IOMHS collaborating organisations
The work program of IOMHS will depend on the establishment of partnerships with governments, universities, international and local NGOs and other partner organisations that will collect, analyse and apply high quality information for mental health system reform and development. An outcome of such a collaborative work program will be the establishment of sustained and productive collaborations between mental health policy makers, academics, practitioners, NGOs, and civil society organisations, and improved capacity to analyse trends in health care reform. An explicit goal is to build the strengths of partner organisations and networks to provide evidence-based advice to national and sub-national policy makers, service planners and implementers.
The major part of the work of the Observatory will be done by collaborating partners in participating countries. Collaborating organisations may be Ministries of Health, Universities, local and international NGOs, and civil society organisations – particularly consumer and carer groups. It is anticipated that, in any one country, a number of organisations of different kinds will enter into collaborative agreements to form and enlarge IOMHS. While all such collaborations will be welcomed by IOMHS a core strategy in building these collaborations will be the establishment of mental health systems research groups and, as resources and circumstances permit, some institutions may establish formal centres for mental health systems research, training and development. It is expected that these groups will:
- Be located in an appropriate academic department or other organisation;
- Have a close working relationship with the Ministry of Health and other relevant government ministries (e.g. Education, Social Affairs, Employment, etc.) and actively support the use of research findings for evidence-based mental health system development;
- Be committed to establishing and strengthening collaborative working relationships with mental health stakeholder groups in the country (e.g. national professional associations, other universities, public and private mental health service agencies, and NGOs – particularly associations of consumers and carers), and with groups with similar goals internationally;
- Be committed to education and training in mental health systems research and in policy and service development;
- Be committed to the ethical conduct of mental health systems research and, where they do not formally exist, the establishment of ethics review procedures for such research;
- Be disability-inclusive;
- Promote and support capacity development in consumer and carer organisations and facilitate and support consumer-led and carer-led research;
- Be committed to open access publishing to ensure that the results of the work of the Observatory are freely available to all; and
- Contribute to the organisation of, and participate in, the annual International Mental Health System Development Conference.
The work agenda and priorities of such groups will, of course, be a matter for the groups themselves to determine, on the basis of local and national needs and priorities. With the support of IOMHS such groups will build the opportunities to participate in or to lead multicountry collaborative research projects on matters that are of regional and global as well as local significance.