We believe much more can be done to help people reach their health goals. Too many people are being told how to be healthier and what unhealthy behaviours to stop. But we know from the evidence that this directive and punitive way of ‘helping’ people (what we call Bad Help) is less effective than asking people about their lives, and understanding what motivates them and where they feel confident to start (what we call Good Help).
There is a lot of behavioural and social research that demonstrates how to do Good Help, but this isn’t being routinely built into services or support. We are working to design a Good Help programme that helps frontline teams and communities to understand behavioural and social approaches to help. We think there are three key components:
Through this programme we hope to work with people with lived experience, practitioners, community and voluntary organisations, and statutory services to:
We believe that if more services and places adopt a Good Help approach then many more people will be able to reach their health goals.
We are carrying out research in the summer (2019) to identify the key enablers and disablers of delivering Good Help. We will share more information about this as the research develops.
In February 2018 we launched a report 'Good and Bad Help: How purpose and confidence transform lives'; a call to action for policymakers and practitioners. The report draws on research and good practice to highlight the key drivers of action and characteristics of Good Help.
We launched the Good Help Award to discover more examples of ‘good help’ projects that are already happening across the country. 19 finalists have been selected from over 300 applications received. Read more about the award and the 19 finalists, including the overall winner, Blue Marble Training, and the runners up, The Membership Team @Off the Record (Bristol) and NHS Community Pain Service / Pain Clinic Plus.
We hope our work will be rooted in the specific projects, places and passions of the people in the field. If you would like to be part of this community or become involved in any other way, please register your interest here
We are working with Osca who co-authored the original report and supporting them to continue to develop Good Help in other public sectors beyond health, including employment, education and criminal justice. If you would like to know more please get in touch with Rich Wilson, Nick Nielson or Jo Weir.