A new mental health awareness CPD course was created after feedback showed there was a demand from people working in training, predominantly in the Third Sector.
The HE Level 1 (NQF Level 4) Mental Health Awareness in an Educational Setting programme has been established through WMCETT and is being delivered at the University of Warwick. It has attracted 17 students, with many more expressing interest in any future course. The programme is being taught by Jackie Moulsher, who has wide experience in the field and is currently mental health adviser to the Open University.
The course has been delivered over four days, with the final one in early December. Students also carried out assignments between sessions.
Margaret Hunter, Priority Area Co-ordinator for AVC/ACL, said the course came about from finding that people wanted to understand how to improve their practice in teaching people with mental health conditions.
She said: “It’s about the learning strategies and teaching methods that are needed to teach people who may have difficulties in learning due to their conditions and therapies. You are not always delivering to people in a discrete setting so creating the right group dynamic is important.
“What Jackie always comes round to is it’s about good learner-centred teaching. We are trying to bring mental health into the inclusion agenda.”
Participants on the course mainly came from local authority adult and community education services, along with some from work-based learning and one from an adult residential college.
The course had many aims, including understanding what level of information about mental health conditions, medications and side effects is necessary to support learning, understanding the teacher's roles, boundaries and legal responsibilities, using critical reflection to improve teaching and learning strategies and using IT effectively and appropriately.