Accessibility statement

Evaluation of the Mental Health Navigator Scheme

Poorer mental health can make it more challenging to cope with housing problems, while being homeless or experiencing housing instability can make mental health worse. In 2015, Wakefield District Housing (WDH; a registered social housing provider) in collaboration with a local commissioning group implemented a Mental Health Navigator (MHN) scheme to support people with mental health problems to maintain their tenancies. The navigators are mental health trained practitioners (e.g. mental health nurses and occupational therapists) employed by the NHS but embedded within WDH to provide support and early intervention to tenants experiencing problems. A previous small scale evaluation suggested the scheme had promising outcomes. Our team has been funded by the NIHR to further develop the evidence base for the scheme and create materials to support future implementation of the scheme in other sites.

Our research aims to document what the scheme involves, what works well, what could be improved and how a best practice tool kit can be applied across the UK.

The study has three key objectives: 

  1. To establish what ‘real world’ evidence suggests regarding the impact of the WDH MHN scheme and conduct a cost-consequence analysis
  2. Explore existing and future service user, provider and stakeholder views of the acceptability and feasibility of the initiative; and 
  3. Synthesise findings and ‘lessons learned’ to develop an implementation toolkit. 

The work will be divided into 3 workpackages (WP) which will address each of the three objectives in turn:

  • WP1: An outcome evaluation, area-based economic evaluation and cost consequence analysis.
  • WP2: A qualitative, implementation and process evaluation (IPE).
  • WP3: Synthesis of findings from across WP1 and WP2 to inform an ‘implementation toolkit’. 

This study is one of five funded through the NIHR ARC National Priority Consortium in Health and Care Inequalities, fo rmore information about the consortium see

For more information about the project, please contact Dr Sarah Blower (


Funder(s): NIHR ARC National Priority Consortium in Health and Care Inequalities
Start Date:  September 2021
Expiry Date:  August 2023


Internal Staff

External colleagues

  • Dr Amy O'Donnell, Newcastle University
  • Dr Sheena Ramsay, Newcastle University
  • Dr Luke Munford, University of Manchester

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Public Health and Society Research in the Department of Health Sciences