Co-production and progression opportunities in Mental Health Creative Support Services

Justin Rogers, Megan Robb, Philippa Forsey, Lynda Tweedie, Tom Cook

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Creativity Works (CW) would like to present in this abstract the role of participant involvement in co-designing and co-delivering services alongside partner organisations and the development of creative community groups. We shall be drawing on findings from participatory action research carried out in collaboration with University of the West of England (UWE) and Bath University. The B&NES Mental Health Creative Support Service [MHCSS] delivered by CW on behalf of B&NES Adult Social Care and Housing works in partnership with a wide range of statutory, community and cultural organisations including AWP (Avon & Wiltshire MH Partnership NHS Trust) and Sirona. The central aims of the service are to draw communities together and to facilitate positive change in people’s lives through sensitive creative projects. CW’s co-production model enables partners to work alongside participants to help shape creative projects that meet an identified need which inspire lives towards self-sustaining positive outcomes. Integral to CW’s process of engagement are opportunities which enable participants and volunteers to have their voice heard and shape future service provision. This person-centred process of engagement and progression supports people with mental health needs in B&NES to take up opportunities in the community and transition from using MH services to community based activities. This model address early intervention and prevention initiatives and has been evidenced to have cost savings for the NHS. An element of CW’s progression methodology supports people to identify their skills and assets to develop creative peer support groups enabling active links with community and moving towards independent living. Creativity Works, in partnership with St. Mungo’s, Sirona and evaluators from the Faulty of Health and Applied Sciences (HAS) at UWE, Bristol, explored a network of community groups for people affected by mental health difficulties living in B&NES. This resulted in the ‘What works for peer support groups: learning from mental health and wellbeing groups in Bath and North East Somerset’ evaluation which draws on group members’ own perceptions of what worked best for them to provide transferable learning about how peer led support groups might develop more generally. These insights have informed a practical Toolkit guide for developing peer led groups and for training of peer leaders in BANES. Additionally Creativity Works in partnership with creative peer groups and Bath University is undertaking a research project (Sep 2016 – March 2017) to listen to the voices of those involved in creative peer support projects to gain a better understanding of the effect peer support and the creative process on the lives of group members. Content The presentation will be made by Creativity Works, peer group members and volunteers alongside University of Bath researcher s. CW would like to present on this comparatively new kind of community-based support for people with mental health challenges and for their carers from the findings of its participatory action research with Bath University. We will review some of the findings and identified challenges followed by focused creative discussions around the question of: How can creative activity support sustainable models of mental health recovery?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2017
EventInternational Conference on Culture, health and wellbeing - Bristol City Hall, Bristol, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Jun 201721 Jun 2017


ConferenceInternational Conference on Culture, health and wellbeing
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom
Internet address


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