Connecting People programme

What is this research?

The research is a study funded by the NIHR School of Social Care Research based at the University of York. It is a study about the implementation of a programme called ‘Connection People’ which seeks to support the development of people’s social networks as part of a mental health recovery journey. Professor Martin Webber has been working with others for several years now to create an impactful socially focused mental health programme. The research has a development phase getting resources ready for community mental health teams to use to deliver the Connecting people programme and an observation phase where data will be collected to see how it was delivered in practice and did service users benefit? The Think Ahead social work programme will provide the practitioners who will be trained to deliver Connecting People.


Why is it important?

Social network are important for wellbeing and managing mental health. Much of the work of community mental health teams is focused upon risk management, medication adherence and psychological support. Although teams want to support clients to develop connections to ordinary activities and people around them, they can struggle to do so within the confines of their job roles. Connection people seeks to change that and make it easy in routine practice for staff and service users to work together, jointly to pursue goals that have long lasting health benefits, but are socially focused.


What are we doing?

We were asked to join the study because of our work on networks and interest in the connecting people programme. Specifically in this research, we are leading the stakeholder involvement programme and chairing a working group to support decisions made within the research team. The working group has both practitioner and service user members, although most are service users.


What is the current status of the project?

This project started April 2017 for 2 years. We are currently nearing the end of development phase having worked with designers based at the University of York to reduce engaging new resources including a training manual, service user guide, and practitioner resource kit. We hope to start implementing the connecting people programme and assessing its impact early in 2018.


Who do I contact for more information?

Please do email