This research project aims to better understand how empowerment can contribute to the improvement of mental health in two vulnerable populations: persons suffering from anxious/depressive disorders and persons living in low income housing (HLM). We use a knowledge merging approach in which researchers (scientific knowledge) interact with decision-makers and clinicians (professional knowledge), as well as with persons directly concerned by the problematic (experiential knowledge), in order to develop novel interventions for mental health improvement.
Axis 1. Recovery from anxious/depressive disorders. The first study aims to evaluate an intervention called "Aller mieux à ma façon", which supports the self-management of anxious/depressive disorders. A total of 180 participants will be randomly assigned to one of the three following groups: 1) intervention facilitated by a professional (psychologist or social worker); 2) intervention facilitated by a peer helper (e.g., a person recovering from such a disorder, trained to help others to recover); and 3) control group. The second study wishes to identify best practices of short-term interventions offered to people suffering from anxious/depressive disorders by CLSC adult mental health services.
Axis 2. Improvement of mental health in HLM residents. This second axis wishes to contribute to the reduction of social inequalities in health by implementing and evaluating a participatory research action strategy designed for HLM, titled Flash sur mon quartier! The first study will allow us to develop various tools adapted to the context of low income housing (photovoice animation guide, neighborhood observation grid, person-environment fit questionnaire), as well as to experiment this strategy on two different sites. The second study aims to evaluate the implementation and the effects of Flash sur mon quartier! in six HLM spread across the province of Quebec.