Health and wellbeing will be fostered and inequalities reduced


Edustalla isoäiti ja lapsi kävelyllä metsäpolulla. Taustalla isoisä ja toinen lapsi.The objective of the key project is to reduce inequalities in health and wellbeing, promote healthy lifestyles and mental health, prevent loneliness as well as decrease building-related health problems.

Evidence-based good practices will be adopted in the public, private and third sectors to better support the health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable population groups and encourage them to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. This will help to prevent inequalities and social exclusion. Joint development and intersectoral collaboration are essential tools for achieving change.

The key project will be implemented as two projects:
1.    Good practices into permanent use
2.    Permanent structures for inter-ministerial cooperation in the promotion of health and wellbeing

A total of EUR 7.8 million has been allocated for implementing the project in 2016–2019.

Minister responsible for the key project: Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Annika Saarikko

How to go bring about change?

The key project aims to bring about change especially in the population groups where health and wellbeing are clearly below average. Reinforcing people’s own resources is at the core of change. This means that people’s own involvement and capacities are supported actively and in a variety of ways.

More efficient ways to harness effective practices must be created to make a difference. New approaches are also needed. Health and wellbeing can be improved by influencing living conditions and socioeconomic factors. The key project can contribute to improving people’s inclusion, mental health skills and lifestyles, such as physical activity, diets, sleeping habits, smoking and alcohol and drug use. Lifestyles that enhance health and wellbeing must be accessible, easy and attractive to everyone.

Good practices into permanent use across the country

The project aims to reduce inequalities in health and wellbeing. Efforts are especially targeted at supporting the population groups where health and wellbeing are below average. Inequalities in health and wellbeing are addressed by adopting good practices. These are disseminated as extensively as possible, preferably across the country. The aim is to establish good practices as part of existing structures and functions.
Government subsidies have been granted to projects distributing good practices around the following themes:

  1. Strengthening lifestyle counselling (particularly physical activity, healthy nutrition, sleep) in health and social services and related service chains;
  2. Supporting  the changes in dietary and physical activity patterns of families, in the services provided by maternity clinics and school healthcare;
  3. Reducing smoking among people with mental health or substance abuse problems;
  4. Mental health skills of the population and of various professionals, including suicide prevention;
  5. Social kitchens and reinforcing inclusion;
  6. Promotion of physical activity among people in later life.

The operating period for projects receiving government subsidies starts in early 2017 and ends in late 2018.

Permanent structures for inter-ministerial cooperation in the promotion of health and wellbeing

The project on cross-sectoral structures aims to address the Government Programme’s goal of strengthening the role of cross-sectoral health promotion and early support in decision making. All sectors in society contribute to public health and wellbeing. The health and social sector is not alone in this work.

The project aims to create a new model for cross-sectoral cooperation and draw up recommendations for good cross-sectoral cooperation.

Further information

Meri Larivaara, Ministerial Adviser 
STM, Hyvinvointi- ja palveluosasto / HPO, Palvelut-yksikkö / PAL, Toimintakyky-tulosryhmä / TOK 0295163634