Exploring the Invest4Health testbeds – Region Skåne, Sweden, focusing on tackling health inequalities in mental health and wellbeing amongst children

Building on knowledge and experience in social investments, Invest4Health aims to develop sustainable funding mechanisms that stimulate collaboration and incentivise investment within and across sectors while challenging traditional governance and funding models in health promotion and disease prevention.

The lead partner of Invest4Health is Region Skåne. Still, at the same time, Skåne is one of the four Invest4Health test bed regions – a natural environment to apply, evaluate and refine different governance and investment models for interventions focusing on health promotion and disease prevention. An advantage is that the ongoing transformation of the healthcare system in Skåne, moving towards increased prevention, health promotion, and integrated care in collaboration with other stakeholders, positions Skåne as also an innovation hub within a real and dynamic ecosystem.

In Skåne, the Invest4Health testbed will focus on tackling health inequalities in mental health and wellbeing amongst children of different ages. By enhancing the coordinated actions from various health and social care providers and other societal actors at arenas along the health pathway, children at risk will be identified earlier​ and get the support they need. At the same time, we will create a common platform for primary prevention and health promotion for children in Skåne. 

Skåne already has several ongoing initiatives for early coordinated interventions for children at the local municipal level. Also, since 2021, at the regional Skåne level, there has been an agreement between the County Council Skåne and the 33 municipalities to enhance and promote implementing such local coordinated interventions based on collaboration with local stakeholders as well as on local conditions to create equity in mental health and wellbeing.

In the first year of the Invest4Health project in Skåne, several workshops have been conducted with representatives from ongoing initiatives, municipalities and the county council at both the local and regional levels to design the testbed Skåne. Testbed Skåne will focus on applying the Invest4Health business and financial models with guiding principles at the structural regional level to enhance ongoing initiatives and promote initiatives that will start in the future. These models will support encouraging more actors to get involved in early detection and coordinated health promotion and disease prevention interventions for better mental health and wellbeing among children. 

Jolanda van Vliet, the project coordinator for Invest4Health, stresses the importance of tapping into the existing dialogue and initiatives and, together with the municipalities, strengthening the early coordinated interventions.

The next step for the test bed in Skåne is to agree on and detail the design of the testbed based on the interventions that create value for children’s wellbeing, and then prepare for interviews with relevant and possibly new stakeholders. We must also explore how our testbed can be evaluated to gain insights and learnings.

Explore our other testbed regions: https://invest4health.eu/test-beds/

Image: https://www.skane.se/en/health-care/health-care-in-skane/

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