A network for anyone with an interest in
adult education and mental health

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After WMHD2017 webinar: Research. What's the point of it in the real world?

I think those who joined us for yesterday’s webinar would agree that it was an excellent opportunity to hear what difference has participation in Community Learning Mental Health research project (2015/17) made to Kent Adult Education and Luton Adult Learning. Tracey Attard from Luton CLMH project and Patricia Dillon-Russell, Kent CLMH project explained how they tackled the challenges that the research presented and how they turned those challenges into opportunities and successes. Both providers said that as a result of the research:

  • their staff have a better understanding of A slide titled Legacy with Kent and Luton adult education services logos.  Text in the slide: We would like the legacy of our projects to give an alternative approach and opportunity for people to use learning to manage and /or improve their mental wellbeing, through learning not therapy.mental health and tutors are more confident to support learners with mental health problems
  • they have improved their Initial Assessment and Guidance (IAG)
  • they have forged new partnerships with local agencies that are continuing to develop
  • they have increased men's participation in learning for mental health
  • they recognise the importance of social networks and create opportunities for learners to develop these within and without the learning provision.     

For example, Tracey explained how they made their Initial Assessment and Guidance processes more robust. Using Discovering Potential tools in longer, one to one sessions worked well to ensure that learners were supported in accessing and participating in learning as well as in their progression.  

Patricia said: ‘We made some really good, new partnerships that are still working … we are currently in a discussion with local Job Centre to see how we can help some of their service users who experience barriers to learning such as mild and moderate mental health problems…our challenge is to encourage people to join our courses but once they do, we can show them the benefits of attending and this will help us all to move forward.’

There is more about this work (context, activities, lessons learned and the impact) on the two projects’ webpages: Evolve - Luton CLMH research project and Kent Learning Well project.

To give you a chance to hear and learn more about Kent and Luton experience and that of Sheffield and Telford and Wrekin CLMH projects, we will soon add the recordings of the webinars to the MHFE website. Thank you for your support and watch this space!