Programme objective(s) supported by this project were:
1. to increase the social inclusion within their neighbourhoods of people with serious and enduring mental health problems
2. to increase the level of support offered to people with mental health problems who find it difficult to access existing services in their neighbourhoods
Project summary: Local Health and Wellbeing Hub supporting people identified with mental health providing: training in life skills; 6 months, voluntary work experience in sales, gardening, administration and logistics; career support e.g. writing CVs; facilitate sport and leisure activities; promote community engagement and social networks
In order to track the well-being outcomes of employability skills coaching and our volunteering activities, we worked with researchers from the Critical Race and Ethnicity Research Cluster at Manchester Metropolitan University, whose research used the short version of the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing scale (SWEMWBS). We administered the questionnaire at two intervals five months apart; at the beginning of our initial employability assessments with the participants and towards the end of their employability training and coaching in Life Skills. Using semi structured interviews, we also collected contextual information around the questionnaire that provided further data around feelings of belonging and isolation. Our interviews captured the intersection between our participants’ Life challenges around mental health and well-being and their attendance and participation in Highway Hope’s Local Health and Wellbeing Hub activities.
At the end of the programme, we published our findings (see below) in the form of an in-depth case study that outlined the complex processes of providing mental health support around employability and Life Skills in the challenging environment of the community drop-in centre, as well as two project reports.