Participants determine their own outcomes
Rather than impose predefined notions of ‘success’ on people who come to This Way Up, we encourage them to set their own goals. These outcomes are as diverse as the people we work with.
285 people have benefited from This Way Up since 2012.
In 2019/20 we had 47 people take the This Way Up programme. Although This Way Up is not a crisis intervention service, all of our participants told us that they wanted to address issues with their mental health and confidence. This Way Up's flexible approach helps those who struggle with anger, mild depression, isolation and chronic pain. Other individual outcomes include steps towards employment, improvements in health and wider behavioural changes.
How is This Way Up evaluated?
At the start of a This Way Up course, participants evaluate their own wellbeing by scoring themselves against the World Health Organisation wellbeing index. This simple questionnaire asks people to indicate how often they experience positive feelings, such as calm and relaxation. The average score of participants when joining the course in 2019/20 was 9.7 (out of a maximum possible score of 25) indicating moderate depression.
At the end of the course the average score increased to 14.9, a score that indicates the borders of good mental health – and an improvement of 55%.
We comissioned On the Tin to externally evaluate This Way Up in 2015. They noted time and again that attendees felt that the coping mechanisms they learned “were practical and could be put to use in [people’s] daily lives.”
The benefits of life coaching and mindfulness
A 2015 report by the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group cited This Way Up as an example of where “a combination of mindfulness training and coaching has proved successful […] to help build self-respect and confidence to deal with complex practical and psychological barriers.”
Scientific links between mindfulness and resilience are also mounting. Bajaj and Pande, in Personality and Individual Differences 2015, concluded that “Mindful people ... can better cope with difficult thoughts and emotions without becoming overwhelmed or shutting down (emotionally).” The practice of mindfulness “weakens the chain of associations that keep people obsessing about” their problems or failures, which increases the likelihood they will try again.”
Our external evaluation found participants reporting that This Way Up “allowed them to interrupt patterns which they now recognised as being harmful.”
Read some personal stories from This Way Up participants: