Mental Health Training

To address the overwhelming tide of negative pressures impacting well-being in both pupils, students and teachers, YMCA has developed a series of training programmes to equip staff with the tools they need to help pupils, students and themselves; and reduce the risk of issues escalating.

It is vital that everyone working within a school has an understanding of what mental health is and how to respond to common issues to ensure children and young people are able to access the help they need early.

In order to help you decide upon the most appropriate training we have worked with local services to develop a competency framework which categorises our training according to its content and depth of learning. We also hope that this will simplify the often complex picture of mental health training in a structured and methodical way, and provide a clear framework to equip the whole setting with appropriate skills to support young people’s mental health.


How to Use the Framework


As we pursue our ambition of helping young people enjoy positive mental health and well-being, we believe that everyone working with young people should have a foundation level of training and these trainings are listed under Stage One (Core or Universal) of the competency framework. From here, individuals can identify trainings from Stage Two (Enhanced) and Stage Three (Targeted) according to their role in their setting and developmental need.


Core Training – Stage One


Our core training is designed for anyone working with children and young people and could include:


  • Teachers
  • Teaching Assistants
  • Pastoral Care team members
  • SENCOs
  • Senior Leadership Team
  • Governors
  • Office Staff and other Support Staff
  • Parents


  • Develop a greater understanding of how and why mental health conditions develop
  • Understand risk and protective factors
  • Be able to identify some signs and symptoms of common mental health difficulties
  • Understand what impact a mental health condition can have on a child’s ability to learn
  • Understand how you can look after your own mental health
  • Identify strategies to use in your setting

Enhanced Training – Stage Two


Our enhanced training follows on from our core training and is designed for adults who wish to learn more and those in regular contact with young people experiencing mental health difficulties, including:


  • Teachers
  • Teaching Assistants
  • Pastoral Care team members
  • SENCOs
  • Senior Leadership Team
  • Parents
  • Young People & Community Workers, etc.




  • Develop a more in-depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect well-being
  • Learn more about specific mental health topics
  • Increase your confidence to reassure and support someone in distress
  • Enhance your interpersonal skills in non-judgmental, active listening
  • Consider how to bring therapeutic theory into everyday practice

Targeted Training – Stage Three


Our targeted training is delivered in a Train the Trainer format to give settings access to cost-effective and sustainable training that can be cascaded to other staff. This training has been designed for adults working in specialist roles, including:


  • SEND Coordinators
  • Pastoral Leads
  • Mental Health Champions
  • Safeguarding Leads
  • Senior Leadership Team




  • Learn the skills to be able to train other members of staff in mental health awareness
  • Deliver non-clinical interventions e.g. group programmes using tried and tested materials
  • Develop your skills in order to raise awareness amongst parents and young people
Other Audiences - click to see the full list




Parents and carers are integral to promoting positive mental health in young people and supporting those in need. We can adapt all of our training in the competency framework to parents and carers, specifically the core and enhanced courses. Adaptations may be in the form of content, course length or structure so please get in touch to discuss your bespoke needs. Examples of tailored parent awareness workshops include:



In order to create a positive well-being culture, mental health needs to be everyone’s business. Student awareness is also central to building resilience and reducing the risk of issues escalating. In addition to parents and staff, students can therefore increase their own mental health competencies through a range of programmes we can offer that are listed below:




We can deliver a range of assemblies for all ages covering some basic mental health awareness activities, self-care tips, myths and facts, case studies, videos, supporting others, etc.




Free to all schools, we have two national campaigns which provide useful resources, session plans, reports and videos that are free to download.


  • IAMWHOLE – Visit the IAMWHOLE website to read more about the anti-stigma campaign backed by celebrities such as Ed Sheeran.
  • BeREAL – Look on the BeREAL website for more information about their body confidence campaign in partnership with Dove to raise awareness of body image issues.


Awareness workshops / Well-being Days


If you need support running awareness sessions in schools, we can help. Our trained practitioners can deliver one-off workshops, schemes of work, or even  a whole school awareness day depending on your needs. They can all also be tailored to meet the new PSHE curriculum guidelines.

In addition, we can help you arrange your own awareness days to fundraise for mental health support. Please get in touch to receive our fundraising pack.




Specific Topics Workshops – Not only can we offer you awareness sessions, we can also arrange workshops on specific topics such as exam stress, body confidence and anxiety.




Level 1 Award – Young Health Champions

To help schools develop peer support programmes, we have written an accredited qualification for students aged 14+. The award will help build leadership skills, but also raise awareness of mental health to enable students to support others and raise awareness across the school. The course consists of up to 50 hours of guided learning and can be delivered by our trainers or we can arrange for you to attend a Train The Trainer course so you can run it yourself.


Mandatory Units:


  • Peer Leadership
  • Health Improvement


Optional units include:


  • Body Image
  • Self-Esteem 7 Confidence
  • Dealing with bullying
  • Feelings and emotions
  • Encouraging physical activity
  • Healthy Eating

First Aid Courses - click to see the full list

First Aid


We have a range of approved first aid trainers that can offer you courses at discounted rates. With first aid now becoming a part of the curriculum, why not get in touch with us to help you offer this to both staff and students:


  • Level 2 Award in Student First Aid – three hours or 3x1hr blocks (11+)
  • Mini Medics Award – three hours (7-11 year olds)
  • Ofsted recognised Paediatric First Aid – two day (16+)
  • Level 2 Emergency First Aid – one day (14+)


Prices start from just £20 per person for mini-medics and £55 per person for full day courses, with discounts for large groups. Contact us for more information.


Conferences & Key Notes


Our expertise in mental health means we have a wealth of knowledge and resources to offer schools, organisations and other settings bespoke key note speakers at existing events or INSET days. We can also arrange full scale mental health conferences and events for groups of schools, trusts and organisations covering a range of topics and organise local speakers as necessary.


For more information on either of these courses or to book please call 01733 373187 or email



What Our Delegates Say


  • “I just wanted to thank you for the staff training. Everybody commented on how uplifted and motivated they felt following your training. It’s not often that we have training in school which receives such positive feedback from all members of staff, so I felt like I needed to let you know” – Head Teacher
  • Great tutor, really interesting, great group work” – School Well-Being Nurse.
  • “It made me reflect on the children in my class as well as my own child & gave me the time to think of ways to encourage this within my practice. The time to discuss this with my peers was extremely valuable” – EYFS Teacher.
  • We are hearing good feedback on the training we commissioned you to do with our schools which is fantastic news – all the more so because it’s actually quite rare to get unprompted good feedback on our funded training offers.” – Commissioner

How to Book