In regards to young people’s health and well-being, schools play an important role in Finland. A young person is entitled to have school health care, dental care, contraception and other sexual health counselling for young people. If a young person needs further guidance, which a school cannot offer, a school is for responsible directing him or her to further treatment. The promotion of healthy eating habits is part of the Finnish education system, while Sports and Health education are both mandatory subjects in educational institutions. Health education is a standalone academic subject, which is taught in all comprehensive schools and it must have dedicated teaching staff. Topics of health education include sexual education, healthy eating and nutrition, and preventing risky behaviour. For more information, visit: Youth Wiki/Finland: 7.4 Healthy lifestyles and healthy nutrition.
Since the goal is to offer comprehensive health and welfare services to all young people, mechanisms of early detection are not primarily based on identifying target groups. The implementation of student welfare may vary in educational institutions. However, education providers are always responsible for organising statutory welfare services for students. Those young people who are not attending school are entitled to the same health services as other residents in the municipality. Additionally, several municipalities offer tailored services to young people.
There is a broad consensus among political parties, government officials and experts that social and health services need to be reformed. Since June 2019, new Government has started preparations for restructuring health and social services, taking into account the work done during previous electoral terms and making sure that relevant constitutional requirements are met.