'Listen First' Launches in Finland

January 2022

NGO 'EHYT Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention' will launch 'Listen First' in Finland in January 2022. The materials have already been translated into Finnish, and EHYT will co-operate closely with family health centers, other NGOs, and municipalities to disseminate them throughout the year. The campaign will focus on a different parenting skill each month and raise awareness on that particular dimension of caregiving via posters, videos, and social media messages. Previously, the campaign has been launched in many countries in Europe, North and Central America, and the Middle East.

Finland is undergoing a reform of health and social care services that emphasizes preventive services and support. In line with this initiative, EHYT aspires to reach parents and families in Finland's regions throughout 2022. 

"We hope that these materials will support that process and raise awareness of the importance of supporting all families and providing possibilities to reflect on and learn parenting practices. It is crucial in advancing public health, the healthy, happy development of children and youth, and later on in preventing substance use", says Hanna Heikkilä, Head of Department, regional and CSO co-operation (EHYT ry).

The use of illicit substances in Finland is on the rise. Traditional prevention approaches focused on controlling the availability are now being complemented with more development-oriented work modalities. Finland's laws on drug use prevention mandate all municipalities to prevent the consequences of illicit substance use and gambling. The national program guiding the implementation includes parenting skills support as a new component of a comprehensive prevention response.

"We hope that 'Listen First' can help strengthen the prevention response in Finland and the expansion of demand reduction measures regarding illicit substances. 'Listen First' provides some much-needed concrete tools for supporting parenting skills on a wide scale in Finland", concludes Hanna Heikkilä.

For more information about EHYT visit their website.

To see the materials in Finnish, click here.

Made possible with the generous support of France.