Healthy Espoo programme supports residents’ wellbeing

27.12.2022 8.52Updated: 27.12.2022 10.22
The women are dancing.
Photo: Vessi Hämäläinen

The Healthy Espoo programme is one of Espoo’s four cross-administrative development programmes for the current council term. The aim of the development programme is to innovate and develop operating models for various needs.

Issues to be addressed include the prevention of mental health problems and the long health care waiting times caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Another aim is to promote residents’ wellbeing, health and happiness through exercise and sports, culture and youth work.

“With the health and social services reform, the city’s role in increasing wellbeing will be further emphasised. As a steering group, we are motivated to find new ways to support the wellbeing of Espoo residents,” says Helena Marttila, chairperson of the programme.

Improving community spirit and mental health

Wellbeing will be promoted in cooperation with residents, organisations and businesses. The following goals have been defined for the programme:

  • Espoo residents will participate more and their community spirit will grow stronger.
  • Espoo residents will have more equal opportunities to promote their wellbeing.
  • Espoo residents’ mental wellbeing will improve.
  • Wellbeing and health will be promoted in Espoo and in cooperation with the wellbeing services county.

Implementation of the Healthy Espoo programme is well underway, and we have taken great strides towards achieving its goals. During 2022, the following measures have been taken:

  • The Senioripaku van toured around Espoo in the summer, providing activities and guidance to senior citizens. The project has been devised together with Cultural Services. Senioripaku continued its operations well into the autumn.
  • Espoo residents’ views on wellbeing and related support measures were investigated through a survey addressed to the Youth Council, Elderly Council and Disability Council and to the Advisory Board for the Promotion of Integration.
  • This school year, first-graders and their guardians and teachers have been offered a package called ‘Ilon palautus’ (bringing back the joy), which includes training for using the See the Good! materials and a mobile app that helps the user identify and recognise a child’s strengths and achievements.
  • The Healthy Espoo programme supports the building of an accessible nature trail in Lakisto. The nature trail is due to be completed next spring.
  • The programme also supported general upper secondary students’ wellness events during the autumn. General upper secondary schools planned the events themselves.
  • Early childhood education units, schools and vocational institutions were offered ‘Mielenterveyden käsi’ posters to support mental wellbeing.
  • We encouraged pupil councils in primary and secondary schools to participate in voluntary activities coordinated by the Ministry of Justice’s Vapaa!–Fri! project. School communities were also invited to take part in the GivingTuesday movement, which encourages people to do good deeds.
  • School staff were offered ‘Mielenterveyden EA-1’ (mental health first aid) training.
  • Senioripaku and schools organised flower planting events to boost community spirit and brighten up yard areas.
  • Low-income families’ opportunities to engage in sports, exercise, culture and other recreational activities were supported through Feel Good in Espoo! tickets. Espoo’s Social Services and Disability Services staff distributed the tickets to families in December.

We will continue to work towards our goals in 2023 and 2024.

You can follow the Healthy Espoo programme and its activities on social media through the following hashtags: #HyvinvoivaEspoo, #VälmåendeEsbo and #HealthyEspoo. Use these hashtags and tell us about your own wellbeing efforts!

Further information
Kaisu Toivonen
Healthy Espoo Programme Manager