The First 1000 days in the Nordic Countries: Supporting a Healthy Start in Life
First 1000 days in the nordic countries
Meet our speakers
For information / bio about each speaker, please click their respective photo or name.
For information / bio about each speaker, please click their respective photo or name.
Dr. Alain Gregoire
Dr. Alain Gregoire is a Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist who has led multiple award winning specialist perinatal mental health services in the United Kingdom for over 30 years. He has contributed extensively to the development of policy, strategy, guidance and clinical services in parental and infant mental health in the UK and across the world.
Dr. Gregoire is the founder and current president of the UK Maternal Mental Health Alliance, a coalition of over 110 organisations in the United Kingdom committed to improving maternal mental health care and outcomes for mothers and infants. The coalition has successfully campaigned for government funding for perinatal mental health services across the UK and launched the 2013 cross-party manifesto, The 1001 Critical Days, which sets out a vision for the provision of services in the UK for the period between conception and age 2.
In 2016, Dr. Gregoire launched the Global Alliance for Maternal Mental Health with similar aims worldwide which now includes over 25 international member organisations.
Mette Skovgaard Væver
Mette Skovgaard Væver, Ph.D, is a professor in clinical child psychology and early intervention and Director of the Centre for Early Intervention and Family Studies at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
Dr. Væver‘s long-standing research focus has been on basic and applied research on parenting and early childhood mental health in both normative and high-risk populations, combining a variety of research methods, including observations, experiments, and psychological assessments.
Dr. Væver is also a certified psychotherapist and integrates developmental science and clinical practice in her work, which is evidenced by her focus on randomized controlled intervention studies and research on the clinical implementation of assessment tools.
Most of her research is designed in the form of large collaborative projects with practitioners with the overall aim of translating early childhood research in to practice.
John supports policymakers and stakeholders to use evidence to address societal challenges. He is co-lead of and lead report writer for the Global Commission on Evidence to Address Societal Challenges, as well as co-lead of the COVID-19 Evidence Network to support Decision-making (COVID-END) and Rapid-Improvement Support and Exchange (RISE).
He is the Director of the McMaster Health Forum and Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Evidence-Informed Policy. He is a Professor in the Department of Health Evidence and Impact at McMaster University and the Canada Research Chair in Evidence-Support Systems, as well as Adjunct Professor at the Africa Centre for Evidence at the University of Johannesburg.
He holds an MD from Queen’s University, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a PhD (in Health Policy) from Harvard University.
Nichole Leigh Mosty
Nichole Leigh Mosty is the Executive Director of the National Multicultural Information Center in Iceland. She is a former member of the Icelandic parliament and has a long standing career working with community policy, social development, and early childhood education and care (ECEC).
In her previous role as head administrator in the Icelandic ECEC system, she worked with children and families of foreign origin and has won numerous awards for her pioneering work, e.g. in the area of bilingual policy and practice with children and families. Nichole also worked as a project manager in community development at the city of Reykjavik where her work centered on developing, financing and initiating development projects of social, familial, and community-based nature.
She has also served as a private consultant for educational leadership outside of Iceland, e.g. developing ECEC policy and action plans, curriculum planning for children aged 0-2 years, implementing change and development both in classrooms and school wide, supporting integration schemes and outreach programs for parents.
Ellen Solstad Olavesen
Ellen Solstad Olavesen is a public health nurse and research fellow at RBUP Øst og Sør – Regional Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health in Norway.
Her research includes a multi-site cluster-randomized trial on the project Mamma Mia – an internet intervention for preventing and reducing perinatal depressive symptoms.
May Britt Drugli
May Britt Drugli is working as a professor at the Regional Centre for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Welfare (RKBU Central Norway) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
Her research interests include toddlers in early child educational care, student-teacher relationships and intervention research.
Noora Heiskanen, Ph.D, is a senior researcher in special education (particularly early childhood special education) at the University of Eastern Finland. She has teacher qualifications in early childhood education and special education.
Dr. Heiskanen’s research focuses on the organization and implementation of functional, effective support for children in early childhood settings. Her studies include pedagogical documentation, research-based interventions for supporting children’s social-emotional skills, and support arrangements for children with the most profound needs.
She has also led a nation-wide project that investigated the current state of support and inclusive early childhood education in Finnish early childhood education and care.
Eva Eurenius is an Analyst and advisor in parental support at the Swedish Family Law and Parental Support Authority. For more than 15 years, she has worked with parental support and child public health at both the strategic level and as a researcher.
Sigrun Danielsdottir, M.Sc, Cand.Psych, is a child and adolescent psychologist and project manager for mental health promotion at the Directorate of Health in Iceland.
Her work centers largely on mental health promotion in schools and communities and she has headed several national policy initiatives, such as mental health promotion and prevention for Iceland’s Mental Health Policy and Action Plan 2016-2020 and Iceland’s National Suicide Prevention Action Plan in 2018.
Sigrun also lead a national review of school mental health practices and policy development for mental health promotion and tiered support in Icelandic pre-, primary and secondary schools. Sigrun is project leader for the Nordic project The First 1000 Days in the Nordic Countries.
Hans Bugge Bergsund
Hans Bergsund has a master’s degree in psychology and is currently working as a Ph.D student on a feasibility study of Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) in Norway.
His main research interests are attachment, parent-child interaction and implementation of evidence-based programs for infants and toddlers.
Ástþóra Kristinsdóttir, M.Sc, RN, is a nurse and midwife specialist at the Development Centre for Primary Healthcare in Iceland (DCPHI) where she serves as project manager for violence prevention, immigrant service and mental health during pregnancy. She is also adjunct in midwifery at the University of Iceland.
During her career, Ástþóra has worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), maternity care and delivery room as well as offering home visits in the first days after birth. She is specialized in immigrant welfare and mental health during pregnancy, and has vast experience in delivering short-term CBT group therapy for pregnant women. She has mostly worked in Reykjavik but also in smaller municipalities around Iceland, taking care of families in pregnancy, labour and after birth.
Camilla Dolberg Schmidt
Camilla Dolberg Schmidt has a M.Sc degree in economics and is Head of Development and Projects at Østifterne. Østifterne is an organization that supports social innovation projects at the value of around 50 million Danish kronas every year and is known for its catalytic approach.
Camilla has a background in both the political, private and public sector, specializing in innovation, change management and implementation science along with a number of other endeavors, including being the author of a children’s book on spirituality.
Michelle Kolls is a midwife specializing in early family building for families with psychological vulnerabilities and/or social challenges. She has been working in this field for 20 years and was a part of establishing the specialized antenatal care at Rigshospitalet in Denmark.
For the last four years she has been head of the Family Outplacement Clinic at Amager Hvidovre Hospital and is a well-known specialist, participating in all kinds of clinical and structural development within the health- and welfare systems.
Thea Sundrehagen is a doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, East and South in Norway. She has an MA degree in clinical and health psychology from Eötvös Loránd University, an MSc in clinical mental health sciences from University College in London, and a BSc in psychology from Durham University.
She is passionate about early intervention and prevention of mental health problems in vulnerable groups and stages of life. Her Ph.D project centers on the effectiveness of Mamma Mia, a universal, web-based intervention which aims to prevent perinatal depression and promote subjective well-being during pregnancy and after childbirth.
Kari Slinning is head of section for Infant and toddlers mental health at the Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Eastern and Southern Norway. Slinning holds a doctoral degree in clinical child psychology. She has many years of clinical work with young children and families and her research has focused on developmental effects of fetal drug exposure and parental mental health related to pregnancy and birth, including maternal depression.
Slinning is involved in the evaluation and/or implementation of assessment methods and interventions such as the Alarm Distress Baby Scale (ADBB), Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), the Newborn Behavioral Observation system (NBO), Circle of Security- Virginia family model (COS-VF), Attachment Biobehavioral Catchup (ABC) and Mamma Mia.
Nina Thomsen is a child psychologist at the unit for Child health care in Stockholm, Sweden. She is passionate about interventions to strengthen children’s access to committed caregivers and coparenting. Nina also develops materials for Save the children to promote mental health of children and works clinically with parents-to-be and young children and their parents.
Sesselja Gudmundsdottir, PNP, M.Sc, RN, is the Director of Well-Child Care at the Development Centre for Primary Healthcare in Iceland (DCPHI). She is also the Teaching Director at the DCPHI for a one year specialised clinical programme in Primary Healthcare offered in partnership with the University of Akureyri for Registered Nurses.
Sesselja is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner from Columbia University and has been working in pediatric care for the past 36 years, and as the head of Well-Child Care at DCPHI for 17 years. She leads the development of the National Guidelines for Well-Child Care in Iceland which are published byr DCPHI in collaboration with the Directorate of Health. She is also a member of the directing group for Heilsuvera, an Icelandic website/web portal regarding health, which is run by the Directorate of Health, the Primary Care of the Capital Area and the National University Hospital of Iceland.
Ulla Korpilahti has an MSc degree in preventive nursing science and undertaking a PhD in public health at the University of Turku in Finland. She has worked for nearly 20 years as a public health nurse in maternity and child health services and sexual and reproductive health services. Since 2013, she has worked as a Development Manager in Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) where she specializes in health and safety promotion.
She coordinates violence prevention against children under 18 years at the national level (Non-Violent Childhoods – Action Plan for the Prevention of Violence against Children 2020–2025) that was launched in 2019 as well as actions for the prevention of unintentional injuries among children and young people aged 0-24 years (Safely at All Ages: Programme for the Prevention of Home and Leisure Injuries 2021–2030) launched in 2020.