses and research institutes, for example.
In the work on reducing inequality, emphasis is placed on people’s own actions and involvement and the prevention of problems.
The promotion of people’s work ability and functional capacity is understood as a broad-based action. This means, for example, that good mental health is seen as part of people’s wellbeing, work ability and functional capacity.
The resolution has four priority areas:
- Opportunity for all to get involved
- Good everyday environments
- Measures and services promoting wellbeing and health
- Decision-making generates effectiveness
A plan will be prepared to implement the resolution. It will describe the necessary measures, their monitoring and evaluation, the responsible parties and the schedule up until 2030. The Advisory Board for Public Health, which consists of experts from ministries and different branches of government, will guide, direct and monitor the implementation of the resolution.
Resolution seeks solutions to inequality
Finland is, by many standards, one of the leading countries in the world for wellbeing and safety. Despite this, our society still shows signs of growing inequality. The positive trend in public health has stopped, depression among working-age people have become more common and the average life expectancy among Finns has even fallen slightly. In addition, social disadvantage seems to accumulate unevenly and our society is showing alarming signs of the intergenerational cycle of social disadvantage. There are also significant disparities in people’s wellbeing and health throughout Finland.