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A space to talk

An evaluation of the WISH Centre’s services with young people who self-harm

Authors: Graham Durcan and Juliet Snell

The WISH Centre was founded around 15 years ago to support young people who were selfharming and has developed into a communitybased service to support young people on a path to recovery. Centre for Mental Health evaluated the service, analysing two years of outcome data collected by WISH, and speaking to former and current users of the WISH Centre, as well as a range of key stakeholders. This report summarises the results of our evaluation, as well as exploring how the positive features of WISH could be made available in other areas to support young people who self-harm.

The results of the evaluation demonstrate the success that has been previously demonstrated and continues in Harrow, which has been replicated in Merton. Young people (and other stakeholders) described a project that is holistic, that focuses on their strengths and in building resilience and that does so at the young person’s pace. The analysis of the hard outcome data collected by WISH also demonstrates the considerable success WISH had in helping young people turn their lives around. Attendance of A&E for self-harm was markedly reduced and statistically significant positive outcomes were demonstrated for young people in both Harrow and Merton across a range of outcomes (i.e. self-harm, suicidal ideation, abuse, trauma, anxiety/stress, depression/sadness, coping mechanisms & emotional resilience).

Centre for Mental Health concludes that the approach offered by WISH is both successful and replicable.