The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR) worked with staff at Rethink Mental Illness (Rethink) and champions with lived experience of mental health issues, to co-produce the evaluation of Step Up between December 2015 and August 2018.
Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, Step Up was designed with and for young people aged 16-25 years. It aimed to enable young people to better plan for, manage and cope with periods of major age-related transitions (e.g. going to University). The aim was to support young people to develop coping strategies and greater confidence in dealing with difficult periods in life, helping improve participants’ wellbeing in the process.
Context16-25 years is a time of considerable change for young people and one where mental health issues can become prominent. Additionally, there is a lack of practical support and services on offer to help young people find and navigate the support that may be needed along the way. Step Up Transitions aims to fill this gap through the provision of training, which enables young people to recognise their own strengths and capacities when dealing with difficult transitions. At the same time, it supports young people to be able to identify when they may need additional support and how they may get that help. In the process of taking part, it is hoped that young people build confidence, increase their social networks and their willingness to access further support, as needed.
MethodologyA process and outcomes evaluation of Step Up was co-produced by TIHR, working with Rethink staff and Step Up champions. It began with the co-creation of a project Theory of Change and Mental Wellbeing Impact Assessment (MWIA), which informed the co-design of participant surveys, a number of Action Learning Sets and evaluation meetings with champions and staff, interviews with Rethink staff and champions, and an evaluation film.The final full Evaluation Report, the Executive Summary and a short evaluation film (which you can see below) are now available. As the film and report show, over 580 young people took part in 35 interventions. Over 90% of participants that completed surveys at the end of workshops reported:
- improved knowledge of mental health services and other local support networks;
- a clearer understanding of the process of transition;
- new skills or tools for managing health and wellbeing during a period of change.