Substance abuse prevention in Ostrobothnia

Project information:

Official name of the project: Yhdessä vahvempaa työikäisten ehkäisevää päihdetyötä Pohjanmaalle – Tillsammans starkare rusmedelsförebyggande arbete för arbetsföra i Österbotten

Duration of the project: 1.1.2024 - 31.12.2026

Project coordinator: The Wellbeing Services County of Ostrobothnia

Project partners: VUAS, Novia UAS

Funding: THL Health promotion allocation

Contact person in VAMK:

Riku Niemistö, Principal Lecturer (School of Health Care and Social Services)

tel. +358 207 663 396,

RDI Platform: Smart Well-Being

Language: Finnish, Swedish

Project description

The project develops and strengthens welfare management and coordination at the interface between municipalities, the Hv-region and regional actors. It will also develop preventive work on substance abuse and introduce early support methods. Development will focus on the working methods and management of professionals in the region. In terms of client work, development will focus on working age, but will benefit all age groups. The aim is to create a new approach to preventive substance abuse in Ostrobothnia by strengthening cooperation between actors from the perspective of client and service management, and to create a strong basis for welfare management.


  1. Strengthening welfare management and coordination with a special focus on preventive substance abuse work
    • The sub-objective is to create a multi-stakeholder model for substance abuse prevention based on the regional well-being report and plan
    • A clear decision-making model for the region’s well-being management and substance abuse prevention work
  2. Strengthen and streamline cooperation between the welfare area, municipalities, universities and organisations
    • Defining the forms of cooperation and the roles and responsibilities of the actors involved
    • Professionals know the players in the area
  3. Smooth the process of directing clients to the right services
    • The sub-objective is to harmonise the service chains in substance abuse work in Ostrobothnia
  4. Identify those at risk of addiction at an earlier stage
    • Strengthen the skills of professionals through training
    • Improving the methodological skills of professionals and increasing the tools to raise concerns
    • A methodological toolkit for Ostrobothnia has been created and implemented on a multi-stakeholder basis, taking advantage of the needs of the region


1. There is a clear multiagency cooperation structure in the management of preventive substance abuse work, supported by knowledge management

2. Prevention work is coordinated and targeted in the region

  • There is a smooth, clear and coordinated division of labour and cooperation
  • The decision-making model and multi-tasking create structures for practical cooperation and planning of objectives and activities
  • The action plan is based on knowledge-based management and guides cooperation between actors and their weight

3. Improving the skills of professionals

  • Professionals in different services and organisations are able to raise concerns at an earlier stage
  • New effective methods have been selected, introduced, trained and mainstreamed as part of the curricula in the social and health field
  • Increased awareness of services/actors in the area

4. Increased multidisciplinary cooperation and mentoring in substance abuse work

5. Improved guidance for clients

6. IIn the long term, the well-being and health of the inhabitants of the region will improve and health inequalities among the adult population will be reduced

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