Self-health logoSelf Health – Mental Wellbeing Project


Please note – this project has come to an end.


We hope to run similar courses again in the future, but as this is a pilot project run by the government, we’ll need to wait and see what results come from the research study. If you’d be interested in hearing about other courses run by Friends Centre in future, we suggest that you sign up to our mailing list by clicking here.

‘Self Health’ is part of a government funded National Adult Education Mental Health Research Project.  As part of this project we are delivering free courses in a range of subjects and measuring their impact on the mental wellbeing of those with mild to moderate mental health challenges. Click here to view the Self Health Courses Brochure.

It is hoped to show, through this research, that adult education courses can have a positive effect on people’s mental health and benefit hundreds of adults across the country.  This evidence would help to secure government funding for adult education providers for the years to come.

Friends Centre is one of a number of partners working together to deliver courses to adults across the city.  Our partners include:logos

  • The Bridge Community Education Centre
  • MindOut
  • PACA Adult Learning
  • Varndean College Adult & Community Learning
  • The Whitehawk Inn



Who Can Attend?

The project is open to anyone aged 19 or over who has mild to moderate mental health challenges such as finding it hard to go out, not sleeping, worrying, feeling stressed, anxious, sad or low.  You will be asked to complete a self-assessment of your mental health to see if you meet the criteria to be involved in the project.

People can only attend one Self Health course so that as many people as possible can take part in the research project and provide us with their data.

If you have already completed a Self Health course between September 2015 and April 2017 you will not be able to attend another long course but you can attend a Workshop for Returning Learners (see pages 10 & 11 of our new brochure for what’s on offer).


IAG & the Self-Assessment

The IAG session is an important part of the Self Health research project, where you will look at your strengths, aspirations and barriers.  During the session you will be asked to complete a self-assessment of your mental wellbeing to see if you are eligible* to take part in the research project. You will also be supported to make an action plan.  This meeting could take up to 1.5 hours, so please allow enough time for this when you attend.

The self-assessment will be used to measure any changes in your mental wellbeing over the duration of your course.  You will be assisted to complete the form online with one of our staff members.  This will be in a 1:1 setting at the beginning of the course but may be completed in small groups in week 3 and in the final week of your course.

You may find this form difficult or upsetting to complete as it covers a number of very personal questions about your mental health.  If you think that you would find this distressing then you may decide not to take part in the research project.  Alternative courses to support your mental health can be found at Brighton Recovery College or the Brighton & Hove Wellbeing Service.

The self-assessment will consist of 23 questions, asking you to score your mental health and wellbeing using different tools.  There are 5 additional questions about your learning.  The tools used to measure wellbeing are the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9), which measures the severity of depression, a Generalised Anxiety Disorder assessment (GAD7) which measures anxiety, and the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (SWEMBWS) which measures overall wellbeing.  We won’t use the tools to diagnose you with a condition, we will use them as scales to measure any changes in your mental wellbeing over the duration of your course.  You can view a version of the wellbeing tools here.

The self-assessment will be completed a total of four times; at the IAG session, in week 1, week 3 and again in the final week of your course.  The final assessment will include more questions, asking you to evaluate the impact of your course on your mental wellbeing and to consider what the next steps will be for you on your learning journey.

*The scores you give on the PHQ9 and GAD7 must fall within our given research criteria for you to be eligible to attend our free courses.  If you score too low or too high we will discuss other courses which you can attend at Friends Centre or at another provider.


Your Data

The data that we collect as part of this research project will be used by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA), The Department for Education (DfE) and Ipsos Mori, our external evaluators.  The data you provide will be confidential: your name and address will never be included and people will not be able to identify you in any reports about the findings of the project.  Your data will be kept secure by the DfE and external evaluators.  Once it is no longer needed for the research project it will be destroyed.

At the initial IAG session you will be asked to sign a consent form which will allow us to use your data for research purposes.

If you do not wish for your data to be used then you should not participate in any of the Self Health courses.

A copy of the detailed consent form can be found here, and further information from the DfE about the Community Learning Mental Health Research Project can be found here.


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