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Institute for Social Work and Health

We investigate social problems and their interrelations with health issues based on a robust theoretical foundation and firmly oriented toward practice.

Social work strengthens the social and mental health of individuals and groups. It thus plays a major role in providing persons affected by health burdens and illnesses with professional support. Our institute develops, supervises, and evaluates measures designed to promote psychosocial health. Our key working areas are: fostering mental health; promoting life skills; ensuring persons suffering from illnesses receive professional assistance; social inequality and health; promoting non-smoking behaviour; early detection and early intervention.

Biopsychosocial Modell

Our work is based on Engel’s biopsychosocial model (see Illustration), according to which various factors contribute to promoting health and to preventing illnesses.

About us

Institute staff undertake research and development, provide services, run further education programmes, and teach on the FHNW’s Bachelor and Master of Arts in Social Work.


Prof. Carlo Fabian
Prof. Carlo Fabian

Head of Institute, Institute for Social Work and Health, FHNW School of Social Work

Telephone T +41 62 957 22 12 (direct)

FHNW School of Social Work, Olten

FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland School of Social Work Von Roll-Strasse 10 CH - 4600 Olten