Management of wellbeing

People standing hand in hand.

Health and wellbeing is promoted by many different bodies. The state, the wellbeing services counties and the municipalities are the relevant actors in public administration. Other important bodies include non-governmental organisations, parishes and companies.

What is promotion of health and wellbeing?

Health and wellbeing promotion is an activity that promotes the wellbeing of the residents of the municipality, regions and state. It supports the population in their chances to maintain and improve their health.

Health and wellbeing can be promoted by:

  • influencing the determinants of health and wellbeing, including living conditions, leisure time opportunities, work conditions or safeguarding of income 
  • maintaining health, work and functioning capacity 
  • preventing illnesses and accidents 
  • improving mental health 
  • narrowing down health inequalities between population groups 
  • involving all population groups
  • promoting healthy lifestyle; exercise, nutrition
  • preventing drug and alcohol abuse.

Health and wellbeing promotion is based on knowledge about the people's health and wellbeing and the factors related to them. Various population groups and persons living in different areas have different needs. The identification of these improves not only the correct targeting of health promotion but also its effectiveness.

Promotion of health and wellbeing in Finland has a strong legislative background

Tasks related to the promotion of health and wellbeing are extensively defined in Finland’s legislation. For example:

  • Every citizen’s right to health and wellbeing is stipulated by the Constitution (section 19, 1999): “The public authorities shall guarantee for everyone, as provided in more detail by an Act, adequate social, health and medical services and promote the health of the population.”
  • The Local Government Act (2015/410) specifies that promoting the health and wellbeing of municipal residents is one of the basic duties of each municipality.
  • The Act on Organising Healthcare and Social Welfare Services (612/2021) obliges the municipality (section 6) and the welfare services county (section 7) to take primary responsibility for the promotion of health and wellbeing in areas this relates to the other statutory duties of the organisation.
  • Chapter 2 of the Health Care Act (1326/2010) broadly defines the duties of municipalities to promote health among municipal residents.
  • In addition to the concept of structural social work, the Social Welfare Act (1301/2014) contains several similar references to municipal duties.
  • Concrete duties are stipulated in detail by many specific acts like the Child Welfare Act and the Youth Act. Health promotion is also regulated by legislation concerning infectious diseases, tobacco control, alcohol and others.

Find out more about health and wellbeing promotion in Finland: