The aim of this project is to conduct an economic evaluation of promising public mental health interventions identified as part of the Public Mental Health Programme. Specifically, we have identified welfare services co-located at General Practice (GP) surgeries as being a promising intervention.
Mental health problems can be associated with debt and financial difficulties in a number of ways; they can be both a consequence and cause of mental health problems. People with mental health problems may also be regular users of health care services. Co-locating welfare services at healthcare settings, such as GP surgeries may improve access to welfare services that aim to improve people’s financial situation. This type of intervention may be provided by citizens advice service staff, specialist link workers, and community link workers. The type of advice provided includes welfare, disability and housing benefit entitlements, finding accommodation, use of foodbanks, council tax reductions and financial and debt management to name a few.
Recent research shows that people who received specialist in-depth advice from citizens advice professionals located at GP surgeries reported improvements in their life. These improvements related to stress levels, housing circumstances and income.
Using routinely collected healthcare data (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)) and a longitudinal survey (Understanding Society) we will evaluate the impact of co-located welfare services within GP surgeries on employment and welfare outcomes and use of services for common mental health problems. Linked in with work from the Efficient and Equitable Public Health Systems cross-cutting theme we will explore the impact of these interventions for specific at-risk population groups (e.g. homeless, Black and Minority Ethnic individuals, local area deprivation and type of neighbourhood (e.g. rural-urban)) as a worked example of the impact of different equity considerations on cost-effectiveness.