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Meet the team: Mental Health Matters


  • Mike Bridges, Public Health Specialist, OMBC
  • Caleb Cunniffe, Head of Service, Adult & Communities, Tameside Oldham and Glossop Mind
  • Anna Tebay, Public Health Specialist, OMBC

The need

Oldham is a deprived borough with a higher percentage of people self-reporting low life satisfaction (6%) and low happiness (9.5%) compared to the England average (4.5% and 8.5% respectively), and 18.1% of people self-reporting anxiety. 


The idea


The Connect 5 train the trainer programme has been developed by Public Health England and Health Education England to train the health and care workforce to support people to live well mentally, and better manage their mental health.


Outcomes from previously utilised Connect 5 training has shown that where front line staff have effective conversations about mental health and wellbeing (as a result of the training), individuals have been able to manage their mental health problems and increase their resilience and mental wellbeing through positive changes.


Connect 5 promotes a self-help philosophy of helping people to better understand, manage and improve their mental health through a bio-psychosocial understanding of mental health and wellbeing. The training works on the premise of a stepped care model of mental health intervention used within community, primary care and in-hospital settings.


Fewer than 1 in 3 people suffering clinical levels of mental distress access mental health services.  Many of them will be in contact with other than health frontline services, and we want to equip these with the ability and confidence to support people with mental health issues. 

Our proposal is to train staff in local agencies in early identification, assessment of risk factors, risk assessment and management, awareness raising and promotion of positive mental health, and to enable them in delivering mental health promotion and support appropriately.


The programme will be delivered in partnership with Mind which will ensure that the model is delivered competently and aligned with other mental health and wellbeing activities locally.

We will offer the Connect 5 training to frontline services such as housing providers, voluntary sector groups, faith groups, community workers, police etc..  This will help us identify an initial cohort of interested staff to train.  The training is offered as 1-, 2-, or 3-day training incrementally.  Participants will be able to take this in steps and gather experience between training days.  We also intend to test whether participants are confident and effective in training others.

We will work with trained staff to test ways in which they can translate their learning into action and support their clients.


·         To contribute to a reduction in suicide rates

·         To better identify and respond to self-harm

·         To contribute to improvements in self-reported mental health and wellbeing

·         To contribute to a mentally healthy and resilient workforce

Measures (tentative):

·         Number of staff trained at different levels

·         Increased confidence and capability to deliver appropriate interventions

·         Number of persons supported or referred


The Cost:


This is based on £700 per training day – to support 6 cohorts undertaking 3 days training – plus £10,000 for coordination of the project, liaison with frontline organisations, and trained staff, data collection and reporting.


How you can contribute

  • • Experience of low cost sustainable peer support
  • • Experience of working with a non-health workforce and/or vulnerable groups.


  1. I have done the Connect 5 training in Warrington and found it to be very useful and informative. The Connect 5 is a useful tool that staff can use to help people to talk about their mental health and to support them to find ways that can improve their mental wellbeing. I believe all health professionals and health social care workers should have training on mental health. This project is definitely a step in the right direction towards that.

  2. Working in mental health in East Sussex, there is clearly  a desire among the non-health workforce for more training in mental health issues. Formal and informal conversations with these sectors suggests there is definitely a need. The difficulty we have found from multi-professional simulation training, is getting the 'buy-in' from the people who sign the time out for training forms. Identifying the stakeholders and developing those networks as early as possible is extremely useful. Good luck with your bid. Please give us your thoughts for #SimInPsych

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