One of our evaluation studies – The Kent Wellbeing Programme Evaluation – has been developing concept maps, also known as a Theory of Change approach to evaluation that New Philanthropy Capital describe well. Concept maps have been produced for the Kent County Council Public Health’s Mental Wellbeing Programme, consisting of eight wellbeing interventions.
We also asked the commissioner in Kent – Ivan Rudd – to provide feedback on our reports, and to explain how they will be used in planning further work. Ivan agreed to write his own blog for us:
Ivan Rudd, Public Health Specialist at Kent County Council
We (Kent County Council Public Health) commissioned The McPin Foundation to evaluate our Kent Mental Health and Wellbeing programme. The first phase of the evaluation has involved developing a Theory of Change summary and interim report, which are now available. We welcome McPin’s insight and support, and look forward to their final report on the programme in March 2016.
The cost of mental illness and the benefits of prevention are high, and our business model has piloted interventions that seek to raise self-esteem and strengthen individuals’ coping skills as well as emotional resilience. Working with partners across Kent, we aim to grow positive mental health, which will also support good physical health, as well as better outcomes in educational performance, employability and earnings. These are all areas that are foundations for improved wellbeing.
Our programme includes interventions for building emotional resilience as well as raising mental health awareness – both at individual and community level. We are committed to working with communities through co-production with all our partners to improve health and reduce health inequalities. We can achieve this by mapping and developing the assets and strengths that exist in our communities and commissioning wisely with their strengths in mind. This is well articulated in both NICE guidance and in Public Health England’s Community-centred approaches for health and wellbeing report.
We needed an evaluation partner, and the commission of McPin is helping us understand further the impact of our community-centred approaches such as the Kent Sheds programme and the Primary Care Link Worker Service. We believe mental health and wellbeing are priorities for good health and we want to evidence this and learn how best to achieve our strategic public health goals. McPin’s service user focused evaluation provides insight and information to guide our planning and commissioning decisions. We know that while many citizens already make a contribution to community health, more could be done to realise the full potential of communities to address common health inequalities. We are building on the existing range of practical, evidence-based approaches that are used by local leaders, commissioners and service providers in Kent to work with our communities. The concept maps McPin have produced offer a valuable, visually accessible, resource to support our logic modelling. We welcome feedback on these reports from other councils and stakeholders working to deliver changes for their local populations.