Practicing mental health: Qualitative approaches
to investigating services and interventions

The Qualitative Research on Mental Health conference has been established as an international transdisciplinary forum for dedicated qualitative research on a range of topics in the field of mental health, using a variety of methodologies and approaches.

The 1st and 2nd Qualitative Research on Mental Health Conferences were held in Tampere, Finland, in 2006 and 2008, and the 3rd and 4th in Nottingham, U.K., in 2010 and 2012. Previous conferences attracted strong international interest with about 150 participants from a diversity of backgrounds, including service users, health and social care professionals, social scientists and health policy makers, and created a space for lively and enriching discussions. The 5th Qualitative Research in Mental Health Conference will take place from the 2nd to the 4th of September 2014, near the beautiful city of Chania, in Crete, Greece.

In several qualitative research trends, mental health is approached as a set of practices; these include the professional practices implicated in defining and treating mental distress, the practices through which individuals in distress live with, make sense of and manage their experiences, as well as the wider socio-cultural and institutional practices of understanding and dealing with human suffering. This conference invites qualitative studies, from a variety of disciplines, which describe these practices, their functions and their effects, examine the discourses associated with them, and explore how these practices are viewed and experienced by the parties involved. The conference aims to promote critical engagement with mental health practices through highlighting the personal and socio-cultural processes that underpin them, as well as their intersections with gender, culture and social position.