Workshops at the Summit

Photo from workshop 2017

Day 1 (Oct 19) kl. 15:30 CEST

  • A: Implementation of the Swedish method physical activity on prescription
  • B: Psychological flexibility, mental Health, COVID-19 and beyond
  • C: Discussions on Semantic and Taxonomic Problems Regarding Mental Health and Illness
  • D: Hormones and Mood

DAY 2 (Oct 20) kl 15:00 CEST

  • E: Time to adress perinatal mental health
  • F: Public mental health promotion as an integral part of clinical and community care programs  
  • G: Increasing access to evidence-based mental health care interventions
  • H: Animal-Assisted Interventions for Children with Mental Health Challenges in School


Riley/UnsplashImplementation of the Swedish method Physical Activity on Prescription

Background: Physical Activity on Prescription (PAP-S, Swedish FaR) started to be developed in Sweden 20 years ago as a method to use physical activity in prevention and treatment of diseases. It is now an evidence-based method to promote physical activity level and health, recommended by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. PAP-S are in use in all regions, predominately in primary health care but also in specialised care such as psychiatry and rehabilitation.The Swedish method for prescribing physical activity (PAP-S) has been chosen as best practice by the European Commission to be implemented in other EU Member States. The challenge is that PAP-S method still need to be implemented more widely in Sweden, as well as in other countries.

In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic it is even more urgent to find ways to promote healthier lifestyles and counteract the decline in fitness.

In this workshop we will discuss:

  • How to improve implementation of PAP-S in Sweden?
  • How to adapt PAP-S to different contexts in different countries?
  • How to implement PAP-S in in different countries?

Inspirational Speakers: Dr Stefan Lundqvist, Physiotherapist,  Dr. Jill Taube, M.D, Author, Project Leader, Dancer

Workshop prepared by: Lena Kallings, Associate Professor at the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, (GIH) and Amanda Lönn, Post-Doc, GIH, Peder Hofmann, Analyst, GIH


Psychological Flexibility, Mental Health, COVID-19 and Beyond. 

Scott/UnsplashBackground: Evidence for detrimental impacts of the COVID-19 on mental health around the world is accumulating. As it does, a next step is to understand how such effects can be mitigated. This can include a need to understand psychological capacities that afford people resilience against these impacts and that can serve as malleable public health targets during the ongoing pandemic and in similar events in the future.

In this workshop, we will discuss:

  • What have we learned about mental health problems during the pandemic?
  • Are there psychological resilience factors in the pandemic context?
  • Are there currently available psychological treatment methods that could be effectively applied in the context of the pandemic and how could this be done?

Inspirational Speaker: Lance McCracken, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Head of the Division of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology, Uppsala University.

Workshop prepared by: Professor Lance McCracken, Professor Karin Brocki, and Associate Professor Monica BuhrmanDept. of Psychology, Uppsala University 


Public Mental Health: Discussions on Semantic and Taxonomic Problems Regarding Mental Health and Illness

Background: The proportion of adolescents that self-report symptoms of anxiety and depression in Sweden and other Nordic countries is on the rise. Although suicide rates in Sweden are clearly highest among elderly men, data also suggest a somewhat increasing frequency for 15-26-year olds. Simultaneously, more adolescents now receive specialist psychiatric treatment; the reasons appear to be primarily more attention to the problem in society, reduced stigma, and better access to services and treatment strategies, including medications.

The World Health Organisation cautions that the COVID-19 pandemic, and the isolation and disruption of regular daily life that it brought in its wake, may impact population mental health, especially in vulnerable groups. The identification, access and proper use of representative and robust data is necessary to support federal and regional governments in informed policy decisions and in taking effective preventive measures for mental health. Moreover, the terminological confusion of “mental wellbeing” and “mental ill-health” with diagnosable psychiatric disorders, is a challenge. Ideally, an agreed taxonomy should allow clustering of indicators into domains of relevance, and at best, generalizable at a global level.

The aim of this workshop is to: 

- Discuss terminological differentiation between e.g. mental disorder, ill-health and wellbeing

- Present potentially useful data domains, indicators and clusters

- Discuss contributions of Big Data and AI to new data generation and analyses

This workshop is organized by the Swedish Medical Products Agency, in collaboration with the National Board of Health and Welfare, and The Public Health Agency of Sweden.

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Hormones and Mood

Mental distress is increasingly experienced by women in their fertile age, from puberty to the menopausal transition. This is a crucial period for the woman´s life, touching upon personal and social constructs, including school/education to the working conditions and the family environment.

To achieve sex/gender equality in psychosocial wellbeing, it is important to note that periods of sex-hormone fluctuations have been associated with higher risk for mood symptoms and disorders. As clinicians and researchers, we constantly meet female patients, women, journalists, and opinion-leaders who are astounded at the knowledge gaps surrounding women’s mental health, especially at some of the most valuable and treasured time-points of their life. Women of the next-coming generations will not be content with the resources. that, thus far, have been allocated to research concerning their physical and psychological health. Research in these areas, as well as relevant clinical applications need to be further promoted in order to support women’s mental health throughout the reproductive lifespan.

The workshop

Hormonal transition phases, such as pregnancy, and menopause as well as the menstrual cycle, are acknowledged windows of vulnerability for mental disorders in women. In this workshop, we will hear presentations about (1) The role of hormonal contraception, (2) Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, (3) The perinatal period, (4) The menopausal transition. We will also discuss: Are all women affected in a similar way? By which means we could increase the knowledge gap on women´s mental health? What strategies could be implemented to support the wellbeing of women sensitive to hormone fluctuations? How could we improve awareness on this topic among women, social care staff and policy makers? 

Inspirational Speaker: Professor C. Neill Epperson, MD, is Professor and the Robert Freedman Endowed Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine-Anschutz Medical Campus, and Executive Director of the Helen E. and Arthur Johnson Depression Center, USA.

Workshop prepared by Inger Sundström Poromaa, Professor in Obstetrics and GynecologyErika Comasco, Associate Professor in Molecular Psychiatry, Department of Neuroscience, Alkistis Skalkidou, Professor, Obstetric and Reproductive Health, Affiliated Researcher Cecilia Lundin, Dept. of Women and Children's Health, Uppsala University


Addressing Peripartum Depression

KiteraDent/UnsplashBackground: Peripartum depression affects more than 16.000 women yearly in Sweden with substantial individual and societal consequences. For many women, it constitutes their first ever depression episode, in a critical time in their lives. It is underdiagnosed and undertreated and many women battle not only with depression, but also with feelings of loneliness and shame. Interestingly, the sick-leave gap between women and their male counterparts starts building up after the birth of the first child.

Scientists are trying to understand why some women are more vulnerable, and whether we can predict and support those at risk. Still, it is not a priority in research or clinical settings. This workshop will focus on depression around childbirth and its consequences.

We will discuss the following questions:

  • Do women become sick of becoming mothers?
  • How to best calculate and tackle the long-term consequences of peripartum depression on morbidity and sick-leave perinatally in Sweden and internationally?
  • What lies behind the continued stigma associated with peripartum depression and which concrete actions should we take to fight it?
  • And finally, how can we be better in the early identification of women at risk, so that we can offer preventive interventions?

Inspirational Speakers: Dr John Lee Cox, Professor Emeritus, University of Keele, UK,  Malin Eriksson and Karin Lindholm; Representatives of the Swedish NGO Mamma till Mamma

Workshop Prepared by: Alkistis Skalkidou, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Senior Consultant, Uppsala University and Uppsala University Hospital,  Emma Fransson, Affiliated Researcher at Department of Women's and Children's Health, Erica Lindahl, Researcher at the Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU) Uppsala University


Public mental health promotion as an integral part of clinical- and community care programs

AnnieSpratt/UnsplashBackground: The workshop focuses on theoretical-, applied-, policy-, and multisectoral processes involved in best practice examples for building a public mental health promotion foundation for clinical and community care programs at national, municipal, and local levels.

The base of this foundation is a two-dimension mental health orientation for public health that includes both an exploration of individual and social problem areas, as well as individual and social resilience.

Both risk- and protective factors are understood through a framework of social determinants of health. Important distinctions between health promotion and health prevention are explored. Integration of a health promotion orientation into health intervention efforts is also presented. Specific illustrations are drawn upon from actual clinical and community program examples across the lifecycle from different contexts.

In this workshop, we will discuss:

  • Why is mental health promotion so often interpreted as mental health prevention, and what consequences does that have?
  • What is the link between person-centered care and public mental health promotion?
  • What are best practice findings related to enabling clinical and community care methods for public mental health promotion?

Workshop organizers and speakers: Valerie DeMarinis, Professor Emerita, Psychology of Religion, Uppsala University; Senior Professor, Public Mental Health, Umeå University; Professor of Public Mental Health Promotion, Innlandet Hospital Trust, Norway.

Professor Lars Lien, Faculty of Social and Health Sciences, University of Oslo, Innlandet Hospital Trust, President, Norwegian Psychiatry Association.  


How to increase access to evidence-based psychological interventions

illustrationBackground: Common mental health difficulties such as depression and anxiety are highly prevalent, chronic, recurrent, and place significant burden on the individual and wider society. However, access to evidence-based psychological treatments is limited worldwide.

Barriers to access occur at an individual level (e.g., lack of time, guilt, stigma, and lack of symptom recognition), a provider level (e.g., lack of mental health knowledge, unwillingness to diagnose and treat, and stigma) and a systematic level (e.g., limited availability of trained healthcare professionals, and poor integration of mental health services in primary care and other health and social care settings).

To address these barriers to access, innovative strategies to deliver evidence-based psychological interventions are being implemented. One example is the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme in England. The success of the IAPT programme required a fundamental transformation of the way in which psychological therapies were delivered in England, including included the implementation of a stepped-care service delivery model and the establishment of a new professional workforce of psychological practitioners, trained in specific competencies to support people to engage in low-intensity cognitive behavioural therapy (LICBT). LICBT interventions are delivered through a range of CBT ‘self-help’ print and e-mental health formats. Whilst IAPT has resulted in significantly closing the treatment gap, there are still improvements that can be made .

Aim of the workshop

We wish to bring together members of the public, health and social care professionals, educators, researchers, and policy makers, to discuss the ways in which access to evidence-based psychological interventions could be improved further.

Specifically, we will explore:

  • The potential for new workforce developments beyond the traditional clinical psychologist role, for example, the development of a psychological practitioner role in countries currently without such a workforce.  
  • The potential for new workforce developments beyond the psychological practitioner role.  
  • Perceived challenges that may be faced when developing new psychological workforces.
  • Ways of integrating the delivery of psychological services beyond the traditional mental health sector, e.g., the employment sector, non-governmental organizations, and faith-based organizations/communities, to improve access to typically excluded and vulnerable groups.
  • How to utilize e-mental health interventions, such as smartphone applications, to deliver and support psychological interventions

Inspirational Speakers: Professor Paul Farrand, University of Exeter, Professor Catherine Gallop, Director of Clinical Training, University of Exeter, UK.

Director of Clinical Training

Workshop Prepared by: Joanne Woodford, Clinical Psychology in Health Care, Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Sweden, Paul Farrand, Clinical Education, Research, and Development, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, UK


How can Animal Assisted Intervention support school drop-out recovery?

SLU Future One HealthBackground: School absenteeism or complete school drop-out is a growing problem that goes hand in hand with increasing mental health issues among young people. School drop-out can result in higher rates of unemployment and poor health issues later on in life, which is clearly a challenge to society (Rumberger and Lim, 2008).

Changes in policies and practice are needed to facilitate students return to school. It is important to be able to provide less stressful environments, and to find good motivators for the pupils to stay in school. To achieve a manageable learning situation, solutions include providing more flexible options for changing school, or working with important "other people" than regular teachers. Another option could be to provide access to alternative learning environments (Forsell, 2020), where animals can contribute to stress release and provide support to motivation. Practical experiences and international research have shown that contact with dogs, horses or farm animals can be an effective way of increasing return-rates, and provide the necessary alternative learning environment.

In this workshop we will discuss the following questions:

  • Why would provision of animal assisted intervention work – what do animals do with us?
  • Which experiences are there from different countries of involving animals in school support to pupils with problematic school attendance? Are there any success stories?
  • Which species of animals are most suitable to involve in Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) for children and youth and do this differ between countries and cultures (dogs, cats, horses, sheep, poultry, etc.)?
  • How can activity level and exercise be stimulated in children and youth with the help of different species of domesticated animals?
  • What regulations and recommendations need to be organized by the authorities regarding how to implement AAI in schools and for pupils with problematic school attendance?
  • How can the welfare of animals involved in AAI be secured by the humans carrying out the AAI and by the help of national regulations on how and what is allowed to do?

Inspirational Speakers: Professor Andrea Beetz, IU International University of Applied Sciences, Germany and Michael Kaufman, Director of the Sam and Myra Ross Institute and the Nature-Based programs at Green Chimneys.

Workshop prepared by: Lena Lidfors, Professor of Ethology, Maria Andersson, Associate Professor of Anthrozoology, Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Laura Hartman, Chief Sustainability Officer, Uppsala Municipality

Last modified: 2021-10-18