Envisioning a Future of Mental Well-Being in the Arctic

Continuing the dialogue from the Arctic Circle Greenland Forum 1. October 2016

A plenary session on health and mental well-being will gather medical experts and governmental representatives from around the Arctic at the 2016 Arctic Circle Assembly to envision a future of psychological and physiological well-being in the circumpolar North.

What are the best practices for expanding healthcare access to remote Northern communities? How can we address the historical causes of mental health epidemics in the Arctic? This session will discuss the physiological and psychological health of Arctic peoples in the context of economic and social change. Speakers will address topics such as the following:

  • Suicide crises
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Community and cultural well-being


Photo courtesty of Gert Mulvad

How can issues such as these be best addressed politically, institutionally and privately to ensure well-being of the people of the Arctic, as the region undergoes economic development?


  • Páll Matthíasson, MD, CEO, The National University Hospital of Iceland
  • Pamela Y. Collins, Director, Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health, National Institute for Mental Health, United States
  • Gert Mulvad, Doctor of Health Research, Institute of Nursing and Health Science, Ilisimatusarfik (University of Greenland); Board Member, Circumpolar Health Research Network
  • Monica Ell-Kanayuk, Deputy Premier, Government of Nunavut
  • Doris Jakobsen, Minister of Health, Government of Greenland
  • Stephen M. Van Dine, Assistant Deputy Minister, Northern Affairs Organization, Indigenous & Northern Affairs Canada


  • Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir, President of the West Nordic Council; Member of the Icelandic Parliament