Evidence and outcomes resources: Mental health

We have sourced some helpful links for organisations working with people with mental health issues and their families/carers. You may find these useful in planning and carrying out your outcomes data collection, or in understanding the evidence base for your model. The advice includes: 

  • Existing research and evidence in your sector to help you establish what evidence already exists. This will help you understand the extent to which you need to collect outcomes data yourself, or how rigorous your methodology needs to be. 
  • Guidance to help you design suitable outcomes or indicators to evaluate your service or programme. 
  • Existing outcomes frameworks and data collection tools developed by academics or leading charities in the field. The benefit of using an existing framework or measure is that you don’t have to spend time and money developing your own, and you can be more confident in the quality. The downside is that it is not tailored to your organisation, so some outcomes or data collection tools may not be suitable for your context or the people you work with. 

Please note that these resources were not identified through an exhaustive review. 

Research and evidence



NHS mental health dashboard  A dashboard tracking indicators related to mental health services (NHS). 


What Works Centre for Wellbeing Resources  Wellbeing related resources including research and evidence reports and briefings (What Works Centre for Wellbeing). 


Thinking differently  A ‘first steps’ guide for STPs on transforming community mental health services for people with moderate to severe mental illness and with complex needs (Rethink Mental Illness, 2021) 






Mental health toolkit for schools  A toolkit aims to raise awareness amongst school and college staff of the range of validated tools that are available to help measure subjective mental wellbeing amongst the student population (Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families). 


Measuring your wellbeing impact  A practical guide to support charities and social enterprises to measure wellbeing (What Works Centre for Wellbeing). 


Measuring the mental wellbeing of children and young people.  Guide on how to measure children and young people’s mental wellbeing and how to use available information from national and local sources to assess and develop interventions aimed at improving it (Public Health England, 2015). 


Frameworks and data collection tools 



Measuring Children and Young People’s Subjective Wellbeing  A framework to measure the subjective wellbeing of children and young people and a searchable measures bank (What Works Centre for Wellbeing).  


Wellbeing Measurement Framework for schools  A suite of measurement booklets for primary school, secondary school and college students, Each booklet contains a set of validated questionnaires (tailored to each age group) that assess constructs such as positive wellbeing, behavioural or emotional difficulties, the presence and strength of protective factors such as perceived support at school, home and in the community, and ability to deal with stress and manage emotions (Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families). 


CORC outcomes and experience measures  Information on how to measure children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing (Child Outcomes Research Consortium). This includes tools such as the Strengths and difficulties questionnaire, an emotional and behavioural screening questionnaire for children and young people, and the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS). 


Wellbeing Measures Bank  A searchable database of metrics and measures that can be used to assess changes in wellbeing in a project evaluation (What Works Centre for Wellbeing). 


Outcomes stars (various)  Numerous outcomes stars exist, including the Recovery star for adults managing their mental health and recovering from mental illness. 

Recovery Star Secure is a variant of the Recovery Star for secure services or forensic mental health services working with service users in a secure setting (Triangle Consulting Social Enterprise). Requires a licence.



We have also captured example outcomes that may be relevant when working with people with mental health issues and their families/carers, alongside related indicators, and ideas for sources of data. To access this information, download the resource below.


Download this resource

Outcomes: People with mental health issues and their families/carers

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This webpage has been adapted from the Inspiring Impact programme, which ran from 2011 until early 2022 and supported voluntary organisations to improve their impact practice. More information about the Inspiring Impact programme.