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Mental health training

Edinburgh College working in partnership with NHS Lothian

Edinburgh College is working in partnership with NHS Lothian to develop a sustainable mental health and suicide prevention training programme which can be delivered to both staff and students across Edinburgh College four campus sites. The purpose of the training programme is to:

  • raise awareness of mental health & wellbeing among both staff and students
  • increase confidence to talk openly about mental health and suicide
  • provide information on local resources, where and how to access help and support.

The programme is supported and monitored by the College’s Mental Health Working Group which includes student and staff representatives.


During session 2013/14, a pilot group of 12 staff and students was recruited. They undertook Scottish Mental Health First Aid Training, ASIST (Applied suicide intervention skills training). This was supplemented by training for trainers sessions delivered by experienced college and NHS staff, who will also provide ongoing support and mentoring to trainers through the lifetime of the project. This has equipped the trainees with the skills and materials to deliver a range of Be Aware, three hour workshops to staff and students on the topics of:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • self-harm
  • suicide

Roll out of the sessions commenced and evaluations to date have been very positive. Participants in the suicide awareness sessions particularly valued the opportunity to discuss a difficult topic in a safe setting, and benefitted from learning new skills.

A mental health trainers manual has been developed as part of the project which can be made available as a resource on Moodle.