Public Health Initiatives

The Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation of the Norwegian financial mechanism 2009-2014 was signed on 8 June 2011 by the Kingdom of Norway and the Republic of Estonia. According to the memorandum, Estonia receives €23 680 000 from Norway in the form of grant assistance. €8 912 000 of that support is allocated for the implementation of the programme "Public Health Initiatives"

The main activities are related to the improvement of the mental health services, access to and quality of health services for children.

General Information

  • Programme Operator
    Department of Public Health in cooperation with the Department of Foreign Financing
  • Programme Partner
    Norwegian Public Health Institute
  • Programme Grant
    €10 848 706, Grant 8 912 000
  • National Co-Financing
    €1 000 000
  • End of Programme
    30 April 2016
  • Contact
    Elis Haan, Project Coordinator
    Phone:+ 372  62 69 156
    e-mail: elis.haan|a|

General Framework

The priority areas of action should include prevention, detection and treatment of
mental health and lifestyle related disorders with primary focus on children. The actions
are planned in areas and in manner that build a network that is sustainable after conclusion of current program period

  • Improvement of mental health services, in particular for children and youth
  • Improvement of access to and quality of health services, including reproductive and preventive child health care
  • Increased prevention and reduction of lifestyle-related diseases 
  • Improvement of prevention and treatment of communicable diseases (including HIV/AIDS and TB)

Rahastatud projektid

1. Establishing Children’s Mental Health Centre (part of Tallinn Children’s Hospital)
Project Promoter: Tallinn Children´s Hospital
Total Grant Amount  (EUR): 4 165 000 eurot, incl. 3 542 179 Norway Grant

Objectives and expected outcome(s) of the project
This project will contribute to the outcome 1 mainly, as it provides North-Estonia with the children’s mental health centres par excellence and by coordinating, training supervising the network of mental health centres in the future it will also improve mental health services in other regions of Estonia. It will also contribute to the outcome 2, as it improves the access to health care – the centre will serve as a pilot case of integrated system, trying to bindservices necessary to child into a network and offering it’s expertise and services to other sectors. The project will also improve the access to inpatient services. As a result, an increase in employee and consumer satisfaction is expected to be witnessed.

2. Developing and providing/piloting the rehabilitation services for children with severe mental health problems in community residential setting
Project Promoter: Estonian National Social Insurance Board
Total Grant Amount (EUR): 1 045 462, incl. 888 643 Norway Grant

Objectives and expected outcome(s) of the project
Design innovative service(s) for children with mental health and behavioural problems, what will provide integrated social, educational and health services to support children and youth suitable life and education environment.

Create secure physical and social environment promoting child development and preparation of the child for coping in accordance with his or her abilities as an adult.

3.Strengthening the prevention and treating system of infectious diseases in prisons
Project Promoter:   Ministry of Justice
Total Grant Amount (EUR): 800 000, incl. 680 000 Norway Grant

Objectives and expected outcome(s) of the project
The objective of the project is to stop the spreading of communicable diseases in prisons and to reduce the spreading of communicable diseases among vulnerable groups. To this end, it is necessary to discover the infected persons in prisons as early as possible, to treat them timely and effectively.
The other important component is prophylactic measures, where the knowledge of the prison officials on contagious diseases is of vital importance.

4. Developing a concept for integrated services to improve children´s mental health
Project Promoter: Ministry of Social Affairs, The Department of Children and Families
Total Grant Amount (EUR): 200 000, incl. 170 000 Norway Grant
Objectives and expected outcome(s) of the project:
the objective of the project is to develop a concept paper to build up a system of children´s mental health services and interventions with reduced fragmentation in service provision and improved regional coverage with integrated health and social care services for children an families.

Service network for the provision of integrated social education and health services for children with mental problems (3 projects were submitted). On the 18th of November Selection Committee decided to confirm the ranking list of the projects based on the evaluation results by the experts. Grant was given to all projects. Grant to one project is 425 000 euros. Project evaluators were Helvi Tarien and Pille Varmann.

5)   Tartu University Hospital „South-Estonian Mental Health Centre for children and youngsters
6)   Pärnu Hospital „Mental Health Centre for Children and Youth of Pärnu region“
7)   Tartu University Hospital „Ida-Viru county Mental Health Centre for Children and youngsters“.

Web-based information sources and counselling services are provided on mental and reproductive health (15 projects were submitted). On the 10th of November Selection Committee decided to confirm the ranking list of the projects based on the evaluation results given by the experts. Grant was given to first three projects. Project evaluators were Pille Kink, Malle Hallimäe and Merle Tomberg.

8)   Peaasjad - " - mental health e-counselling, web platform and online solutions for young people in Estonia". Grant: 218 159 EUR
9)   Estonian- Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute "AppsTerv - web-based applications for mental health". Grant: 204 860, 73 EUR
10)   Estonian Sexual Health Association "Reorganization of web-based sexual health counselling service and developing the quality framework of web-based services in the field of mental - and sexual and reproductive health" Grant: 171 897,12 EUR

Activities implemented. Projects are finished.

Social marketing campaigns on health lifestyles and training on health in all policies in non-health sectors (22 projects were submitted). 17 projects met the administrative and eligibility criteria. Project evaluators were Anu Kasmel, Triin Edovald and Ülla-Karin Nurm. On the 2nd of June Selection Committee awarded four project with the grant:

Sub-component “social marketing campaigns on healthy lifestyles
11) Health Estonia Foundation „Social movement Let’s drink less by half!”. Grant 260 190 EUR
12) Estonian Temperance Union „Introducing term „Passive drinking“ and changing attitudes and behaviour regarding alcohol abuse”. Grant 228 845 EUR
Sub-component “training on health in all policies in non-health sectors
13) National Institute for Health Development „Increasing local level public health competencies in Estonia”. Grant 194 731 EUR
14) Tallinn University „Health Promotion Station: Trainings for Communities”. Grant 186234 EUR


The programme aimed to improve the population’s health in Estonia and reduce health inequalities by focusing on mental health problems and communicable diseases in prisons.

The programme addressed mental health, life-style (particularly harmful alcohol consumption) and health of vulnerable groups such as children and prisoners.

In Estonia, the mental health sphere suffers from the biggest gaps in financing and the lack of integration of relevant sectors and services. 

Developed in the programme:

  • Integrated services concept for children´s mental health
  • 4 mental health centres - Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu and Ida-Viru
  • 4 mental health counselling offices - Narva, Põlva, Võru and Valga
  • 3 web portals -,,
  • 4 smartphone apps were developed for preventing self-harm and suicidal behaviour, depression and sleeping problems.
  • 958 people got training on public health topics
  • 1015 youth attended mental health lectures
  • 6535 e-counselling
  • 2 social campaigns were carried out about alcohol harms and tolerance about heavy alcohol drinking  - Uncle Alco and Passiv drinking
  • 2 rehabilitation programs for providing long-term rehabilitation service for children with severe mental health problems

Last updated: 26.08.2022