This project is a collaboration between academic researchers, carers and voluntary sector organisations across the UK. We know that family carers of people with intellectual disabilities, in addition to other carers, have experienced significant stress due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This may have a lasting impact on family carers. This project seeks to assess whether our online programme can help reduce this impact and support carers’ mental health.
We conducted focus group discussions (2021-2022) with our voluntary sector partners and family carers to understand what the pandemic was like for them and determine what could be done to help. We subsequently used the findings, together with input from our project advisory group (PAG), to directly inform our online programme.
The online programme has now been developed and we are currently (2023 -2025) assessing whether the programme, and the methods we use to assess it, are capable of bringing about improvements to carers’ mental health..
Dr Mark Linden is a Reader in Health Sciences in Queen's University Belfast. Mark has worked in the area of disability research for over 18 years.
Dr Trisha Forbes in a Research Fellow in Queen’s University Belfast with around 15 years of research experience in a variety of fields, mainly mental health related.
Dr Rachel Leonard is a Research Fellow in Queen’s University Belfast. Rachel has experience in a range of research areas, with a focus on mental health.
Nathan Hughes is Professor of Adolescent Health and Justice, and Head of the Department of Sociological Studies, at the University of Sheffield.
Professor Michael Brown is Professor of Nursing and Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s University, Belfast.
Dr Maria Truesdale is a Senior Lecturer in Intellectual Disabilities at the Centre for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at University of Glasgow.
Lynne’s research and clinical interests expand across children and older adults with learning disabilities and includes health and wellbeing, fathers and families’ disabilities research and relationships with people with intellectual disabilities.