Farming for Health in Finland


  • U. Partanen
  • T. Lilja
  • S. Kurppa
  • K. Soini


In Finland Farming for Health is a relatively new phenomenon. Information concerning the number of farms for health and related projects is missing. The current situation in Finland can only be described through case studies. Riding therapy is the best know form of farming-for-health activity and the local and national authorities have already recognized the need for it. Riding therapy is well organized in Finland with its recognized status, association and financial background. Although there is only one educational establishment for riding therapy in our country at the moment, it seems to guarantee the further existence of the profession. Among private entrepreneurs, there are a hospital and a college for disabled persons that use the method in their work. Other animal-assisted therapy methods are expanding all the time; they are not supported to a great extent however. Social-pedagogic rehabilitation can be studied in courses of the University of Kuopio. There are some farms and centres for disabled persons that provide rehabilitation to their average customers and special groups. The financial structures have to be clarified in the immediate future in order to develop the working methods further. Garden therapy is not recognized as an official therapy method and the Social Insurance Institution of Finland does, in principle, not finance it. The educational possibilities are still modest and rare but there have been some possibilities to receive education related to Farming for Health in Finland. The therapy method is, anyhow, widely used in old people’s homes, prisons and institutions for mental health. In this field of therapy there is still a lot of research and planning to do