The Department of Health has been urged to invest in cost benefit analysis of voluntary mental health projects following the success of one venture that has saved Wandsworth more than £500,000.
An independent three-year evaluation by the Mental Health Foundation, funded by the Department of Health, of community project ‘Your Way’ found that it was able to reduce costs by more than £538,000 a year in Wandsworth for the CCG and the council, who jointly funded the project.
The evaluation found wellbeing and independence has increased among patients with mental health issues who have benefitted from the project set up by charity Together for Mental Wellbeing.
It helps people to achieve their goals through one-to-one support, peer support from other people who have experienced mental health issues, volunteering opportunities and support to build links across the local community.
Liz Felton, chief executive, Together for Mental Wellbeing, said: “The results of this evaluation show us…that our approach is having a positive impact on people’s wellbeing and helping them to move towards independence.
“We hope that the results…will support the provision of further personalised mental health services, as ultimately this will mean more people are better supported to live independent lives in their communities.”
The evaluation also recommended that the roll out of personal budgets for people with mental health problems and how it impacts on other support models is reviewed.