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Evaluation of the Shared Lives Mental Health Project

Author(s)

HARFLETT Naomi, JENNINGS Yasmin

Publisher(s):

National Development Team for Inclusion

Publication year:

2017

An evaluation of a project to support the development of Shared Lives as an option for people with mental ill health. The project has supported seven local Shared Lives schemes to develop, demonstrate and market a financially viable and commission ready approach to Shared Lives mental health support, and to generate learning about what works. Drawing on data collected through a mixed methods evaluation approach, this report describes the impact and learning from the project. The evaluation has found evidence of the positive impact that having support through a Shared Lives arrangement – whether it is day support, short breaks or long-term arrangements – can have on the lives of people with mental ill health. There are examples of improvements in general wellbeing and increased participation in community life, as well as specific examples where people’s mental health has stabilised and hospital stays have been prevented. The impact goes beyond those in Shared Lives arrangements to family members of those being supported, Shared Lives carers and their families and communities that people are supported in. Although some of the seven project schemes experienced challenges and frustrations and in some cases growth was slow, all saw increases in the number of new arrangements for people with mental ill health and all saw increases in the number of Shared Lives carers offering mental health support. (Edited publisher abstract)


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