The Qualitative Research on Mental Health conference has been established as an international transdisciplinary forum for dedicated qualitative research on a range of topics in the field of mental health, using a variety of methodologies and approaches.
The 1st and 2nd Qualitative Research in Mental Health Conferences were held in Tampere, Finland, in 2006 and 2008, the 3rd and 4th in Nottingham, U.K., in 2010 and 2012, and the 5th in Chania, Greece, in 2014. Previous conferences attracted strong international interest with about 150 participants from a diversity of backgrounds, including service users, health and social care professionals, social scientists and health policy makers, and created a space for lively and enriching discussions. The 6th Qualitative Research in Mental Health Conference is due to take place on May 25-27 near the beautiful city of Chania, in Crete, Greece.
Towards relational perspectives in mental health research
Over the last decades, mental health theory and practice have witnessed a clear move towards relational approaches to understanding and dealing with mental health difficulties. Interpersonal, family and social relationships are considered central to fostering mental health, coping with life’s stresses and managing trauma and distress. Moreover, the central role of the relationship between professionals and service users in providing appropriate and helpful services and avoiding harm has also been increasingly recognised and examined, both through questioning the role of coercion and control in professional mental health practices and through promoting ethics of relationality in professional-client interactions. On the methodological front, relational research approaches have been developed, which focus on communication, dialogue, affective interaction, embodiment and the intersubjective processes involved in the mutual co-construction of meaning. The conference invites qualitative studies, from a variety of disciplines, which adopt relational research perspectives and/or examine aspects of relationships in a range of topics pertaining to mental health. We also encourage consideration of the role of personal and socio-cultural factors that support or hinder relationships, including gender, culture and social position.