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Connecting People

What is this study?

The Connecting People programme is a study funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School of Social Care Research based at the University of York. It is a study that 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 socially focused mental health programme that has impact. The research has a development phase, which will be getting resources ready for community mental health teams to use to deliver the Connecting People programme. It also has an observation phase where data will be collected to see how it was delivered in practice and if service users benefited. The Think Ahead social work programme will provide the practitioners who will be trained to deliver Connecting People.

 

Why is this research important?

Social networks are important for managing mental health and wellbeing. Much of the work of community mental health teams is currently 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. Connecting People seeks to change that and make it easy in routine practice for staff and service users to work together, jointly to pursue socially focused goals that have long lasting health benefits.

 

How are McPin involvled?

We were asked to join the study because of our work on wellbeing networks and interest in the Connecting People programme. Specifically in this research, we are leading the stakeholder involvement programme and chairing a working group that will 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 and will last for two years. We are currently nearing the end of the development phase having worked with designers based at the University of York. This involved producing engaging 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?

For more information please contact Vanessa Pinfold by email: vanessapinfold@mcpin.org