Chapter 5 - Faith-based mental health promotion: strategic partnership development of a Black faith community–academic pilot project

Elsevier, Community Mental Health Engagement with Racially Diverse Populations, 2020, Pages 113-132
Alfiee M.Breland-Noble, Michele Wong, Camelia A.Harb, Jessica Jackson, Mary Carter-Williams, Cindy Harding

We present a community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership between academics and Black faith community members, describing our processes, successes, and challenges in developing a faith-based mental health promotion (FBMHP) program. Our project focus was to create practice-based evidence to support a grass-roots mental health stigma reduction and outreach program developed by a church and entitled, The SpeakOut. For this project, academic partners helped to build the capacity of community partners to expand their program and generate evidence for its feasibility and acceptability in the local community. To do so, the academic partners helped to secure funding for infrastructure building and provided Black faith community partners with basic training in mixed-methods, including a focus on qualitative methods. Faith community partners in turn expanded and led their outreach program, learned how to conduct individual interviews, completed transcript-based qualitative analysis, and cocreated an analytic codebook of themes and patterns. The team collaboratively examined the data collected, generated findings then reported the findings back to the participating community. Our efforts highlight practical steps to guide faith community and academic partnership building for health disparities research and stress the importance of community-led programs for disparities work. Implications for the added benefits of community partnerships to academic institutions are discussed.