The aim of UPSIDES is to replicate and scale-up peer support interventions for people with severe mental illness, generating evidence of sustainable best practice in high-, middle- and low-resource settings through mixed-methods implementation research. The objectives for the UPSIDES project are:
- To establish an international community of practice for peer support across high-, middle- and low-resource settings.
A consortium of mental health researchers, providers and users will be established at eight study sites in six countries in Europe, Africa and Asia
- To conduct a situational analysis of existing peer support initiatives in the participating countries.
By developing and validating a conceptual framework for identifying the current stage of implementation of peer support
- To scale up peer support models with a focus on vulnerable populations where pilot initiatives already exist
The project will assess the current stage of implementation of peer support work at each site using a standardized measure that is based on the conceptual framework
Will manualise existing interventions and build capacity in the co-production and co-delivery of demonstrations
- To contextualize and adapt peer support models for those sites where there are no peer support initiatives.
By adapting existing tools, materials and strategies from demonstration centres to ensure cultural and situational appropriateness, or creating new ones, as needed.
- To rigorously evaluate inputs, processes and outcomes of implementation, including an assessment of process and contextual factors using mixed-methods
We will conduct a multi-site pragmatic trial augmented with qualitative methods, which will assess user-, service- and system-level outcomes and investigate active ingredients and key barriers and facilitators for research and practice
- To distil from case studies evidence of best practice for dissemination to local, national and international stakeholders in order to maximise sustainability and spread.
By engaging with diverse national and local advisory boards including service users, carers, senior clinical staff members, representatives of Health Ministries, hospital directors, community leaders, and a Communications Taskforce.