A report published today by the Centre for Mental Health has found that new ways of working are needed to address mental health inequalities.
Fit for purpose? Addressing inequities in mental health research exacerbated by Covid-19 calls for systematic change in the way mental health research is planned, funded and delivered in the wake of the pandemic. It urges researchers and funding bodies to ensure wider representation of groups and communities that have been silenced or overlooked (e.g. racialised communities), direct resources towards areas aimed at tackling mental health inequalities, and expand the range of people and organisations that can receive research funding. Crucially, the report also highlights the urgent need to find ways to bring together and value different types of knowledge in the production of evidence to inform mental health policy and practice.
Hearing the Voice features in the report as particularly strong example of how this last objective might be achieved. Our project places lived experience at the forefront of a programme of work that sees researchers from anthropology, cognitive neuroscience, literary studies, history, linguistics, medical humanities, philosophy, psychology, religious studies and theology working closely with voice-hearers, their families, mental health professionals, artists and activists. Through combining these different perspectives, we have challenged the idea that hearing voices is a symptom of pathology and transformed academic, clinical and public understandings of what the experience is like, how it arises, and what it means.
You can read the full report here: Fit for purpose? Addressing inequities in mental health research exacerbated by Covid-19.