This project will develop an international network of professionals, experts by experience, academics and people affected by mental health and substance use issues, with a view to building community capacity in responding to these issues through designing and implementing an empowering adult educational process in five designated communities. The project will evaluate the impact of the participatory process and educational intervention on participant stakeholders and develop good practice guidelines for others who may wish to mirror the process in their communities.
The recently published Geneva Charter for Wellbeing (World Health Organisation, 2021) has recommended responses “that integrate planetary, societal, community and individual health and wellbeing, as well as changes in social structures to support people to take control of their lives and health” (p.1) and suggests that more democratic approaches to understanding and promoting citizen well-being are necessary going forward. The justification for this project derives from an increasing acceptance at EU level that marginalised and vulnerable populations require broader inclusive approaches where they are actively involved in determining how they will manage their health and wellbeing (Hickey et al. 2022). This Erasmus + Co-operative Partnership believe that this innovative participatory community education process will develop resilience and capacity within the communities involved in the project, to respond to the challenges of mental health and substance use issues.