Researching Carer Support and Involvement in Secure Mental Health Services

Mental Health and Wellbeing

A study of the involvement and support of family and friends of people admitted to secure mental health services in England.

A team led by Professor Mick McKeown at the University of Central Lancashire have undertaken a study of the needs of family and friends of people cared for in secure mental health services funded by NHS England. Sometimes referred to as ‘forensic carers’ this group have distinct needs of their own, requiring support from services, and are able to make a positive contribution to services, hence the desirability for processes of involvement.

This study explored what services are doing and could be doing to better support and involve carers in the secure context. The research comprised of a literature review, surveys of carers and services, and interviews with carers.

The findings have supported the development of a toolkit for carer support and involvement in secure mental health services, which is aimed at guiding commissioners and helping carers navigate the system. It will also help staff working in services be more aware of the range of initiatives that might better meet the needs of carers.

The research report will appear here soon.

Subject Areas

  • Mental health
  • Mental health and wellbeing

Project Lead

Prof. Mick McKeown

Project Staff

  • Julie Ridley
  • Alison Elliott
  • Karen Machin
  • Sheena Foster
  • Sue Stewart
  • Donna Steele

Collaborators and Partners

Flexible Films

Clients or Funders

NHS England

Public Outputs

Toolkit and Films


2017 - 2018


Prof. Mick McKeown: