Co-producing actionable knowledge to strengthen cultural humility in Irish mental health services

Research tells us that ethnic minority populations experience mental health difficulties at an unequal rate compared to the general population and experience great difficulties getting their mental healthcare needs met. Human rights law and mental health policy state that everyone must get their mental healthcare needs met. People have tried making mental healthcare better for ethnic minority populations by training mental health professionals to be culturally competent. Research says that this improves their knowledge and attitudes in the short-term but doesn’t really improve the mental health and mental healthcare experiences of ethnic minority populations. For these reasons, cultural competency training is not enough on its own and there is a need to also do something called cultural humility. Cultural humility asks us to think and act on how the ‘normal’ ways of thinking, being, and doing in the mental health services contribute to the unequal mental healthcare experiences of ethnic minority populations. It is a new idea and research is missing on what activities it includes, and how to action and test it. This research study will begin this work by coproducing a model of cultural humility in mental healthcare that can be realistically used and tested. A method called Community Based Participatory Research will be used, alongside ideas from implementation science. These methods will make sure that everybody’s ideas are included in the research and that the research findings are useful and doable. The research will involve interviewing people and asking them to fill in surveys. It will produce new knowledge in three phases: 1. understanding how well Irish mental health services currently care for ethnic minority populations 2. designing how to action and test cultural humility in mental health services 3. actioning guidance to support mental health services to use and test cultural humility in their services.

Award Date
01 July 2022
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Rebecca Murphy
Host Institution
Maynooth University
Emerging Investigator Awards for Health (EIA) 2022