Evaluating programs for young people with a family member with mental health challenges: protocol for a mixed methods, longitudinal, collaborative evaluation

Andrea Reupert, Nerelie Freeman, Rochelle Hine, Sophie Lea, Nivedita Nandakumar, Charlotte O’Grady, Lefteris Patlamazoglou, Laura Pettenuzzo, Kim Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review


Background: Young people with a sibling or parent who experiences mental health challenges have their own support needs. Most programs designed for this population lack a strong evidence base, and the involvement of young people in the development and evaluation of programs designed to support them is unclear or lacking. Methods: This paper describes a protocol for a mixed methods, longitudinal, collaborative evaluation of a suite of programs delivered by The Satellite Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation for young people (5–25 years) who have a family member with mental health challenges. Young people’s lived experience and knowledge will guide the research approach. Institutional ethics approval has been obtained. Over a three year period, approximately 150 young people will be surveyed online on various wellbeing outcome measures, prior to, six and twelve months following program participation with data analysed using multi-level modelling. Groups of young people will be interviewed after participating in different Satellite programs each year. An additional group of young people will be interviewed individually over time. Transcripts will be analysed using thematic analysis. Young people’s creative artworks on their experiences will be included as part of the evaluation data. Discussion: This novel, collaborative evaluation will provide vital evidence on young people’s experiences and outcomes during their time with Satellite. Findings will be used to inform future program development and policy. The approach used here may guide other researchers engaging in collaborative evaluations with community organisations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number67
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Evaluation
  • Mixed methods
  • Participatory; parental mental illness
  • Youth mental health

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