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The TOGether Project: An Evaluation of a suicide and self-harm intervention

 

 

What is this research?

Tameside, Oldham and Glossop (TOG) Mind are running a three year project aimed at addressing people at risk of suicide and self-harming in Tameside, which will target men aged 18-55 in particular. They are working with 270 people over this period, of which 80% will be male. The intervention’s key activities are based around the 5 ways to wellbeing and include mindfulness, counselling, volunteering, courses, placements and peer mentoring.

The key outcomes for the project are:

  1. People at higher risk of suicide have reduced social isolation and feel more connected to their communities
  2. People at higher risk of suicide have increased mental and physical wellbeing, fewer crises and reduced levels of suicidal thoughts
  3. People at higher risk of suicide have increase skills and confidence and greater chances of life

 

What is the five ways to wellbeing?

A model developed by the New Economics Foundation suggests there are five evidence based steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing: Connect, Be Active, Keep Learning, Give to Others and Be Mindful. This intervention is using this as a framework to guide activities that clients in the project will engage with.

 

Why is this research important?

Suicide rates in Tameside are substantially above the national average, while suicide is the leading cause of death for men aged 15-49 in England. Men are traditionally less engaged with services, connected socially to the community and The project’s focus on people who are unemployed, having housing instability, relationship crisis, self-harm and/or drug and alcohol problems is supported by the latest research evidence and mental health national policies. The 5 ways to wellbeing approach is aimed at providing a stigma free method of engaging with these populations.

 

What are we doing?

Over the course of the project we are helping TOG Mind to evidence its impact, by:

  1. Developing a Theory Of Change that will help guide the project and the evaluation
  2. Helping TOG Mind finalise its data capture methods
  3. Producing reports based on analysis of this outcome data at the mid and end point of the project.
  4. Conducting interviews with clients, staff and volunteers to gain an independent view of the project.
  5. Assessing the use of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing as a way to improve resilience
  6. Monitoring the impact of the project on statutory services to demonstrate any reductions in cost to public sector services

 

What is the current state of the project?

The evaluation began in January 2017 and will run until winter 2019. We are currently finalising the Theory of Change model, outcome measures to be collected for the evaluation and the data analysis plan.

 

Who do I contact for more information?

For more information about the project, or to speak to a researcher, please email darylsweet@mcpin.org

 

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