Over one billion people globally struggle with issues related to mental health, including depression, substance abuse and self-harm. Lack of research in implementation and policy change is further impeded by stigma, capacity shortages, and fragmented service delivery. With three case studies in Guyana, the aim of this project was to research the effectiveness of a mental health capacity building and intervention programme appropriate for low resource settings that combines insights from the social, information technology and environmental sciences.
The research identified, recorded and shared successful local practices that have evolved to cope with challenging cultural, organisational and environmental conditions, and devised mechanisms to promote these through policy change. The Cobra Collective facilitated the process of digital storytelling within participating communities and the deployment of DIY networks both within the Rupununi and coastal regions of Guyana.
The outputs of this projects are captured in the ARCLIGHT handbook and an associated free OpenLearn Create online course that summarise the approach taken, provide guidance on how to implement this methodology in similar communities and share the main lessons learnt.