Contribution of the Nordic School of Public Health to the public mental health research field: a selection of research initiatives, 2007-2014

Anna Forsman, L Freden, R Lindqvist, K Wahlbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The field of public mental health has been defined by an expert group convened by the Nordic School of Public Health (NHV) as encompassing the experience, occurrence, distribution and trajectories of positive mental health and mental health problems and their determinants; mental health promotion and prevention of mental disorders; as well as mental health system policies, governance and organization. The mental health priorities of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2010 signalled a mutual Nordic exchange of knowledge in the following thematic areas: child and adolescent mental health; working life and mental health; mental health in older people; strengthening the role of primary care in mental health service provision; stronger involvement of users and carers; and reduction of use of coercion in psychiatric care. Efforts to realize these priorities included commissioning the Nordic Research Academy for Mental Health, an NHV-based network of research institutions with a common interest in mental health research across the Nordic countries, to develop, organize and follow-up projects on public mental health. The research initiatives included mental health policy analysis, register-based research and research focused on the users' perspective in a Nordic context, as well as EU-level research policy analysis. The public mental health research conducted at the NHV highlighted the complexity of mental health and emphasized that the broad determinants of mental health need to be increasingly addressed in both public health research and practice. For example, health promotion actions, improved access to health care, a healthy alcohol policy and prevention of suicides and violence are all needed to reduce the life expectancy gap - a red flag indicator of public health inequalities. By exchanging knowledge and best practice, the collaboration between the Nordic countries contributes to the welfare of the region. The expertise and traditions developed at the NHV are of significant importance in this work.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)66–72
Number of pages7
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • policy analysis
  • Public Mental Health
  • register studies
  • systematic mapping

Cite this