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This proposal details a novel and highly collaborative approach to our understanding of how urban and rural communities in Kerala, India construct mental health literacy (MHL) for mental health well being.

Our research questions will be addressed through the following objectives:

  1. Conduct a rapid participatory literature and practice review for developing community engagement for MHL
  2. Collaborate with theatre practitioners in the UK and India to advance and develop new and hybrid models of participatory theatre practice that develop the ‘voice’ and agency of urban and rural communities to examine MHL for positive coping and wellbeing
  3. Develop narrative data sets on lived experiences of MNS disorders
  4. Co-production of pilot pieces of community theatre practice reflecting the lived experiences of urban and rural communities to test their applicability in promoting MHL
  5. Engagement and participation of the general public and stakeholders using social media, linking with film, television and other media
  6. Co-produce policy and practice guidance for policy makers and professionals for promoting MHL, mental health and well-being.

Our approach is based on a transformative emancipatory paradigm. Our collaboration will facilitate the development of lasting research partnerships combining knowledge of public mental health challenges with awareness of evidence based interventions and their cultural transferability providing more insight into the socio-economic and cultural contexts of MNS disorders and people’s understanding of them.