The IMHCN's Research ethos is based on the following principles:
- We recognise that the belief in the unbiased attitude of science is an ideological assumption. Therefore independent and critical research should be fostered instead. This is a type of research that studies the real world and its inputs rather than relying on pre-defined and abstract interpretive models.
- The importance of the role of human sciences should be enhanced in mental health.
- A critical approach should be adopted towards the medical model as a basis for epidemiological research (the study of illness and disease).
- Epistemiology (the study of knowledge) should be based on a person-centred paradigm valuing the personal and social experience of individuals as citizens and not on a paradigm of disease.
- Innovation in the field of deinstutionalisation, social inclusion of individuals and integration of services into a coherent network that is able to respond to citizens’ needs should be studied using critical reflection.
- Innovative research models as well as mutual and non-competitive forms of support should be developed by promoting cooperation between research networks at an international level.
In compliance with these principles, the network intends to promote, support and conduct research that;
- studies the state and development of community services and their degree of innovation. This would place special emphasis on approaches based on ethical foundations and their impact in terms of service responses and outcomes;
- seeks to understand the processes that change cultural attitudes towards mental health in the community;
- focuses on activities based on evidence emerging from community practice, individual and collective experience, as opposed to what is traditionally seen as scientific evidence;
- Studies the epidemiological framework of today’s institutions, taking stock of the paradigm shift and what is being developed on this issue worldwide;
- Prioritises any form of participative research that actively involves individuals with lived experience of mental health issues as researchers in the review, design and development of services;
- Is owned and undertaken by multi-stakeholders and actively involves decision-makers, administrators, managers, workers, service users, families and the community at large;
- Is based on action-research principles and aimed at institutional change;
- Focuses on research about recovery, recovery-oriented approaches, social inclusion, citizenship, the implications and application by service organisations, communities and individuals
- Critically researches the use of drugs and biological treatments, especially in the form of personal accounts and evidence drawn from the real world;
- Combines qualitative and quantitative approaches to research studies.
The IMHCN wishes to form an International Research Group to promote, undertake and initiate research studies that will carry forward the above principles.
If you would like to become a member and for more information contact Roberto Mezzina Chairman of IMHCN.