A benefit for everyone: family-researcher collaboration in the mental health field

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This article outlines the benefits of family member involvement at all stages of mental health research. As an integral aspect of a longitudinal study of family self-help/mutual aid organizations, family members participated as advisors, researchers, and knowledge translators. Their participation served to improve the research design, inform the research questions, enhance the quality of the data, and assist in knowledge translation. Reciprocal benefits to the family members include increased research capacity, self-esteem and empowerment, financial remuneration, and a sense of ownership in the research. Innovative methodologies that consider families as full participants in all aspects of ongoing program evaluation research are recommended.

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