Keynote speaker #1: Prof. Valerie DeMarinis


Professor in Psychology of Religion at Uppsasla Unviersity, Sweden;
Visiting Professor in Public Health, at Umeå Medical School, Sweden;
Research director of the Public Mental Health Promotion and Existential Health Area, Innlandet Hospital Trust, Norway

Public health, public mental health, and psychology of religion

This lecture addresses the central question, What role does/can psychology of religion play in the current and future frameworks of public health and especially public mental health in a European perspective? Attention to, assessment of, and working with religious- and cultural information are within the top five priority areas in European public health and public mental health agendas. One of the top reasons for this relates to forced migration. However, there is also growing concern, especially in the more secularized countries in the EU, about the rise of mental ill-health not only in minority groups but in new segments of the majority population as well. Attention is given to naming the problem, providing a framework including psychology of religion as a vehicle for approaching the problem, and presenting a current research and clinical/community initiative in Public Mental Health Promotion to begin finding resources for moving forward.

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