Mental Health Awareness

Most people at some time during their life, experience stress, anxiety, and even depression. Students, for example, have the pressures associated with assessments, exams, goals targets and homework and on the other their developing personal relationships, work life, and family. For students and older people alike major life transitions such as family break-ups, bereavement or just moving home can all increase stress worry and anxiety.

Whilst these are relatively low-level examples of mental health issues, they are nevertheless issues that usually impact, adversely, on performance. Whilst many people get through these times of stress and worry without support there are many others who struggle to do so and in some cases issues escalate into more serious mental health problems and can show up as excessive drinking, smoking, drug addiction and self-harm.

Whilst most organisations make provision for assessing and supporting individuals, who have been diagnosed with serious mental health issues, many staff and colleagues will be experiencing lower level and/or temporary conditions that need to be identified and support provided.

This means that all line managers, HR specialists, teachers, trainers and learning support assistants need to be able to identify who may be experiencing mental health issues and know what support they are required to give, how and when.

Indeed in a recent employment tribunal case resulted in a high street retailer being recommended by a judge to arrange Mental Health Awareness training for all their staff.

This one day course provides broad ranging advice and guidance way to identify those who may have problems and how best to react in a range of typical circumstances. It explores the role employers and service providers have in improving the mental health and well-being of employees as well as respecting the different needs and circumstances of clients, customers, learners and students. It also considers the policies and action plans that need to be in place to meet legislation and support good mental health well-being.

For Whom
This one day course can be aligned to the need of managers at all levels from first-line to Director across all business sectors. It is also suitable for teachers, trainers and learning support teams within schools, colleges and independent learning providers.
The course can be tailored for separate or mixed cohorts of staff, managers and volunteers and the more specific needs of those having to address mental health issues with students in learning and training environments.

Aims and Objectives
Delegates will:
• Consider definitions of “mental disorder” and other terms
• Recognise the points of convergence and divergence between definitions of “learning disabilities” and mental health problems
• Look at a range of examples of mental health problems, symptoms and other terms
• Talk about causes of many mental health problems
• Examine some of the signs around mental health problems-spotting the signs
• Exchange ideas AND receive information about 7 recurring pieces of best practice in the modern workplace
• Determine appropriate and safe responses in a crisis situation
• Focus on the 10 key UK laws and appropriate European directives which impact on the mental health agenda –bringing rights and responsibilities
• Be assisted in developing or updating existing policies supporting staff, students and service users as well as volunteers
• Identify further sources of information & support


1. Terms, Definitions and Legislation
This introductory session explores the terms and definitions that relate to mental health issues and the legislation that impacts on all organisations
• Terms and Definitions
• 10 important Acts of Parliament

2. Causes, Symptoms and Identification
Whilst line managers, HR staff, teachers, trainers and support assistants are seldom professional counsellors, they are in an ideal position to assist people in accessing advice, guidance and support. Behaviours that may indicate that someone is grappling with mental health issues could include excessive procrastination, poor attendance, disruptive behaviour, and/or marked changes in appearance. There is also the need to be on the lookout for overly dependent students or staff or those who make frequent requests for help or seem to be unable to make their own decisions.

This session explores the tell-tale signs for many common problems including:
• Depression including anxiety, stress and worry
• Eating Disorders
• Self Harm
• Substance abuse, including drugs, alcohol and tobacco
• Neuro Diverse Conditions that may underlie the above

3 Advising and Addressing Mental Health Issues
line managers, HR staff, teachers, trainers and support assistants will frequently observe behaviours that could indicate underlying mental health issues or students and staff may even self-report. In both cases it is important that all those who may be know how to manage the situation effectively.
This session explores a range of possible approaches, the situation in which they may prove effective together with this risks and challenges associated with them.
• What you can do
• When to do it
• Where to do it
• How to do it
• Why you should do
• Why you should not do it
• When to involve the person affected
• When not to involve the person affected

4. Confidentiality
This session considers the, often conflicting, issues round legal and compliance responsibilities, the need to main trust and confidentiality.

5. Putting it all together
The fifth session brings all of the above together. Participants consider a range of case studies that link back to the situations covered in session 1 and consider, in each how best to proceed.

6. Theory to Practice
The last session explores what needs to be done by participants at both the organisational and participant levels to enable mental health issues to be addressed more effectively. It also considers any mental health worries about specific staff that have arisen during the course of the workshop, and what action is needed for these