Volume 27, Issue 2 (1998)
Participatory Model of Mental Health Programming: Lessons Learned From Work in a Developing Country
Bonnie K. Nastasi, Kristen Varjas, Sreeroopa Sarkar, Asoka Jayasena
Abstract: Participatory action research provides a framework for conceptualizing the development of mental health programs in schools and communities. A participatory intervention model is best characterized by a collaborative process in which the partners together create interventions to facilitate individual and cultural change. In this article, we describe the application of a participatory model for creating school-based mental health services in a developing country where such services are non-existent. In particular, we describe the process of identifying individual and cultural factors relevant to mental health in the target culture. The article concludes with a discussion of lessons learned with regard to the importance of formative research and collaboration with stakeholders to ensure cultural specificity of interventions, and the potential for participatory action research to contribute to strengthening our commitment to research-based school psychological practice.
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