UPSIDES aims to evaluate and develop scalable peer support interventions for people with severe mental health conditions.

Why UPSIDES?

Due to various social and systemic challenges, world over, a large percent of people living with severe mental health conditions do not receive the care and support they require, and this deficit is the largest in low- and middle-income countries. UPSIDES was launched in 2018 with the aim of establishing and scaling up peer support interventions in diverse settings to address this problem.

Peer support is an evidence-based, yet under-used, practice where those who have experienced mental health conditions support others with similar conditions in their recovery journey.

How are we addressing the issue?

Currently, UPSIDES operates in six countries across Europe, Africa, and Asia. In India, the intervention is being implemented by the Centre at the Hospital for Mental Health, Ahmedabad, where peer support was first established in 2015 through QualityRights Gujarat.

UPSIDES uses a multicentre, pragmatic randomised controlled trial and implementation research framework to assess the effectiveness and impact of the intervention.

What is the potential impact?

UPSIDES will generate evidence for sustainable best practices to replicate and scale-up peer support interventions in high- middle- and low-resource settings.

By actively involving and empowering service users, it will move mental health systems towards recovery-oriented care, user-centredness, and community participation to realise mental health as a human right.

UPSIDES will also inform mental health policy, implementation, and practice to ensure that the perspectives and potential contributions of people with lived experiences are foregrounded.

Where have we reached?

At present, the study is in the process of the research trial and increasing access to peer support using the UPSIDES protocols.

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