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Health promotion by the CSF is a values-based, goal-oriented activity for enabling people's health and wellbeing and preventing cancer. The CSF carries out health promotion work in many different ways.

Health promotion

It seeks to influence social policy, public attitudes, social and health care practices and individual choices. The target groups are children, young people and adults. Activities are also focus on selected special groups.

Youth health promotion

A priority area for the CSF in health promotion is to strengthen health-promoting lifestyles among young people. Since the early 2000s, work on youth health promotion has focused on preventing and supporting quitting tobacco and nicotine products. The current focus is on the STEA-funded Fressis project on promoting nicotine-free and healthy lifestyles among young people. In addition to tobacco and nicotine issues, other health promotion topics for young people (nutrition, physical activity, daily rhythm, sun and sexual health, alcohol and mental well-being) are comprehensively covered. The Good Day (Hyvä Päivä) project, which promotes the health of young people under 29 who are not in employment or education, has been running since 2016. The project is being implemented with a STEA grant. The sexual health of adolescents and young adults was promoted through the Summer Rubber (Kesäkumi) campaign, funded by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s communicable disease control budget.

Promoting young people’s health and reducing the use of tobacco and nicotine products

The Fressis service package. Young people’s knowledge and motivation to adopt healthy lifestyles were promoted through a multifaceted digital service package. The services for young people consist of the Fressis and Tobacco Body websites, the Ask the Expert service, the Erovirasto app, social media channels and cooperation with social media influencers popular among young people. In 2022, the Fressis and Tobacco Body sites had almost 444 000 and 36 000 users respectively. The Ask the Expert service is very popular: in 2022, about 800 health and lifestyle questions sent by young people were answered. The free Erovirasto app, which helps people quit using tobacco products, was downloaded 2 465 times in 2022. A Swedish version of Erovirasto was also published alongside the Finnish version. During the year in review, collaborations were carried out with three social media influencers on different wellbeing topics. The health-promoting collaborative content attracted around 150 000 views on the influencers’ channels.

Nicotine-free environments for young people were promoted by strengthening the knowledge and motivation of professionals in supporting young people to become nicotine-free, and by implementing nicotine-free models. The dissemination of the models was carried out in cooperation with seven regional cancer associations.

Supporting nicotine-free education in vocational schools. The implementation of the nicotine-free amis (nicotine-free vocational college) model continued in the area of the Cancer Society of Saimaa at the Sampo and Samiedu vocational education college and in the area of the Cancer Society of Pohjanmaa at Sedu vocational education college. Activities to support the model continued at the Riveria vocational education college in the area of the Cancer Society of North Karelia and in the Salo regional vocational education college in the area of the Cancer Society of South West Finland. The educational institutions made progress in their nicotine-free targets and it was felt that the introduction of the model has strengthened the motivation of staff to promote nicotine-free behaviour and that the educational institution has adopted ways to support students being nicotine-free.

Promoting snuff-free sports clubs. The snuff-free sports model continued to be rolled out with six regional cancer associations. In 2022, processes were launched with three sports clubs: in Joensuu with Juniori-Josba and in Siilinjärvi with SiiPe. Pisaba in Pieksämäki introduced the model independently. For the CSF, the marketing of the model and the communication of snuff-free behaviour was promoted in cooperation with the Finnish Olympic Committee and the Finnish Coaches Association.

Nicotine-free youth work. Nicotine-free youth work training strengthens youth workers’ motivation, knowledge and tools to support young people to become nicotine-free in their own settings. In 2022, five training courses were conducted involving 68 participants. Feedback from the training has strengthened the motivation of youth workers to address nicotine issues in their work and increased their skills in supporting young people to become nicotine-free.

The FressisEdu website contains a wide array of materials and tools for promoting nicotine-free lifestyles and wellbeing among young people in educational institutions, youth work and sports clubs, as well as for parents. The main target group for FressisEdu in 2022 was secondary school health teachers. More than 11 000 people were reached through the FressisEdu website, social media and a newsletter. According to the feedback, the website provides useful information and tools to support work on health topics. Two training courses for health education teachers and trainee teachers were organised in cooperation with the EHYT Association. Forty-two participants attended the courses. Feedback indicated that the courses encouraged dealing with substance abuse issues in teaching and that the participants intend to use the information and tools provided by the courses in their work. Liito, the association of physical education and health education teachers, was an important partner in 2022.

The Summer Rubber campaign was conducted through a combination of outreach and communications work in cooperation with the radio station YleX, the Finnish Red Cross and the Soldiers’ Home Association. The aim was to increase and strengthen young people’s knowledge, skills, positive attitudes and behavioural commitment to condom and oral sex protection use and STI testing. For the CSF, it was also essential to increase young people’s knowledge about HPV infection. According to feedback, more than 75% of respondents felt that they had learned more about sexual health (n=614). In open responses, the target group emphasised that the campaign was perceived as important and useful and that they hope it will continue in the coming years. “A positive campaign that has made an important and serious issue educational and interesting in a fun way!”

Protection from UV radiation. The CSF, in cooperation with the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority and the Finnish Meteorological Institute, was involved in the annual youth #suniho campaign, which encourages young people to protect themselves from the sun.

Promoting healthy lifestyles among young adults

Good Day project activities aims to increase the knowledge, skills and capacity of young people under the age of 29 who are not in employment or education to manage their lives in a healthy way. Each year, the CSF trains professionals working with young people as facilitators of Good Day groups, thereby increasing their knowledge and skills in health promotion.

Since 2016, Good Day activities have been carried out in cooperation with municipal youth services and Help Centres in particular. In 2022, Good Day groups took place in Vantaa, Vihti, Rovaniemi, Kuhmo, Joensuu, Huittinen, Kerava, Laitila, Oulu, Riihimäki and Kuopio. A total of 17 groups were organised, with 110 young people participating. The groups received excellent feedback from the young participants, who were enthusiastic about experimenting in their own daily lives to improve their health and wellbeing as part of the group activity process. Of the young people who responded to the feedback survey, 77% reported that the experiments had become part of their daily lives.

During 2022, five Good Day facilitator training courses were held, attended by 66 professionals from all over Finland who work with young people. Four webinars on youth health promotion and two remote coffee mornings were held for Good Day participants. The webinars covered topics related to motivating young people in general and to physical activity, mental well-being and loneliness. A total of 166 professionals who work with young people attended the events. The training courses and other events provided by the Good Day project strengthened the knowledge and skills of its participants in health promotion and provided an important platform for the development of skills and the sharing of experiences in group facilitation. The approach was developed by producing a video on health and wellbeing promotion experiments in the Good Day group, “Small steps to improvement”, and by bringing the concept to the vocational training college environment.

Cancer prevention and health promotion in other age groups

Target groups. Cancer prevention and health promotion in other target groups has been aimed at both the healthy population and people with cancer. General health promotion work has been carried out with a range of partners, such as member associations, cancer centres, universities, universities of applied sciences and different organisations.

Strategic development of health promotion. In 2022, a project was launched to develop the joint work of cancer organisations on health promotion. The aim was to harmonise and clarify the joint health promotion work of the CSF and its member associations, increase its effectiveness and improve the roles and cooperation structures related to the work. The project involved a broad representation of both the CSF and the Finnish Cancer Registry and member associations. The outputs of the project included a description of the current situation, an action plan for joint work for 2023-2025 and a proposal on a cooperation structure. The project ends in 2023.

Promoting exercise among cancer patients. To support exercise among cancer patients, guided distance learning opportunities were offered during the spring and autumn, both in live and recorded sessions. The distance learning sessions were carried out in cooperation with the Cancer Society of Southwest Finland, the Western Cancer Centre (Fican West), the Cancer Society of Pohjanmaa, the European Breast Cancer Coalition – Europa Donna and the Cancer Society of Satakunta. In autumn 2022, the nationwide marketing of exercise classes nationwide was stepped up, making distance learning available throughout Finland. According to feedback, the distance learning sessions have been perceived as encouraging and safe ways to exercise, and people want to continue taking part in the sessions (n=21).

Cooperation with universities of applied sciences. In cooperation with Turku University of Applied Sciences, a training course on current perspectives in cancer patient nursing training was organised for nursing teachers at universities of applied sciences. The training was attended by 36 participants from all over Finland.

Information on healthy lifestyles in terms of cancer prevention and health promotion was provided on the Without Cancer and All About Cancer websites and on the CSF’s social media channels. Specific themes for 2022 included alcohol, sun protection and promoting physical exercise for people with cancer.

Cooperation between organisations and networks. In 2022, close cooperation with other organisations on various health promotion issues continued. The CSF cooperated, for example, in the Smoke-free Finland and Smoke-free Helsinki networks and in the Good Spiral project of the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS) to reduce the use of tobacco and nicotine products.