THL granted an award to EHYT Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention for its significant work to promote public health

Publication date 5.12.2023 9.10 | Published in English on 19.12.2023 at 10.57
News item

The 2023 Public Health Award has been granted to EHYT Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention.

The award was presented today by Markku Tervahauta, Director General of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) at the National Public Health Day. EHYT was granted the award for the significant work it has done to prevent the harmful effects of alcohol, drugs, nicotine products and gambling and to promote public health. 

EHYT, which was born when three associations merged in 2012, has in slightly over 10 years established itself as a key national actor in preventive substance abuse work.

EHYT actively supports the work carried out in different communities both by providing training and by offering different kinds of material. The association encounters children and young people in schools, online and in hobbies. Through its regional work, EHYT has for its part been able to support actors at the municipal and regional level, thus reinforcing the guidance of substance prevention work carried out by the authorities. 

EHYT coordinates the Network for Preventive Substance Abuse Work, which comprises almost 60 organisations from the healthcare and social welfare sector. The network implements joint annual campaigns and key training events for the sector.

In addition to these, EHYT maintains substance-free meeting places that are open to everyone through its Elokolo activities and round-the-clock substance abuse guidance for those needing it. The Ombudsman for substance abuse matters operating in connection with EHYT helps in matters related to substance abuse prevention services.

EHYT is also a bold societal influencer aiming to make policy-makers aware of the points of view of knowledge-based substance abuse, nicotine and gambling policy. This way, EHYT has strongly defended public health as a basis for alcohol and nicotine policy, for example.

“There is a need for the broad-based work conducted by EHYT as the harmful effects of substance abuse and gambling on society, communities, families and individuals are diverse and considerable and still very topical,” Tervahauta says.

“We are grateful and delighted about such a significant recognition, which for its part emphasises the importance of preventive substance abuse work,” says Juha Mikkonen, Executive Director of EHYT.

“We want to stress that effective preventive substance abuse work requires action at the level of the individual, the community and society. Broad-based and diverse work is a precondition for effectiveness. What we hope from substance abuse and gaming policies is that the accumulated research evidence on effective measures will not be forgotten in policymaking,” Mikkonen continues. 

The Public Health Award was awarded this year for the ninth time. Last year, the award was granted to the Anti-bullying zone policy of K-Market stores.

The National Public Health Day is an annual public health and health promotion day organised by THL, and a key public health challenge is always selected as a theme for it. National Public Health Days have been held since 1994.

This year, the theme of the National Public Health Day is the health, work ability and functional capacity of working-age people. 
National Public Health Day 2023 programme (in Finnish) 

Further information:

Juha Mikkonen
Executive Director
EHYT Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention
tel. +358 50 527 4780
[email protected]

Markku Tervahauta
Director General
tel. +358 29 524 6001
[email protected]

Päivi Mäki
Development Manager
tel. +358 29 524 8612
[email protected]

Public Health Award [Kansanterveyspalkinto] (in Finnish) 

EHYT Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention

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