TRANSFORM aims to deliver numerous impacts including improved patient outcomes, increased mental health awareness, reduced stigma, improved access to care, innovative models of collaboration between biomedical care and traditional healers and enhanced research capacity in LMIC including:
User-led definition of research priorities, community interventions and continuous engagement throughout the project:
Early in the project, we will develop a network of stakeholders including slum-dwellers, traditional and faith healers, user and carer advocacy groups, clinicians, academics, policy makers and the third sector. Regular, two-way communications will ensure that the patient is placed at the heart of the activity, with good practice and learning disseminated through formal and informal routes.
Our project will empower individuals suffering from SMDs and their carers, raise public mental health awareness, reduce stigma and improve access to care. We are likely to reduce the incidence of coercive and abusive practices in traditional/faith healing, improve the ability of traditional and faith healers in identifying and suitably referring those suffering with SMDs, and foster a spirit of mutual respect and collaboration between biomedical and traditional methods of care.
By coproducing contextually-tailored, community-delivered and evidence-informed interventions, we will increase the number of people accessing and receiving care, and through engagement with CHWs, ensure that that they stay engaged in continuous care. This will immediately impact on patient outcomes and burden of care for families, including emotional and financial burden.
We will have developed a novel model of collaboration between faith and traditional healers and biomedical practitioners and two training models (one each for traditional healers and CHWs). These models can be further adapted to local context in other LMIC settings and rigorously tested in robust trials.
We will build and sustain a team of well-trained and highly motivated researchers and PhD Fellows within LMICs in a diverse range of disciplines — mental health, medical anthropology, biostatistics and health economics, with clear understanding of research priorities, needs, opportunities and challenges in LMICs. Early stage researchers will have the opportunity to work with international experts and supported to author high-quality publications as well as targeted reports and briefings for the user groups identified above. Interactions with policy makers will raise the profile of mental health research and highlight ways in which limited services can be used more effectively and efficiently.
Using our network, the External Advisory Board we will work continuously with policy makers and commissioners at both state and central government levels to scale up our evidence and transform the delivery of psychosis care across the countries.