Sharing knowledge on citizenship, recovery and inclusive societies

For the next four years, the Mental Health Foundation will be partnering in the University of Strathclyde-led ‘Citizenship, Recovery, Inclusive Societies, Policy’ or ‘CRISP’ knowledge exchange with the Finnish Association for Mental Health, Ulm University in Germany, Yale University, New York University and Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 690954.

The University of Strathclyde and the Mental Health Foundation will be hosting an opening seminar (9th June) in Glasgow on stigma and human rights to launch CRISP in Europe, which will be attended by colleagues from the Finnish Association for Mental Health and Ulm University.

Professor Pat Corrigan from Chicago, who is a global leader in challenging stigma and discrimination will be speaking at the seminar. Mental Health Foundation Scotland will be piloting ‘Honest Open Proud’ (HOP), inspired by his Coming Out Proud campaign; training people with lived experience of mental health problems in this approach during June.

People with mental health problems experience significant and consistent health and social inequalities. This includes: early mortality, unemployment, poverty, social isolation and social exclusion. Over the decades since de-institutionalisation, people with mental health problems have dealt with more than mental distress – many have also experienced discrimination, stigmatizationstigmatisation, poverty, homelessness and incarceration.

Mental health problems are inextricably intertwined with poor outcomes most notably related to physical health, social support and socio-economic status. CRISP’s premise is that by linking human rights and participation with public policy initiatives, we can create a progressive model to enable people who experience mental health problems to realize realise their citizenship rights.

CRISP will provide opportunities for people across the UK to directly engage with innovative thinking, research, policy and practice. By connecting leaders in the EU and the US, we intend to establish and embed the state of the art knowledge and practice in the key factors that influence the social exclusion of people with mental health problems. CRISP’s main themes are:

  • citizenship and participatory research,
  • recovery and person-centred care,
  • stigma and discrimination, and
  • public policy (with a particular emphasis on: employment; environment and urban planning; and social policy).

The knowledge exchange will have a strong focus on equality and shared learning on how to promote social inclusion of people with mental health problems. The European Union’s Horizon 2020 funding conditions include a strong focus on gender both in terms of supporting the professional development of women working within the partner organisations and also in addressing women’s mental health across the CRISP themes. 

I will be co-ordinating CRISP in the Mental Health Foundation and participating in the Citizenship and Participatory Research strand in Yale as well as being a member of the Gender Co-ordinating Group. Nine Mental Health Foundation staff will be spending at least one month between 2016 and 2020 in Germany, Yale, New York and Chicago: Isabella Goldie, Gail Aldam, Amal Azzudin, Josefien Breedvelt, Julie Cameron, Marguerite Regan, Chris O’Sullivan and Chris White

For regular updates on CRISP you can follow @CRISP_EU. We will be launching the CRISP website in June and you will be able to sign up for regular updates on activities and events. The US launch of CRISP will take place at a policy symposium in New York in September.