New ‘Finland Forward’ campaign promotes positive mental health

President Niinistö and Prime Minister Marin have been joined by 16 organisations initially, committed to sharing good news during the coronavirus crisis.

President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announce Finland Forward initiative, Helsinki 17th April 2020 / Credit: Laura Kotila, VNK

President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) appeared together – but separately – at a Friday afternoon press conference.

The pair announced a new initiative called ‘Finland Forward’ which aims to support the mental wellbeing of the nation during the coronavirus epidemic.

Niinistö joined the event via video link to launch the campaign where he said “this devil is defeatable. We will defeat it.”

The project will highlight good deeds, positive stories and acts of kindness across the country during the coronavirus outbreak, through virtual events and online updates.

“We are grateful to witness how so many people, organizations and companies have wanted to help and support others” says the Prime Minister.

“Someone goes shopping on behalf of an elderly person, another supports a distance school student with their homework, one makes time in their daily lives to ensure the health and well-being of others. Small and big deeds, all of which are needed in these difficult times” she adds.

Sixteen different organisations including the Finns Red Cross, Save the Children and the Scouts have already joined up to support the official efforts.

“Small and big deeds that are all needed […] we invite everyone to share examples of how people have been coping” says Marin.

The government would like people to spread the positive stories on social media using the #finlandforward and #together hashtags in English; #suomitoimii in Finnish and #finlandfixardet hashtag in Swedish.