Folkhälsan is a Swedish-speaking NGO (non-governmental organization) in the social welfare and health care sector in Finland. It carries out scientific research and provides social welfare and health care services as well as information and counselling in order to promote health and quality of life.
Folkhälsan was founded in 1921, and has combined scientific research and practical health promotion right from the start.
Nowadays Folkhälsan is a large provider of social welfare and health care services - child welfare and daycare, outpatient clinics for adolescents, rehabilitation clinics for people with disabilities and service housing for the elderly.
Folkhälsan consists of regional and local associations and non-profit limited companies and foundations. Our headquarters are in Helsinki.
Folkhälsan has about 1.500 employees, hundreds of volunteer workers and 16.500 members in the local associations.
Health promotion - Folkhälsan's view on health issues
The activities of Folkhälsan are based on an holistic perspective of health issues which views the person as an indivisible whole. As we see it, work to improve people's state of health should include not only the social and health care services but also all the other sectors of society.
Health and wellbeing should be taken into account in everything we do; in education, working life, housing and municipal planning. We believe that it is important to work for human values, a society which promotes health and a favourable social and physical environment for present and future generations.
Folkhälsan is a part of Biomedicum Helsinki
In addition to our view of the human being as a complete whole, the activities of Folkhälsan are also based on a systematic connection between research and practical health care.
Our research centre was founded as an umbrella organization for our research activities, which focus on molecular genetic research on certain rare genetic diseases and very widespread diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Other research activities include population genetics, nutrition and cancer, health promotion and social sciences. Folkhälsan's research centre is located in Biomedicum Helsinki and has about 100 employees.
How does Folkhälsan finance its activities?
Folkhälsan finances its activities through various public grants and subsidies, but mainly through selling services to the municipalities (e.g. childcare, rehabilitation, daycare, service housing) and with subsidies from the Finnish Slot Machine Association and other companies and foundations.
Folkhälsan's fundraising sources include the Aktia Folkhälsan investment fund, the regular annual campaigns of Lucia (near Christmas) and May Flower (in May), donations and bequests.