Factors for success in mental health advocacy.

Hann, K; Pearson, H; Campbell, D; Sesay, D; Eaton, J; (2015) Factors for success in mental health advocacy. Global health action, 8 (1). p. 28791. ISSN 1654-9716 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3402/gha.v8.28791

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Background Mental health advocacy groups are an effective way of pushing the mental health agenda and putting pressure on national governments to observe the right to health; however, there is limited research that highlights best practices for such groups in low-resource settings. In an effort to improve the scaling up of mental health in Sierra Leone, stakeholders came together to form the country's first mental health advocacy group: the Mental Health Coalition - Sierra Leone. Since its inception, the group has worked towards raising the profile of mental health in Sierra Leone and developing as an advocacy organisation. Design The study's aim was to investigate views on enabling factors and barriers associated with mental health advocacy in a low-income country using a community-based participatory approach and qualitative methodology. Focus groups (N=9) were held with mental health stakeholders, and key informant interviews (N=15) were conducted with advocacy targets. Investigators analysed the data collaboratively using coding techniques informed by grounded theory. Results Investigators reveal viewpoints on key factors in networking, interacting with government actors, and awareness raising that enabled mental health advocacy aims of supporting policy, service delivery, service user rights, training for service delivery, and awareness raising. The investigators outline viewpoints on barriers for advocacy aims in framing the issue of mental health, networking, interacting with government actors, resource mobilization, and awareness raising. Conclusions The findings outline enabling factors, such as networking with key stakeholders, and barriers, such as lack of political will, for achieving mental health advocacy aims within a low-resource setting, Sierra Leone. Stakeholder coalitions can further key policy development aims that are essential to strengthen mental health systems in low-resource settings.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- )
PubMed ID: 28156708
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/3469103


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