Co-production in the context of mental health research has become something of a buzzword to indicate a project where mental health service users and academics are in a research partnership. The notion of partnership where one party has the weight of academic tradition on its side is a contestable one, so in this paper the authors “write to understand” (Richardson and St Pierre, 2005) as the purpose of this paper is to examine the experiences of working in a co-produced research project that investigated supported housing services for people with serious mental health problems.
The authors set out to trouble the notion of co-produced research though a painfully honest account of the project, while at the same time recognising it as an idea whose time has come and suggesting a framework to support its implementation.
Co-production is a useful, albeit challenging, approach to research.
This paper is particularly relevant to researchers who are endeavouring to produce work that challenges the status quo through giving voice to people who are frequently silenced by the research process.
The researchers wish to gratefully acknowledge funding from the Oakley Mental Health Research Foundation, New Zealand for this project.
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