Background: Public engagement events are an important early strategy in developing a meaningful research agenda, which is more impactful and beneficial to the population. Evidence indicates the potential of such activities to promote mental health literacy. However, this has not yet been explored in Indonesia. Aim: This paper describes a mental health public engagement festival carried out in Indonesia in November 2018 and uses evaluation data to consider the acceptability and use of such activities in Indonesia in the future. Method: Evaluation data was collected from 324 of the 737 people who attended a six-day mental health festival comprising 18 events including public lectures, film screenings, arts activities, exercise classes and panel discussions. Attendees were asked to evaluate the festival in terms of its quality, benefits and areas for improvement. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the evaluation data. 87 service users, carers, academics and professionals also engaged in a research prioritisation exercise to collaboratively determine mental health research priorities for Indonesia. Results: Participants evaluated the festival extremely positively with a significant majority (92%) rating the quality of the festival as good or excellent. Attendees reported an increase in their understanding of mental health issues and identified intended behaviour change including an increased propensity for future engagement with mental health research. Key strengths of the festival included the central role of patients, carers and the local community in the design and delivery of the festival which promoted emotional engagement and development of shared understanding and the use of international experts which in attendees' opinion further enhanced the credibility of festival activities. Conclusion: This manuscript indicates that a co-produced mental health public engagement festival is a potentially acceptable way to increase awareness of mental health in Indonesian populations. Future festivals should be larger in scope and target men, older people and the general public to maximise benefit and incorporate rigorous evaluation of effectiveness.
- Mental health
- Patient and public involvement
- Public engagement
- Research prioritisation