A graphic developed during an NIHR CLAHRC EM project is helping to make the case for more funding into learning disabilities to NHS England.
It has been acknowledged as part of the evidence base to apply for further funding in learning disabilities and autism work.
The results of the study showed that caregivers experience joys, challenges and fears in relation to their responsibilities, which had multiple effects on their mental wellbeing.
This was captured and illustrated in the graphic created following by a series of focus groups and interviews with parents in order to inform a future project in this area.
The graphic facilitator, Pen Mendonca, used a values based cartooning methodology which she developed as part of her PhD studies with Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.
Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted with seven caregivers in a process involving an iterative process of listening, observation, representation and checking back with participants and those who facilitated the interviews. In the final stage of the process the image was taken back to the participants and used as a stimulus to elicit further caregiving experiences and potential directions for future work in this area.
The research team is currently undertaking a literature review to find out what has been documented with regards to mental wellbeing for caregivers and whether there are any interventions that have been tested to support these individuals.
Nicola Wright, Assistant Professor in Mental Health at University of Nottingham, said: “We hope to secure further funding to explore in more detail the mental wellbeing needs of a larger group of caregivers using qualitative research methods.”
For more information about this research, click here.
Graphic facilitation by @MendoncaPen, www.penmendonca.com.