"Mental Health Providers Forum (MHPF) continues to be the leading voice representing voluntary sector mental health service providers across England. Across our membership we represent the broad scope of voluntary/not-for-profit mental health organisations – from large national and regional providers through to small local service providers."
The Mental Health Recovery Star
I first came accross this organisation unknowingly in 2010 through an evaluation tool posted on a noticeboard at Stepping Hill Hospital.
This is the Mental Health Recovery Star and is a really accessible way to plot progress at the start, during and end of a project. In fact, that is how it got used in 2010 for the AWE Course in Wigan.
There are other forms of assessment tools, such as the
Warwick-Edinburgh Wellbeing Scale (2006)
Although this can be a good starting point, there are issues with it's design. This has arbitrary and very subjective language choices such as: “I’ve been feeling close to other people” and "I’ve had energy to spare" - which can mean different things to different people. There are obvious cultural and personal language barriers to this form of assessment.
With the star, there is a visual element to the results as well - meaning there is a 'shape' that you can work from.
Although, being slightly pendantic, I would have liked "Addictive Behaviour" to be 'Free from..' or 'Non-addicitive behaviour' so that the 'goal' was to create a full circle, rather than all but one. I suppose though, it stands out when you see it towards the other scales.
Some examples in their publication: The Mental Health Recovery Star: its development and use in practice
Unfortunately though, they both use scales. I think that yes, they can be useful to put a number on a feeling, but apart from my initial dislike of scales, they can be very varied day to day or hour to hour. At what point does a source of information (a participant) become unreliable about themselves, and how valid is it as an assessment tool in the end anyway?
I think there must be another form of creative assessment that uses these types of approaches together.
The organisation does other things - their website has many useful publications.
Another useful publication:
Mental Well-being Impact Assessment Toolkit
Lots of very interesting diagrams (p. 16) about the factors associated with mental health and practical templates at the back.