Mental Health UK (MHUK) brings together four national mental health charities—its founding partners are Rethink mental illness; Support in mind Scotland; Hafal; and Mind Wise. In early 2019, supported by a corporate partner, MHUK had an opportunity to develop a school-based programme focused on mental health resilience for young people through life’s transitions.
MHUK engaged NPC to facilitate discussions about programme objectives and outcomes, and to develop a theory of change which could be used to guide the programme’s pilot phase.
NPC worked closely with colleagues at MHUK to understand the context for programme development. This included understanding insight from user research into the needs and priorities of young people’s mental health resilience, and the landscape review of current provision undertaken by MHUK staff. Building on this, NPC designed a full-day workshop session which encouraged participants to engage with different stakeholders—young people, teachers and the leadership teams of schools and colleges. The workshop had a range of perspectives, including staff from MHUK’s four founding partners as well as young people. Through the workshop, participants reached a shared definition of resilience and developed the goals of the programme, as well as identifying outcomes for different stakeholders.
Following the workshop, NPC developed the outputs of the workshop into clear theory of change diagrams and a concise narrative covering the key aspects of discussions.
Workshop discussions provided MHUK with a clearer strategic direction on some key questions, including the focus of the programme and the practicalities of implementing it. This provided MHUK with a more robust basis for programme design. The diagram has provided MHUK with a clearer narrative through which to articulate the goals and approach of the new programme, and a basis for establishing performance indicators through the pilot phase.