Learnings and reflections of the Activa’t project from of the first-person research point of view

Presentation at the ENMESH: Managing mental health system complexity, 13th Conference of European Network for Mental health Service Evaluation.

The Activa’t project has meant a large-scale implementation of public policies aimed at introducing the recovery model in a highly but sparsely populated territory, as complex as Catalonia. The process of implementation of this project and other sister initiatives such as the Obertament campaign against stigma, has gone hand in hand with a rebirth and strengthening of the first-person mental health movement. The Veus federation, a union of organizations born of this new wave, has participated in the project trying to assert the voice of people who experience mental health problems in their own skin.

Our goal is to influence all phases of mental health project evaluations, from design to analysis, that today, unfortunately, continue to be evaluated from a top-down point of view, much more interested in preserving internal validity than in committing to the external or ecological validity of the interventions that might allow knowing what people really want.

In this presentation we will discuss the issues, contradictions, struggles, victories and defeats of the vision of the people with mental health problems within the Activa’t project.