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Changing Futures is a programme that supports people who have experienced multiple disadvantages, such as mental health problems, substance misuse, domestic abuse, contact with the criminal justice system and homelessness. A newly funded project, led by NIHR ARC West and the Centre for Academic Primary Care, will evaluate how Changing Futures in Bristol can provide more trauma-informed support with people with multiple disadvantages.

Almost everyone with a history of multiple disadvantages has also experienced trauma. This can have a negative effect on people’s mental health. Services do not always recognise and support the effects of trauma. This evaluation will identify what stands in the way of providing more trauma-informed support.

Image of people sat at a table having discussionResearchers will work with practitioners, stakeholders and people with lived experience to create the evaluation and share learning across different services. This will help Changing Futures to develop services to support people who have experienced trauma and mental distress more effectively, which will help to improve their recovery and wellbeing.

Michelle Farr, Research Fellow at ARC West said:

“I’m so pleased that we have received this funding to evaluate a potentially transformative project which can make a substantial and positive impact. I am really excited to be working in partnership with a range of great organisations and people with lived experiences to make a difference in practice.”

Jason Burrowes, a lived experience representative at Independent Futures said:

“I hope that this evaluation will enable people with lived experiences to get their voices heard so that they can change the system. We want to provide new opportunities to build communities and relationships so that people with lived experiences can be change-makers in Bristol.”

Tom, a lived experience representative at Independent Futures said:

“As someone who has experienced trans-generational trauma, I believe this project has the opportunity to explore just how far and wide the number of people is, who are actually caught up within the circumference of trauma”.

More Information

This project will evaluate the work of Changing Futures Bristol and it is funded by the NIHR Three Research Schools Mental Health Practice Evaluation Scheme.

More about the national Changing Futures programme can be found here: