Research into Recovery and Wellbeing

A website about the work of the recovery research team at the Institute of Mental Health

The University of Nottingham


The aim of the EU-funded UPSIDES study is to replicate and scale-up peer support interventions for people with severe mental illness, generating evidence of sustainable best practice in high-, middle- and low-resource settings, through mixed-methods implementation research.


The objectives are:

1. To establish an international community of practice for peer support across high-, middle- and low-resource settings

2. To conduct a situational analysis of existing peer support initiatives in the participating countries

3. To scale up peer support models with a focus on vulnerable populations where pilot initiatives already exist

4. To contextualize and adapt peer support models for those sites where there are no peer support initiatives.

5. To rigorously evaluate inputs, processes and outcomes of implementation, including an asĀ¬sessment of process and contextual factors following a theory of change approach using mixed-methods

6. To distil from case studies evidence of best practice for dissemination to local, national and international stakeholders in order to maximise sustainability and spread

UPSIDES publications

An overview of peer support work in global mental health:

Puschner B (2018) Peer support and global mental health, Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 27, 413-414.

A protocol for the first phase of the study:

Puschner B, Repper J, Mahlke C, Nixdorf R, Basangwa D, Nakku J, Ryan G, Baillie D, Shambat D, Ramesh M, Moran G, Lachman M, Kalha J, Pathare S, Stierlin A, Slade M, (2019) Using Peer Support in Developing Empowering Mental Health Services (UPSIDES): Background, rationale and methodology, Annals of Global Health, 85, 53, 1-10.

A systematic review of influence on implementation of peer support work:

Ibrahim N, Thompson D, Nixdorf R, Kalha J, Mpango R, Moran G, Mueller-Stierlin A, Ryan G, Mahlke C, Shamba D, Puschner B, Repper J, Slade M A systematic review of influences on implementation of peer support work for adults with mental health problems, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, in press.

For further information about the UPSIDES Study please contact Ashleigh Charles ( or visit the UPSIDES website (