In the past months, the test bed on health equity and health communications – led by Partnership Skåne as part of the REGIN Project – was evaluated by Uppsala University. Within the pilot project, community and health communicators held discussion circles for participants focusing on addressing the stress associated with the migration process that many experience. It was also possible to exchange about what it is like to be a parent as a newcomer in Sweden. Linked to the discussion circles, participants have received individual support through local resources within civil society, the municipality and primary health care.
The University’s evaluation highlights the potential to promote and strengthen many personal resources that are important for those who experience migration-related stress. These include health knowledge, health promoting behaviour, mental health literacy, self-assessed mental and physical health, and social contacts. Results indicate that the project’s focus on local supportive environments is perceived positively by participants and participating organisations and that participants have gained new knowledge, new perspectives, new health habits and new social contacts.
As part of the REGIN pilot, the model for cross cutting collaboration with local partners, has proven to be an effective tool for multilevel collaboration resulting in improved health and participation for forced migrants. Further pilots are being implemented in different locations in Sweden. Together they show how the method of creating a supportive environment can be transferred and used in a flexible way in different circumstances.