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Finland

EHYT celebrates 10 years!

This year EHYT celebrates its tenth anniversary. In June 2011, three organisations signed the merger agreements in Helsinki, Finland. As a result, the EHYT Association for Substance Abuse Prevention was born. The organisation started its activities in 2012.

At the founding meeting of the EHYT, representatives of the EOPH, the Finnish Association for Healthy Lifestyles and the Finnish Health Association NGO signed the constitution and the articles of association of the new organisation and became members of the organisation.

The merger was driven by the vision that one stronger organisation could achieve better results than three smaller, separate organisations. The merger was preceded by two years of planning and preparation. From the outset, EHYT started to work to promote healthy lifestyles in all population groups throughout Finland and to prevent the harm caused by substance abuse. Since its creation, EHYT has aimed to prevent substance abuse and gambling problems before they arise.

Prevention is the most effective way to tackle problems at both societal and individual level. That is why prevention work is needed everywhere: in schools, workplaces and families. EHYT has 120 member associations from all over Finland. Together they work for people of all ages and backgrounds, from children to the elderly.

Substance abuse prevention is an ever-evolving and changing field. Therefore, over the years, new tools and approaches have been needed. EHYT’s role has been and continues to be to provide the latest research and reliable information to support both substance abuse work and decision-making, and to create new approaches.

“Over the past ten years, the organisation of EHYT has evolved and modernised, although the basic objectives have remained the same,” says Marja Pakarinen, Executive Director of EHYT. “We live in a time of rapid change in the environment and, in many ways, of uncertainty about the future. Making an impact requires the ability to anticipate, innovate and navigate in a changing world. A good understanding of the past and of history is important and lays the foundations for building the future.”

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