Wellbeing Across Regions and Disciplines (WARD)

Mental wellbeing across our society is a major concern that touches us all. Across regions, age-groups or any other demographics, and remains as one of the most fundamental and critical challenges of our society. Despite, or perhaps as a result of the rapid increase in living standards in the western world.

Perhaps it is time to go back to the basic questions of what good life is really made of, what is important to us in the end, and how we can accomplish it as fairly and equally as possible to all. With what we have and who we are.

Finland is the third most sparsely populated country in Europe after Iceland and Norway. Remote areas and regions are struggling with decreasing and aging populations as well as challenges to keep at least some portion of their youth in their hometowns. As well as keep good workforce in the over-worked and under-resourced sectors like health-, wellbeing-, youth and education.

Public sector social- and healthcare sector, along with youth, education, culture and sports are in the hot spot when it comes to finding new solutions. We simply don’t have resources to just do more with the same, or often less, than yesterday. We have to reorganize resources in a more meaningful way as well as have the patience to seek long-term impact from what we do.

According to some studies, over 80% of the social- and healthcare costs are made up by less than 20% of the people. Every success in that 20% is not only personal for the individual customer, but also the trainers, and budget holders.

Global phenomena like aging population, urbanization, exclusion, immigration, structural inequalities along with global financial and political crises add to the increasingly complex environmnent of our time.

Principles and philosophy

The project is based on a holistic approach to producing social-, health- and wellbeing services as a cooperation between social, health, welfare and cultural sectors. It answers the current and future needs to answer complex challenges comprehensively, as well as to ensure availability of skilled and motivated work force in the sector(s) across regions.

The approach of digging and developing one’s skills holistically, with people from different sectors is really motivating and rewarding. It makes work a constant learning process, increasing the appetite and curiosity to find out more.

It is based on three current and future phenomenon, and the need to understand and implement what these mean in practice for different actors and stakeholder groups from public and private sectors.

  • Multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral learning and work. What skills are needed, what challenges are expected and how to overcome them. What does it mean for organizations, leaders and policymakers in different sectors? What does is mean from the perspective of personal and team skills?
  • Phenomena-based learning. How a commonly identified challenge or phenomena can act as the “glue” for building multi-disicplinary teams and working environments? How different stakeholders can be engaged to figure out new solutions and work beyond organizational boundaries? How to model and share best practices and learnings from local phenomena beyond regions and beyond?
  • Promote holistic and human-centered thinking for addressing complex needs and matters of individual’s lives. Incorporating and encouraging personal skills and for instance know-how through hobbies and different areas of life in order to promote meaningful working.

Target groups

  • Advisors, teachers/trainers, councilors, therapists or other professionals within social-, health- and youth services as well as culture and sports and/or other specific interest groups.
  • Managers and directors of public, private and third sector actors as well as policy makers.
  • Final target groups: individuals and inhabitants of project regions

Pilot themes

PILOT/Region 1: Youth

PILOT/Region 2: School drop-outs

PILOT/Region 3: TBC

PILOT/Region 4: TBC

WARD produces

  • Training-of-trainers/coaches/advisers to be able to coordinate and run or offer individual services for public wellbeing services.
  • Mentoring and training for regional actors, developers and policymakers of how to integrate and run WARD processes and integrate them into current public wellbeing processes and services.
  • Training and awareness raising for leaders and policymakers on producing comprehensive and cross-sectoral services.
  • Networking and awareness raising activities to spread awareness and knowledge on WARD in different regions.


Contact information for PARASTA ITÄÄ! -project

Kirsi Purhonen, XAMK

+358 44 702 8487 – [email protected]