We will work with existing research partners to connect and solidify relationships with the black community in Boston, building community research and partnership skills, forming the necessary research infrastructure and strategic plan, and identifying and prioritizing a list of community-developed comparative effectiveness research (CER) questions. The ultimate goal is to learn about and test effective strategies to improve black Americans’ mental well-being, recognizing that this community disproportionately experiences the negative effects of chronic stress, mental health conditions, stigma, and trauma.
The Transformation Center (TTC), a 20-year-old multicultural mental healthcare organization that is consumer led and staffed, will direct this effort, continuing its work of organizing support for those living with mental illness. For this project, we will build from an existing TTC-coordinated community dialogue—Blacks United in Recovery—that focuses on how black individuals access mental wellness support.
TTC will use CBPR methods to engage stakeholders and elicit priority CER areas. Stakeholders will include patient partners, researchers, local community groups, family members, healthcare organizations, educators, purchasers, and policy makers. The project has five phases:
- Conducting a series of outreach meetings, workshops, and media spots as a campaign to invite and orient stakeholders to the project while gathering feedback
- Monthly meetings to provide orientation, dialogue, “co-learning,” and presentation of relevant CER
- A three-day institute to consolidate findings and publish priority research questions and partnership guidelines
- Stakeholder meetings to review and finalize a summary report
- Publish a report, convene a public celebration of it, and disseminate findings