Learning for Life: an evaluation of the Learn 2b project

Learning for Life: an evaluation of
the Learn 2b project, Changing
Dr Dan Robotham
Senior Researcher (Mental Health Foundation)
Sonya Terry
Peer Support and Time Bank Manager (Changing Minds)
• The Learn 2b programme
• The evaluation
Project Concept
The development of adult learning courses that:
• Encourage people to engage in non-medical interventions
• These interventions support / sustain their recovery
• These interventions will improve recovery and reduce the
volume / nature of any relapses and generate overall savings
to public expenditure
Potted History
• November 2007 to July 2008
– project planning, pilot courses, obtaining ethical approval,
tutor engagement, training and recruitment
• July 2008
– launch in Northampton with a handful of courses planned
• September to December 2008
– countywide calm and content sessions
• January 2009
- A rolling programme of courses running throughout the county
Potted History
• 2011 onwards
- A commissioned service responsible for delivering
750 hrs of adult learning/psychological education
courses across Northamptonshire
• A service to encourage and promote research and
- the use of telephone groups
- How are clinical outcomes achieved from a nonclinical service
Making groups effective
• Time limited
– Vary from one session to nine sessions
Promoting independence
Planning for the end of the course
A stepping stone onto something else
Effective learning that increases skill and knowledge
Strict group guidelines
– Confidentiality and anonymity; Respect for others;
Punctuality and attendance; Responsibility for safety and
Referral system
Wellbeing team
Learn 2b
Self referral
Wellbeing (Positive Under Pressure,
Improve Your Mood, Anger Management…)
Healthy Living (Food and Mood, Tai Chi
Complementary Therapies …)
Creative Expression (Card
Making, Creative Writing,
Creative Arts…)
• The Learn 2b programme
• The evaluation
Research Methods
256 active participants in evaluation
Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS)
Recovery Evaluation Form (REF)
Qualitative interviews or focus groups
– Adult learners
– Tutors
Evaluation design
Start of
Time 1
End of
Time 2
Time 3
Time 4
• After attending course
– Better wellbeing
– Less severe symptoms of depression and anxiety
Improvements sustained over 12 months
94% would recommend programme to a friend
36% accessed programme through GP
That’s the biggest shift that has the biggest
It’s acceptable to say that you are
going to college; it’s taking it out of that
medical field and into education. It makes
all the difference; it changes people’s
attitudes about mental illness’.
Female, Sleep Management
I hope the course will provide an opportunity to look at the way I am
thinking negatively about my situation…a chance for me to declare and
acknowledge my low mood and high anxiety. Hoping for help, inspiration
and tips and how to make my situation better.
I have enjoyed being part of a friendly group and looked forward to our
Saturday morning sessions…I have picked up some useful advice from group
members…I have had some of my thoughts and stances challenged in a
good way!
Male, 48, Creative Writing
Impact on Employability
• 40% of participants went on to
access other learning opportunities
• 10 became employed, one as a
peer supporter
• Several participants felt that this
was a direct result of accessing
“While I was on the course I started applying for
voluntary work, just afterwards I managed to get a
position and now I’m working part time”
(Male, Improve Your Mood)
Thanks for listening