Siirry sisältöön


Thursday 18 November 14:45-16:30

1. Economics of mental health actions

Population mental health contributes to employment rate, productivity and improves government finances. In spite of these economic incentives, government spending on mental health promotion and prevention of mental ill health is notoriously low. The session sheds light on the economics of mental health promotion and mental health services, and discusses strategies to translate findings of economics into exit policy and implementation.

Language: English

Chair: Riitta Aejmeleus, Ministry of Finance, Finland

  • Ziggi Ivan Santini, Denmark:  Mental well-being is linked to lower health costs.
  • Dan Chisholm, WHO HQ: Cost-effectiveness of mental health interventions. 
  • David McDaid, LSE: The role of mental health in the covid exit strategy.
  • Ossi Aura, Finland: Mental health as the foundation for human productivity.

2. Psychological resilience though participation and inclusion – examples from the Nordic region

Resilience is built on experience. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a spotlight on what is important in daily life. What did we need in the middle of it all, and what have we learnt from our experience? From a population approach to the participative, listening to the voices of the pandemic for a mentally resilient post-pandemic world. In this session we discuss Nordic examples on psychological resilience though participation and inclusion.

Language: Scandinavian languages, interpretation into English and Finnish

Chair: Johanna Cresswell-Smith, THL, Finland


  • Carsten Lyng Obel, Aarhus universitet, Danmark: Resiliens på populationsnivå i de nordiska länderna post-covid.
  • Jonna Similä, Dialogpausstiftelsen, Finland: Undantagstidens dialoger under Covid-19 pandemin.
  • Ewa Tarvasaho, erfarenhetsexpert och specialsjukskötare, Finland: Rätta redskap för att stödja psykisk hälsan vid Covidavdelningen.

3. Post-COVID suicide prevention

The COVID-19 pandemic has had major effects on the mental well-being in the Nordic countries. How has the risk for suicide been effected by the pandemic and what kind of actions are needed now? Is suicide prevention included in the rebuilding strategies in the Nordic countries?

Language: English

Chair: Sami Pirkola, Tampere University, Finland

  • Lars Mehlum, Oslo: An overview on suicide, suicide prevention and national suicide prevention strategies in the Nordic countries post COVID-19
  • Margda Waern, Göteborg. Suicide prevention for the old
  • Louis Appleby, UK: Is an increase in suicide deaths to be expected post COVID-19? 

Friday 19 November 10:00-11:30

4. Mental health promotion and prevention among young people in the Nordic countries

Young people in the Nordic countries report an increasing amount of mental health issues and seek treatment for mental health problems. This session focuses on efforts to strengthen the resources of young people and prevent mental illness and discuss different arenas for mental health promotion and prevention.

Language: Scandinavian languages, interpretation into English and Finnish

Chair: Petra Kouvonen, ITLA, Finland

  • Curt Hagquist, University of Gothenburg, member of the WHO Technical Advisory Group on the mental health impacts of COVID-19 in the WHO European Region. Challenges for mental health promotion and prevention among young people in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Cecilia Oksanen, student and person with lived experience, Finland. Psykisk ohälsa och mina egna resurser.
  • Lisa Hellström, Malmö university and Linda Beckman, Karlstad university. Nordic efforts for mental health among young people.

5. Post-pandemic mental health promotion

Mental well-being is strengthened by actions in various societal sectors. In the post-pandemic societies the importance of mental health promotion increases. Research indicates the importance of early interaction, safe schools, green environment and accessible culture. This session will discuss findings and highlight opportunities for mental health action and promotion.

Language: English

Chair: Dóra Guðmundsdóttir, Directorate of Health, Iceland


  • Fredrik Lindencrona, Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, Sweden. The role of local authorities in implementing cross-sectoral post-covid mental health promotion.
  • Rosa Meriläinen, KULTA ry / Central Organization for Finnish Culture and Arts Associations: The role of culture and arts in rebuilding mental wellbeing and resiliens.
  • Michael Bang Petersen, Aarhus Universitet, Denmark: The Importance of Trust in a Crisis and How to Build It: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

6. Reduction of suicide inequalities in the Nordic countries

Suicide mortality is unevenly distributed, both within and between countries. This session focuses on actions to reduce these inequalities in suicides, with a special emphasis on actions needed to prevent a post-covid rise in suicides.

Language: English

Chair: Outi Ruishalme, MIELI Mental Health Finland

  • Ellenor Mittendorfer-Rutz, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. Inequalities in suicides. 
  • Outi Ruishalme, Mieli Mental Health Finland: Strengthening protective factors to prevent suicides post covid.
  • Petter Stoor, Umeå University, Sweden: Suicides in Northern indigenous people.