This policy brief tables recommendations to strengthen mental health social support networks as a result of the design and implementation of a new Citizen Social Science (CSS) project. Social support is a positive factor in mental health recovery while also acting against social exclusion. However, evidence on how to fully harness its potential is still lacking. The “CoAct for Mental Health” project has been co-designed and directly driven by Co-Researchers, people with mental health problems and their families. The intrinsic and transformative value of personal lived experiences of mental health problems is extended with the methods and tools presented. CSS allows the implementation of an inclusive and multi-level participation model based on cooperation. This involved launching a chatbot to invite all citizens to participate in the CSS research and deploying collective data interpretation methodologies to include Co-Researchers in the results discussion and, in conclusion, to make recommendations and support specific demands. Within the local context of Catalonia, particular recommendations are made, which will be mainstreamed within the National Mental Health Pact. At a more global level, proposals to include CSS tools and methodologies are made to the mental health research community.
Download it from https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7244146