Mental health

“if one in three GP appointments concerns mental health, why do only 46% of GPs do a mental health placement in their training?”
The future of the mental health workforce, Centre for Mental Health, September 2017


HEE have added a mental health module to its COVID-19 e-LfH collection of resources. Supporting Patient Mental Health for the whole workforce includes a selection of introductory learning and resources to support staff in primary care and community to deliver mental health support, during Covid-19.

The Royal College of GPs has reworked its learning materials to create specific resources for family doctors helping their patients come to terms with the pandemic and its aftermath. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder during and after lockdown,  initially developed to help GP practices provide targeted support to military veterans returning from war zones, focuses on the period of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential effects on patients and key workers during and after this period.

MindEd provides free educational resources on mental health for everyone.

  • The MindEd Coronavirus Staff Resilience Hub provides support for frontline staff working through the COVID-19 pandemic to help manage their mental health and wellbeing.
  • The Wellbeing for Education Return programme supports staff working in schools and colleges responding to pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • MindEd for Families has advice and information for parents and carers concerned about the mental health of children or teenages, or older family members.

People who care for or work with children and young people aged up to 25 who have been affected by COVID-19 (or other emergencies or individual crises) are now able to access a new online Psychological First Aid (PFA) training course.

Mental health elearning resources

The e-Learning for Health Mental Health Awareness  programme aims to raise the awareness of mental health amongst health care staff. It is designed to give a broad overview of what encompasses mental illness, the link between mental and physical health diagnoses and outline some possible treatment options.

The NHS Mental Health Apps Library  includes a collection of mental health apps is now available on the NHS Choices platform. They include online tools, resources and apps that have a proven track record of effectiveness in improving mental health outcomes.

MindEd is a free educational resource suitable for all adults working with, or caring for, infants, children or teenagers. All the information provided is quality assured by experts, useful, and easy to understand. It was built by a consortium of UK organisations and is managed by a team from RCPCH and HEE e-LfH.

The Mental Health First Aid course  helps people to spot the symptoms of mental health issues, offer initial help and guide a person towards support. The courses teach people to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis.  Instructor Training takes place over seven days and is usually spread out over six weeks.  Oxfordshire Mind run 2 day workshops, directed by MHFA accredited trainers , take a look at the Oxfordshire Mind website for forthcoming dates.

The PPiP Care: Psychological Perspectives in Primary Care is a RCGP accredited, evidence-based training in advanced primary care consultation skills and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) techniques. The training is delivered at scheduled workshops (half days or whole days) or as bespoke training packages to existing staff teams.

The  Mental Health resources from the Royal College of Psychiatrists include information on mental health problems, treatments and FAQs.

The RCGP Mental Health toolkit  is just one of the resources on the RCGP Mental Health resources page to support GPs.

Social Care Institute for Excellence – eLearning on mental health of older people are freely available multi-media learning resources to raise awareness of key issues, research, messages, policies and approaches relating to the mental health of older people and, in so doing, positively impact on practice.

The NEPTUNE project (Novel Psychoactive Treatment UK Network) has published  e-learning modules on the clinical management of harms associated with novel psychoactive substances  and club drugs. Developed in partnership with the Royal College of Psychiatrists  and building on the evidence-based NEPTUNE clinical guidance, the modules provide free and easy to use training for front-line clinicians and other practitioners. [Free registration required.]

BMJ have published a Practice Pointer for primary care staff outlining brief behavioural interventions which can reduce patients’ emotional distress  as well as improving relationships with patients and job satisfaction for the GP. The  Practice Pointer presents a step by step approach for non-specialists to use in their consultation with patients in distress whether or not they are taking psychiatric medications.

Suicide prevention
We need to talk about suicide is a new learning resource from Health Education England which aims to raise vital awareness about suicide. It provides support for volunteers and health care professionals who don’t specialise in mental health, enabling them to recognise early warning signs of suicide, support patients and their families, as well as offering additional health services in this time of need.

The Zero Suicide Alliance have published a free 20 minute suicide prevention programme: Suicide – Let’s talk.

Perinatal mental health

The Perinatal Mental Health Toolkit from RCGP  includes a number of online learning resources. (See the Best Practice and Appraisal section.)

Perinatal mental illness affects up to 20% of women, and covers a wide range of conditions, and is one of the targets of NHS England’s service transformation programme for mental health.

Health Education England has developed a set of five 20 to 30 minute e-learning sessions aimed at raising awareness and understanding of perinatal mental health. The sessions assume no prior knowledge of perinatal psychiatry and are designed to be accessed by any health care professional that has contact with a mother or baby from the period prior to conception until the child is 1 year of age.

Maternal Mental Health e-learning resources from NHS Education for Scotland will be of interest to anyone who works with pregnant women and new families, including health visitors, midwives, GPs.

The CPD Zone is brought to you by the GP schools of Health Education England working across Thames Valley and Wessex, in association with Oxford Health FT Library.​

Page last reviewed: 12 March, 2021