gmlpf members sitting at a table listening to trainer on mental health awareness course

GMLPF members complete Lottery-funded two day programme in mental health

GMLPF members completed the second day of a two-day training course in mental health awareness last week. The course equipped them with a formal level 2 qualification and the skills to champion and “triage” mental health issues with apprentices and other learners.

Eleven member organisations enrolled on the two-day training course, delivered by AT Skills. The initiative is part of the GMLPF Minds project that has received nearly £10,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund.

GMLPF’s successful bid for funds has so far enabled research into mental health in the Liverpool City Region skills sector as well as subsidising this mental health awareness training for providers. Also, the region’s apprentice ambassadors recently undertook mental health awareness training thanks to this Lottery-funded project.

Recognising the symptoms of poor mental health

Over the past year, GMLPF members have reported significant mental health issues among their students, and more recently, their staff. This course has helped providers to start tackling the problem. They are now able to recognise the symptoms of poor mental health promptly. Ian Lomas, chief executive of GMLPF, explains:

“More than eight in ten of our members have reported that the mental health of learners has an impact on programme delivery. Staff are spending a significant number of hours tackling the problem while learners are suffering. A similar number say problems are piling up and affecting the mental health of staff as well. The training aims to create a better and more productive learning environment for everybody.”

Boosting apprenticeship numbers

Those completing the course gain a Level 2 in Mental Health Awareness awarded by Active IQ. Ian adds:

“The strain on resources in the sector is reaching unprecedented levels. Mental health challenges are adding to this. We’re putting this National Lottery funding towards relieving the pressure and boosting the number of students who complete their apprenticeship or other training.”

The learning providers who attended last week’s course included Andrew Collinge, Halton Council, Liverpool Football College, Myerscough College, NTG Training, North West Community Services, North West Training Council, Onside Education, Rocket Training and The Engineering College.

Annette Swinnerton from North West Community Services told us:

“The course has provided me with time away from the workplace to stop and take stock of the issues. I’ll now return to my job with much more understanding and an objective approach. The training gave me new skills and I’ve more knowledge about signposting people for assistance. I want to use what I’ve learnt to help colleagues, apprentices, and other learners.”

The two-day course ran at The Maggie O’Neill Community Resource centre in Knowsley on Wednesday 17th and 23rd October. There is an additional course running during November, on the 13th and 20th. GMLPF members can book a discounted place through Eventbrite.

GMLPF training to tackle mental health crisis in LCR skills sector

GMLPF research amongst providers of apprenticeships and other training has revealed the scale of mental health problems in the skills sector across the Liverpool City Region.

The research was conducted with GMLPF members as part of the National Lottery Community Fund  GMLPF Minds project. The findings confirm that mental health challenges faced by learners are having an ongoing negative impact on the delivery of training including Apprenticeships.  The research shows that the problem has escalated and reveals also that mental ill-health amongst learning provider staff is also starting to become an issue.

More than 80 per cent of GMLPF members report that mental ill-health is having an impact on the delivery of training. The main issues cited as being experienced by learners are anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, substance abuse and self-harm. The worrying statistics also include evidence that absence and students dropping out is frequently linked to these mental health issues.

Ian Lomas, Chief Executive of GMLPF says:

“Young people are starting apprenticeships and other training with existing pressures that include poverty, stress and lack of resilience. National figures show the 16-24 age group is the most likely to experience stress or anxiety. Worryingly, learners are not seeking the help they need.  Dealing with the fall out has a knock-on effect for our members’ staff, increasing their own stress levels.”

The GMLPF Minds project has received nearly £10,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund. The money has been spent on understanding the local issues and a tranche of the award will go towards mental health awareness training for provider staff.

Ian adds:

“The funding has made it possible for us to introduce much-needed training for provider staff. Providers are being offered mental health awareness and first aid training at a greatly reduced rate.”

AT Skills are delivering the mental health awareness and first aid course at a modern training facility in Huyton.  The Maggie O’Neill Community Resource Centre in Knowsley will host the two-day course starting on Wednesday 16th October.

Alan Reddin from AT Skills told us:

“We first ran this course in January. The feedback was overwhelming and provider staff expressed how critical and useful the training is for the modern-day challenges they face. Participants gain a Level 2 Award.”

The course offers great value and will help tackle the daily challenges when participants return to the workplace.

The research findings suggest that one in every three of Liverpool City Region learners experiences mental health issues. Providers are spending more time on dealing with learners’ mental ill-health.  This places a drain on the resources of provider staff.

Attendees will gain an understanding of mental health and the main disorders they need to be aware of. Alongside this, they will have a good grasp of how to access support and advice. A cornerstone element of the training is about recognising and responding to the signs of mental ill-health.

Alan from AT Skills explains how attending the course will be effective when participants return to the workplace:

“The training will help providers to tackle mental health issues sooner and we expect this to improve learner success rates and reduce the strain on resources.”

Money from The National Lottery Community Fund will be used to subsidise the costs of training. GMLPF members can attend the two-day course for just £130.

Click here to book a place on the discounted training programme.