U-FOLD begins 2023 with a seminar on mental illness, violence and drugs


Wednasday 1 February, U-FOLD and Uppsala University invite you to a regional gathering against the major challenges that mental illness, violence and drugs pose to our society. Jale Poljarevius, Uppsala Police Department, and Anita Hussénius, National Centre for Knowledge on Men's Violence against Women, will participate at the meeting.

Seminar poster

“U-FOLD's seminars have long been among our region's most important arenas for researchers, policy-makers and professionals in the fields of addiction. As mental illness, violence and drugs are currently presenting our society with a series of urgent challenges, it is our responsibility to gather all available forces as soon as possible in order to set a common direction forward,” says Mathias Hallberg, Professor at Uppsala University and chair of U-FOLD.

Shootings and explosions have the past few few years become an unwelcome feature of our Swedish everyday life. Our country is in a dangerous spiral and recently reported an alarming record when 63 people were shot to death last year. Why Sweden is moving so diametrically against the rest of Europe remains to be determined, but it is indisputable that weapons, violence and drug trafficking are often closely linked. A series of police initiatives are underway to reverse the trend, and at the seminar, Jale Poljarevius, Police chief and Head of intelligence, will give an up-to-date presentation of the work.

Jale Poljarevius, Uppsala Police Dep.
Jale Poljarevius, Uppsala Police Dep.

“Close to half of the members of our region’s criminal networks are under the age of 18. One in ten has not even turned 15 and are often persuaded to act as useful idiots and take the risks. Around them are children aged 7 to 12 who form the gangs' future recruitment base. This turns talk of "crushing crime" into empty rhetoric, but with broad mobilisation, law reforms, increased resources to support defectors and, not least, targeted work to restore trust in authorities, we can in the long run reduce drug crime and gang crime,” says Jale Poljarevius.

Also participating in the seminar is Lotta Borg Skoglund, Medical Lead Physician at SMART Psychiatry, who will highlight the connection between ADHD and increased risk of violence and drugs. We will also meet Anna Sarkadi, Professor of Social Medicine, who will discuss what tools society needs to deal with young people's risky behaviour, as well as Anita Hussénius, National Centre for Knowledge on Men's Violence against Women, who will talk about the mental health of victims of violence in a long-term perspective.

“This seminar is important to us from several aspects. Of course because of the topicality of the subject, but also as an opportunity to remember Ing-Marie Wieselgren, Psychiatry coordinator at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, who for many years was an invaluable source of inspiration in U-FOLD's operations. She was always an appreciated guest at our meeting places right up until the horrendous assault in Almedalen. With this seminar, we want to draw attention to Ing-Marie Wieselgren's important work and in her footsteps find the right direction for the many important tasks that await us”, says Fred Nyberg, Senior advisor at U-FOLD.


  • Is Uppsala University's Forum for research on pharmaceutical and drug addiction.
  • Was inaugurated in Uppsala in 2011 as a regional gathering of forces against the challenges of addiction.
  • Gathers 20 regional organisations that work together for a better society.



Mathias Hallberg, chair, U-FOLD
Professor, Uppsala University
E-post  Mathias.Hallberg@farmbio.uu.se

Fred Nyberg, Senior advisor, U-FOLD
Senior Professor, Uppsala University
E-post  Fred.Nyberg@farmbio.uu.se

Text: Magnus Alsne, foto: Stewen Quigley, Mikael Wallerstedt a o

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Last modified: 2022-11-08