Association of Mental Health Providers

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Enterprise in the Mental Health Sector – Research Project

The Association of Mental Health Providers is commissioning a research project focused on further understanding trading activities operated by charities and social enterprises in the Mental Health sector.

The Association is the Mental Health sector partner to the Enterprise Development Programme for a 4-year period (2020 – 2023), and its role is predominantly to support a cohort of 50+ small – medium organisations to develop or grow trading activities. This is facilitated through a ‘funding plus’ style program, i.e., a combination of grant, learning events, and peer support.

But importantly, the Association is also aiming to generate learning and insight to create a legacy for the wider Mental Health sector, enabling more organisations to consider and explore the potential role of trading-based income streams for their organisations.

The exact scope of this research and evaluation is not yet fixed, however our targeted focus for the work is as follows:

  1. Types of trading activity – we want to examine a segment of trading activities which we are currently defining as ‘impact-employers’, i.e., trading activities which aim to involve individuals with mental health issues in their enterprise operations. This may be in the capacity of a volunteer or training placement or supported employment.
  2. Types of insights – we want to examine these specific trading activities across two ‘dimensions’:
    1. the finances – i.e.:
      1. the opportunities / challenges of generating sales
      2. understanding and managing the costs of operations
      3. the ability to generate surplus versus the need for subsidy
    2. the impact – i.e.:
      1. analysis of different enterprise roles and potential impact for individuals
      2. analysis of ‘starting points’ required for individuals to be ready for different roles
      3. analysis of potential onwards journeys

We are looking to work with a chosen provider to finalise an exact scope and approach. However, we do anticipate the involvement of a deep-dive analysis of 7 – 10 case study organisations, alongside a light-touch literature review to support and contextualise findings and analysis.

Responses to this opportunity are being accepted until 1pm on June 22nd. If you’re interested, and would like to find out more, get in touch at .