Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2002




In this article we document and reflect on the process and outcomes of consumer/survivor researchers' involvement in a community mental health research project. The study used a participatory action research approach that challenges traditional assumptions of how to conduct research. Research roles and relationships were reexamined by both professional and consumer/survivor researchers. Four values were central to the research process: consumer/survivor empowerment, supportive relationships, learning as an ongoing process, and social justice. The benefits of this value-driven approach were seen in terms of positive impacts on the lives of individual researchers and also in the quality of the research itself. Our reflections on the research process have led us to see the importance of building relationships as a means to share power and knowledge among professional and consumer/survivor researchers.


This article was originally published in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 25(4): 379-387. © 2002 Centre for Psychiatric Rehabilitation