As the ARCLIGHT work continues, we have found ourselves in globally extraordinary times with the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our participatory action research approach has empowered and enabled change to take place within hard to reach communities, in some cases giving participants a voice for the first time to articulate their views and opinions. However, social distancing has meant we are having to rely even heavier on the participants to express their voice through the remaining channels of communication.
Importantly we recognise that we are not alone, nor alas are the first to reflect and respond to such challenges. For example, Deborah Lupton has edited a collection “Doing fieldwork in a pandemic” drawing on colleagues’ experiences in facing Ebola and SARS amongst other situations, and we are considering this amongst other resources to plan our route forwards.
These challenging times have forced us to reflect on our own community mental health resilience as we grapple with the relative value of the different options available to us to complete the project. We seek equitable channels of communication, in line with our ambition to remain participatory and open in our approaches. As we evolve our response, we will report on how we are responding