A European Project on
Human Rights and Physical Health
of Residents in Psychiatric and Social Care Institutions
Funded by
the European Commission, DG Sanco
a project funded by the European Commission

National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Helsinki, FI

The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) started operating on January 1st 2009, after the merger of the National Public Health Institute (KTL) and the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES).

THL carries out its responsibilities through a wide range of activities: research, evaluation and follow-up, development work, expert influence, centralised national services as well as international co-operation. THL is the statutory statistical authority in health and welfare and maintains a strong knowledge base within its own field of operations.

THL serves as an expert in research and development in population health and welfare. The research carried out at THL is closely linked to the promotion of wellbeing and health and the prevention of diseases and disabilities.

THL is also actively engaged in the development of:

THL produces statistical and register information on social welfare and health care, diseases, and treatment of diseases. The Institute produces this information partly in its capacity as a statistical authority, that is, using comprehensive, national register data, and partly within the framework of its R&D activities, using sample material or completed statistical data.

THL's headquarters are located in Helsinki. The Institute also has satellite offices in Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Oulu, Tampere, Turku and Vaasa. THL has a total staff of about 1300.

Mission Statement

The mission of THL is to promote the well-being and health of the population, prevent diseases and social problems, and develop social and health services.

THL has a wide range of tools to carry out its responsibilities: research, follow-up and evaluation, development, expert influence, official tasks as well as international co-operation. THL seeks to serve the broader society in addition to the scientific community, actors in the field and decision-makers in central government and municipalities.

THL's strategic priority areas are:
  1. R&D with regard to the welfare, health, functional capacity and living conditions of the population as well as social and health policy
  2. Promotion of well-being and health, prevention of diseases and social problems, and reduction of inequalities in welfare and health
  3. Health protection as well as prediction and prevention of biological and chemical threats
  4. R&D in terms of the availability, quality and impact of social and health care services
  5. Maintaining and developing statistical, register and other data on social welfare and health care
  6. Steering through information, knowledge-based expert influence and active communications and stakeholder collaboration
  7. Promoting innovations based on research and development
  8. Maintaining a management system that is fore sighting and transparent, with constant capacity for renewal
  9. Pursuing an active international role to advance national interests and contributing to global policies on health and welfare

Team Members


National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health
P.O. Box 30
Phone: +358 20 610 7300
Email: kristian.wahlbeck(at)thl.fi