October 2023: This spring and summer have shown some exciting developments for the WISE study with fieldwork continuing in schools and the first workplaces case study being recruited with initial interviews taking place.
Rebecca Johnson has been working with a set of primary and secondary schools to develop a process theory to help explain school investment decisions. Rebecca will be finalising this theory and then moving to working with school case studies to test this theory. This will particularly focus on engaging with schools with characteristics which are different from the theory building group.
Luke Henstock (PhD student) has been conducting interviews with the first workplace case study to understand how large workplaces invest in wellbeing for their employees. Over the next few months Luke will also be developing a process theory and looking to recruit follow-on case studies.
Camille Allard has been working alongside the schools and workplaces work packages and conducting exploratory interviews to build a framework to explain evidence use for resource allocation within these settings. Camille is now moving on to the design of think-aloud tasks to explore evidence use in priority setting with school decision makers.
Yusuf Ozdemir (PhD student) has been building a ‘concourse’ of viewpoints about investing in mental health in schools and workplaces. The ethics approval has now been received, and the Q-sort task is ready to be piloted over the coming months.
The WISE project team have also been involved in early activities to disseminate the research. Further information can be found in the ‘Dissemination and Impact’ section of our website.
March 2023: We are pleased to say that we now have ethics approval for the WISE study fieldwork with workplaces.
In the coming months we will work with our first case study workplace to understand how large workplaces invest in mental wellbeing and the role of evidence in these decisions.
If you are a large workplace that is either currently investing in staff mental health and wellbeing, or thinking of doing so, and interested in participating in our research, please contact Camille Allard.
We have also been working with a set of schools over the last year, to understand how and why they allocate resources to mental health and wellbeing. The findings from this work is being used to develop a process theory to explain school investment decisions and a framework for thinking about how different forms of evidence are used or not used by schools.
Finally we are starting to build a ‘concourse’ of viewpoints about investing in mental health in schools and workplaces. This will be refined and tested over the coming months.
These emerging findings will be presented and written up over the next year and will also inform the 2nd phase of the WISE project – testing and refining the theories in different school and workplace contexts, exploring decision-makers’ values and how they make use of evidence, and ultimately identifying how organisations (schools and workplaces) can be best supported in allocating resources to mental health and wellbeing.
April 2022: We are pleased to say that we now have ethics approval for the WISE study fieldwork in schools. In the coming months we will work with schools to understand more about their processes for investing in mental wellbeing. Currently, we are at the stage of sampling schools and identifying potential case study sites in the West Midlands.
Alongside this we have started to conduct focused reviews of the literature to inform each of the four work packages. The reviews will identify what we can learn about:
- How process tracing methods have been applied in the health field;
- How different sources of evidence are used by schools and workplaces to guide their health investments;
- How workplaces allocate resources to mental wellbeing services;
- Individuals’ attitudes to mental health investment in schools and workplaces;
The findings from these reviews will provide important insights in their own rights, as well as helping to inform the design and interpretation of the fieldwork.
We continue to work closely with our collaborators on the project, meeting every six weeks to steer progress, as well as providing insight into our review work
If you work in a school in the West Midlands and are interested in participating in the WISE study, please contact Rebecca Johnson.
November 2021: The WISE study team has been steadily growing over the summer and autumn and, with the recent addition of PhD students Luke and Yusuf, we are now at full strength. Over these first six months, we are focusing on laying the groundwork for the project. This will include:
- Reviewing the literature in this new field, including that on process tracing, organisational theory and mental wellbeing support in schools and workplaces
- Understanding the policy and practice context for this work
- Developing study research plans
- Developing research and professional networks
- Training in health economics
We are looking forward to our first external advisory group meeting in mid-November and starting to identify our case study sites.