Mental Health Awareness – an introduction to mental health

Course overview

This one day course is for anyone who might benefit from an introduction to the topic of mental health and ill health. The course takes the delegates through the various models of mental health via medical, psychosocial and cultural perspectives and goes on to consider different types of mental health conditions, from the common to the severe.

‘Signs and symptoms’ that are associated with these conditions are highlighted and possible causes discussed. Delegates will learn about the various treatment pathways and support approaches, from medical and psychological interventions to self-help and peer support.

Learning objectives

By the end of this course delegates will be better able to describe

  • Models of mental health including medical and psychosocial, western and non-western
  • Some of the key issues connected to inequality and mental health
  • The causes and symptoms of the common mental health problems (stress, anxiety, OCD, and depression) and the severe conditions (bipolar disorder, schizophrenia) and of personality disorders
  • The treatment and support options that relate to these conditions, including self care
  • The common prejudices and assumptions that can be associated with mental health
  • How to encourage good mental health and seek help when necessary

Course content

  • What is mental health?
  • What is mental ill health?
  • Medical, psychosocial and cultural perspectives
  • Mental health and the six strands of inequality: age, gender, race and ethnicity, religion and spirituality, physical disability, and sexual orientation; we will also look at class and financial inequality
  • How mental health conditions are classified and diagnosed
  • How helpful is our system of classification?
  • Is it possible to recover from  mental health problems?
  • What is meant by recovery?
  • How is recovery achieved?
  • Signs, symptoms and causes of anxiety disorders
  • Signs, symptoms and causes of depression
  • How anxiety and depression are treated, including self care
  • Signs, symptoms and causes of bi polar disorder
  • Living with bi polar: treatment, support and self care
  • Signs, symptoms and causes of psychotic conditions including schizophrenia
  • How bi polar and psychosis are treated, including self help
  • What is a personality disorder?
  • Different types of personality disorder
  • What are the treatment options for personality disorder, including self care?

Training methods

  • Trainer presentations
  • Powerpoint presentations
  • Group discussion
  • Small group work
  • Pairs work
  • Practical exercises
  • Handouts
  • Resources and recommended reading list


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