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Understanding how those most at risk of poor mental health and wellbeing can be supported to increase their use of and access to the Natural environment - BE0154

Description
This research aims to deliver greater understanding and insight into how those most at risk of poor mental health and wellbeing in England can be supported to increase their use and access to the Natural environment for improved mental health and wellbeing.

This research will briefly review available evidence and current practice to identify effective interventions and practice in supporting increased use of the Natural environment by those most at risk of poor mental health and wellbeing. This should deepen our understanding of what works, for whom, in what circumstances, and why, and identify the kind of interventions that effect the greatest benefits to the target group.

The project will provide in-depth insight into priority geographic areas to understand the specific barriers and challenges experienced by communities, as well as those faced by services, local authorities and professionals in supporting increased use of and access to the Natural environment, and provide recommendations for how these could be overcome. The evidence produced as part of this project should inform future efforts in supporting increased use of the Natural environment by those most at risk of poor mental health and wellbeing and identify how any interventions could be planned, delivered, promoted and evaluated, further in practice.
Objective
• To undertake a detailed review and mapping exercise of existing and previous activity to support communities to increase access and usage of the natural environment. The review should understand how any activity is funded, its effectiveness and any associated evidence of impact. The review should include initiatives operating at scale as well as those more modest in reach.

• To undertake a brief review of the current available evidence base to describe and update existing reviews of:
a) What works, for whom, in what circumstances, and why in relation supporting communities to make use of, and engage with the natural environment
b) What kind of interventions and initiatives demonstrate the greatest benefits and impacts
c) Identify the mechanisms of change to support increased use of the Natural Environment

• To use existing data sets and evidence to identify key populations and communities in areas within England, who:
a) are at the greatest risk of poor mental health and wellbeing
b) are not accessing the natural environment

• To gather in-depth insights from priority populations, local authorities, local and community service providers, health organisations, health professionals, teachers and planners, and other intermediaries in up to four priority areas (to be agreed during project scoping) in order to:
a) Produce a systems map for each priority area which provides insight into the context, environmental factors, target groups, key professionals and stakeholders and the interdependencies
b) Explore systemic issues, challenges and barriers to increasing use of, and access to, the Natural environment by those most at risk of poor mental health and wellbeing
c) Explore solutions and opportunities to support increased use of and connectedness to, the Natural environment by those most at risk of poor mental health and wellbeing
d) Develop a range of case studies of good practice
e) Identify what constitutes ‘success’

• To consolidate results from the evidence review and insight work with priority locations and populations, in order to:
a) Explain the barriers and challenges in supporting increased use of and connectedness to, the Natural environment space by the target group and identify any solutions to addressing these
b) Identify opportunities to build on existing provision and develop new approaches to supporting increased use that could be replicated in the future
c) Identify opportunities and challenges that may need to be overcome in developing and implementing interventions, including funding, governance structures, training and partnership working, individual behaviour changes
d) Set out options for the development and design of tools and interventions which would support increased use of and access to the Natural environment in the priority areas and beyond

• To provide high quality outputs to communicate findings to the intended audiences, including policy and practitioner audiences and service providers in Local Authorities, voluntary, health and education sectors, as well as communities, including innovative approaches where appropriate.

• To recommend how data collection to support effective monitoring and evaluation of future interventions and activities could be done to measure its success.

• To recommend actions to inform and support future provision and implementation of interventions to support increased use of the Natural environment across England; how these could be planned, delivered and promoted further in practice. These should focus primarily on those which could achieve the most significant impact, including specific actions for Government, Local Authorities, as well local and community service providers, health organisations and professionals, the education sector, and the voluntary sector.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2019

To: 2020

Cost: £76,550
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Renaisi Ltd
Keywords
Social Research