Collaborations

Sister Projects

MENTBEST – PROTECTING MENTAL HEALTH IN TIMES OF CHANGE

MENTBEST proposes the use of proven community-based interventions and innovative technologies to prevent and mitigate the mental health challenges associated with dramatic and rapid change in Europe, focusing on five vulnerable groups: migrants/refugees, older people, younger people, long-term unemployed, and those with mental disorders.

RECONNECTED – Complex System Approach towards Resilient and Connected vulnerable European communities in times of change

RECONNECTED is a response to multiple global developments that impact the daily life and wellbeing of European citizens. The project aims for a better understanding of how these developments influence the mental health of European citizens and offers digital solutions to nine vulnerable communities with the aim to protect their mental health.

ADVANCE – Addressing Mental Health Vulnerabilities from Adolescence to Older Age: innovating prevention science for times of change

ADVANCE is a project that aims to improve our understanding on mental health promotion and prevention. It will develop guidance and methodologies for creating, adapting, implementing, assessing, and expanding effective mental health initiatives for key diverse groups in European countries.

BootStRaP – Boosting Societal Adaptation and Mental Health in a Rapidly Digitalizing, Post-Pandemic Europe

The BootStRaP project aims to address and reduce the risks of harmful internet use among teenagers—the online generation. The BootStRaP study follows the success of the European Network for Problematic Usage of the Internet (2018–2022), which significantly advanced global understanding of the links between health, internet use, and problematic behaviors’.

IMPROVA – Boosting Teen Mental Health in Europe and Beyond

IMROVA aims to empower adolescents and families to make better decisions regarding their mental health and provides schools and the community with tools to achieve a society with better mental health and lower stigma. The project will test and evaluate the adoption of an eHealth platform focused on promoting mental health and early-detecting mental health issues in secondary schools across Europe.

ASP-Belong – Augmented Society Play

ASP-Belong project will develop unalone (working title), the first full-scale Augmented Social Play experience for early adolescents, for widescale adoption in schools around the world. The project’s long-term goal is the wide-scale adoption of ASP, making multiple smartphone-delivered group interventions accessible in a diverse range of populations and setting.


Horizon Europe Health Projects Networking Meeting

On March 22, 2024, SMILE team participated in the Networking Meeting for projects from the Horizon Europe Health Cluster. Organised by the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA), this meeting aimed to trigger collaboration among projects working on similar issues. Representatives from both HaDEA and the European Commission were present.

SMILE Team Members Present:

In breakout sessions, the SMILE team had the opportunity to showcase its activities alongside other inspiring projects. These interactions allowed us to explore potential synergies and exchange knowledge on our respective goals.
The Horizon Europe Health Cluster Networking Meeting proved to be a fantastic platform for us to expand our network, connect with other EU-Funded mental health projects, and explore avenues for collaboration. This is a significant step forward in elevating our project to new heights and making a real difference!


First Joint Action – Webinar

In celebration of the European Mental Health Week 2024, the SMILE project held its first joint webinar on May 15, 2024, with 7 European Projects committed to promoting effective co-creation practices that contribute to more impactful and meaningful mental health research.

The joint webinar on How to get Co-Creation right in Mental Health Research is in cooperation with the European and Digital Health Executive Agency and Mental Health Europe. It provided valuable insights into best practices for co-creation in mental health research through moderated discussions and audience participation. Programme available HERE. Key takeaways:

Moderated Discussions:

  • Preventing Tokenism: Panelists emphasised the importance of active participation from individuals with lived experiences. They should be seen as valuable collaborators, not just a box to tick. Strategies for achieving this include co-designing research questions, data analysis methods, and dissemination plans.
  • Balancing Rigor and Adaptability: Balancing scientific rigor with the adaptability required for co-creation can be challenging. Panelists suggested flexible research designs that allow for adjustments based on co-created insights while maintaining methodological soundness.
  • Measuring Co-Creation Success: Measuring impact extends beyond traditional metrics like publications and grants. Alternative indicators can include user satisfaction, improved mental health outcomes, and increased stakeholder engagement.

Audience Questions:

  • Sustaining Stakeholder Engagement: Maintaining long-term engagement across research projects can be difficult. Strategies for success include building co-creation from the outset, fostering trust and open communication, and offering incentives or recognition for ongoing participation. Special attention should be given to supporting vulnerable groups like young people and those experiencing mental health issues.
  • Mental Health in the Workplace: The discussion highlighted the need to address mental health challenges faced by researchers and mental health workers themselves. Co-creating solutions to promote well-being within the research environment was explored as a potential avenue.
  • Creating Safe Spaces: Establishing a safe space is crucial for open and honest collaboration. Panelists suggested various approaches, such as clear ground rules, ensuring confidentiality, and promoting respectful and inclusive communication.
  • Meaningful Acknowledgement: Recognising contributions from end-users is essential. This could involve co-authorship on publications, co-presenting research findings, and showcasing their expertise and lived experiences.
  • Diversity in Co-Creation: Ensuring diverse representation throughout the research process is vital. Strategies include actively recruiting participants from different backgrounds, utilising culturally sensitive approaches, and employing outreach methods that reach marginalised communities.
  • Flexibility and Ethical Considerations: Balancing flexibility with adherence to research protocols was discussed. Open communication with ethical review boards and funders, along with clear documentation of changes made during co-creation, can help navigate these situations.

Moderator: Luiska Sanna From Mental Health Europe

Panelists:

Thanks to ADVANCE project for hostign this webinar. Thanks to the SMILE organising partner, RDIUP, and to all organising partners from the 7 European projects. Pre-gister to our upcoming webinars: https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/JointWebinar2024

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