Is an international research programme which aims to develop and test new methods to reduce mental health related stigma in China, Ethiopia, India, Tunisia and Nepal 🇨🇳🇪🇹🇮🇳🇹🇳🇳🇵.

The Indigo Partnership developed from the INDIGO Network activities. Building on this work, the Indigo Partnership is designed to address the evidence gaps through culturally-adapted, multi-level anti-stigma interventions. Using evaluated locally valid tools, implemented in partnership with people with lived experience of mental illness, while also building capacity of the stigma research workforce in LMICs.

The Indigo Partnership research programme has two overall aims.

🥇The first aim is to carry out research to strengthen the understanding of mechanisms of stigma processes and reduce stigma against people with mental illness in LMICs.

🥈The second aim is to establish a strong collaborative research consortium through conducting this work, to undertake further joint research in the longer term.

These aims are achieved through six specific objectives

1 Establish an active and sustainable research consortium which acts as a highly collaborative network, across institutions in various diverse cultural and contextual settings.

2 Build research capacity across the consortium, with a particular focus on early career researchers and institutions in LMICs to strengthen their capability to become centres of excellence for future multi-site intervention studies related to mental health stigma reduction.

3 Conduct formative cross-cultural research, building on literature reviews and situational analyses, to identify stigmatising language, behaviours, and institutional practices and their underlying mechanisms of action in stigmatisation processes across diverse cultural contexts.

4 Establish a harmonised online evaluation toolkit of culturally adapted and psychometrically evaluated research instruments and scales specifically designed for use in stigma-reduction intervention studies.

5 Develop and pilot the implementation of effective, contextually adapted anti-stigma interventions in LMICs.Interventions based on the principle of interpersonal contact as stigma reduction strategy – stigma reduction in community, primary and specialist care settings. Specific mechanisms of action of these interventions are identified through formative cross-cultural research.

6 Develop further research protocols based on the results of this work, for the design and conduct of future large-scale multi-site randomised controlled trials with a focus on both effectiveness and implementation of the stigma-reduction interventions, piloted during the Indigo Partnership work.

The Indigo Partnership involves research partners at seven collaborating institutions in five LMICs:

China (Beijing), Peking University Sixth Hospital; China (Guangzhou), Affiliated Brain Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University; Ethiopia, School of Public Health at Addis Ababa University; India (Bengaluru), National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS); India (Delhi), George Institute for Global Health; Nepal, Transcultural Psychosocial Organization Nepal (TPO Nepal); and Tunisia, Razi University Hospital La Manouba, affiliated with the University of Tunis El Manar. Colleagues at these institutions are leading on the practical implementation of research within the Indigo Partnership.

In addition to the research institutions at the implementation sites, the Indigo Partnership involves supporting research partner institutions: Brighton & Sussex Medical School (UK), London School of Economics and Political Science (UK), George Washington University (US), Ulm University (Germany), and the World Health Organization (Switzerland). Colleagues from these institutions are leading on elements within the Indigo Partnership work through, for example, informing the development of specific research procedures, coordinating their implementation, providing technical guidance, and supporting the dissemination of the findings through dedicated knowledge exchange activities. 

The overall coordination of the Indigo Partnership is led by King’s College London, UK.

This is a five-year research programme (October 2018 – August 2023) funded by the UK Medical Research Council. 

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