Getting behind mental health promotion: mental health awareness is an increasingly talked about topic, from a dedicated week in May, to governmental policy, and even causes receiving support from the royal family. These efforts seek to remind us that at least one in four people experience a mental health problem during their life. Consequently, poor mental health is the largest cause of disability in the UK, and everyone from the public to healthcare professionals should be more aware of this and the mental health training resources available.

But why is mental health awareness so important? Surely the answer is that awareness is the first step towards prevention of mental illness and promotion of mental health. Prevention and promotion seek to help everyone live well for longer and provide a sustainable way to improve people’s mental health.

An important step towards prevention and promotion in mental health is education and training to support people to work towards these goals, and positively impact the health of others.

Public Mental Health Training Resources

You may have seen our blog post in May this year, highlighting that Health Education England’s Public Mental Health programme has commissioned us to deliver a project supporting the development and dissemination of mental health promotion and mental health prevention training resources.

We’re excited to be making great progress, with the support of some amazing collaborators, towards the project deliverables due this November:

  1. An updated mental health training directory including available evidence-based training provision;
  2. A quality marker checklist to assess the existing public health training programmes and guide new training development;
  3. A gap analysis of available resources with recommendations to address those identified;
  4. A communication strategy to disseminate this work.

We’ve so far been able to uncover a wide range of public mental health training and resources, which are forming the directory that aims to strategically guide commissioning and access to these opportunities.

We’ve had some great engagement sessions, with input from healthcare professionals, trainers, mental health campaigners, people with lived experience, and more. These sessions have helped us to begin determining key quality markers or criteria for this training, as well as where gaps in provision may exist.

Join the discussion

The next stage of the project requires more input from people such as yourselves and your colleagues, in fact from anyone that is interested in mental health promotion. As such we are requesting your help and involvement in one of 2 ways:

  1. Please complete this brief 1-page survey to provide feedback on quality criteria and gaps in mental health promotion training

  1. Email to share your views on quality criteria and existing gaps for mental health promotion training

This work relies on support and contributions from dedicated, motivated individuals who are keen to see improved efforts to helping people achieve better mental health. Taking one of these steps will allow us to ensure this project is as effective as possible.

We look forward to hearing from you, and do watch this space over the coming months as we will be updating on this project’s progress!

Chris Attoe

Research & Development Lead | Maudsley Learning | South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Research Lead | Maudsley Simulation | South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust