The Psychosis Recovery Orientation in Malawi by Improving Services and Engagement (PROMISE) project represents a significant step in the global movement towards more inclusive rights-based mental health research. This joint effort, involving experts from the University of Edinburgh, Kings College London, the University of Newcastle, and Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, focuses on the active involvement of individuals who have experienced psychosis.
The project aims to create a community-based framework for recognizing, referring, and managing psychosis in Malawi. By bringing the perspectives of those with lived experiences to the forefront, the PROMISE Project aims to enhance the effectiveness and sensitivity of mental health services, ensuring that human rights protections are extended to individuals with psychosocial disabilities. This approach marks a notable development in psychiatric and psychological research, potentially leading to more comprehensive, patient-centered care models.
“Acknowledging lived experience viewpoints as valuable inputs into mental health research and initiatives are gaining considerable traction,” the researchers write.
“This necessitates recalibrating traditional research techniques to establish genuine collaborative partnerships, prevent tokenism, and navigate power differentials. Involving persons with lived experience (PWLE) in research ensures distinctive findings compared to conventional research and has tangible implications for practice. Researchers with lived experience contribute their expertise and experience to projects, fostering a deeper understanding and raising pertinent questions. Their endeavors are driven by a desire to improve the lives of fellow PWLE.”