In a recent study published in BMC Public Health, researchers adopted a realist evaluation approach to identify how co-location in community settings, such as libraries, faith institutions, and community centers, affects public mental health outcomes, the contexts in which it operates, and people for whom it works best using data from six sites across England.
There are several reasons for inequitable access to community-based co-location for people at risk of poor mental health. First and foremost are the stigma associated with mental health support within medical services and distrust in healthcare professionals due to their discriminatory behavior.
They may also arise from a lack of cultural sensitivity in service providers and a lack of financial resources with service users to travel to services.
Accordingly, prior research emphasized delivering public mental health interventions in a familiar and non-stigmatizing space to enhance the impact of co-location, a term used to denote the delivery of several different services in the same physical space.