About the project
EURIKHA is a global research project looking at the emergence of social movements which privilege the rights and perspectives of people who experience severe mental distress, variedly known around the world as users, survivors, consumers, clients, patients, persons with psychosocial disabilities, etc.
EURIKHA is a user-controlled research project looking at the emergence of social movements around the world, which privilege the rights and perspectives of people who experience severe mental distress, variedly known as users, survivors, consumers, clients, persons with psychosocial disabilities, and patients etc.
What we understand as ‘madness’ or ‘mental ill-health’ is usually defined by authority figures such as doctors, psychiatrists/psychologists, priests, lawyers, and governments. Our movements, however, have challenged traditional understandings of ‘madness’ and created new knowledge from our own perspectives. This knowledge has been produced through research, rights-based community organising, advocacy, self-help, the arts, and much much more.
A sub-project within EURIKHA, titled the Still We Rise project, will focus specifically on the history of activism, advocacy and research by African, African Caribbean, and Asian mental health service users and survivors in the UK. For Black and Asian user/survivors, challenging the mental health system and psychiatric power is also about challenging institutional and structural racism within the broader society.
These movements have been active since at least the 1970s, although the length of this history and form these movements have taken varies widely from country to country and is still developing. Similarly, the existence and development of both user involvement in research and user/survivor-led research is varied across the world.
EURIKHA will map this work and ask:
- What is the nature, history, and current configuration of movements led by persons with psychosocial disabilities, mental health service users and survivors around the world?
- How are these movements creating new knowledges about madness/mental ill-health?
- What are some of the significant moments, or turning points, and who are the key influencers of change in different parts of the world?
- What has been the impact of these new knowledges?
- How are these new knowledges received? How much and in what ways have these been recognised and accepted?
We will explore these topics through one-to-one interviews, archival material, and online surveys. We also want to ensure our research has real-world impact for users, survivors, and persons with psychosocial disabilities.