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Evaluation of the Mental Health Navigator Scheme

This research study is led by Dr Sarah Blower at the University of York. It is a collaboration between NIHR ARC Yorkshire and Humber, NIHR ARC North East and North Cumbria, and NIHR ARC Greater Manchester.



What are we trying to do?

The Mental Health Navigator (MHN) scheme is a joint initiative between Wakefield District Housing (WDH) and a local commissioning group, which provides support to Wakefield-based tenants with mental health problems. In the scheme, trained mental health practitioners – the ‘navigators’ – provide support and early intervention to people experiencing housing problems.  


A small-scale evaluation concluded that the scheme showed promise, and so further funding was secured to develop the evidence base and create materials that can be used to successfully implement the scheme in other parts of the UK.


The study has three main objectives:


  1. To establish what ‘real world’ evidence suggests regarding the impact of the WDH MHN scheme and to do a cost-consequence analysis.
  2. Explore existing and future service user, provider and stakeholder views of the how acceptable the scheme is and how feasible it is in practice.
  3. Combine the findings and ‘lessons learned’ to develop an implementation toolkit.



Why is this important?

Tenants with mental health problems can find maintaining tenancies challenging, which can lead to homelessness or housing instability and this, in turn, can make mental health issues worse. So, providing support to tenants with mental health problems is important because it helps them remain in stable housing, which is beneficial to their mental health.



How are we doing it?

This research project is documenting what the MHN scheme involves, what works well, what could be improved and how a toolkit can be applied across the UK. There are three main work packages to this research project:


  • WP1: An outcome evaluation, area-based economic evaluation and cost consequence analysis.
  • WP2: A qualitative, implementation and process evaluation
  • WP3: Synthesis of findings from across WP1 and WP2 to inform an ‘implementation toolkit


Dr Luke Munford, our Deputy Lead for Economic Sustainability, is supporting work package 1.



Who are we working with?



Funding information

This study is one of five funded through the NIHR ARC National Priority Consortium in Health and Care Inequalities. More information about the funding award is available on this NIHR ARC North East and North Cumbria project webpage.  






More information



Senior Programme Lead

Mike Spence

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