Changes Health and Wellbeing have delivered a series of workshops for us over the past couple of weeks. The sessions were well-attended overall and were appreciated by tutors who were able to:
- increase their knowledge of a variety of mental health conditions,
- consider the impact on learning,
- share good practice and practical tips with other tutors, and
- look at some strategies to best support learners.
Overall, the session emphasised the importance of being interested in the individuals in your group and not labelling learners – good communication and group management. Also, that a number of things we are already familiar with, are really important for learners with mental health issues so that the learners feel welcomed and respected. For example:
- pre-enrolment information,
- initial assessment,
- a detailed knowledge of your learners (group profile),
- discussing ground rules with your group,
- using a variety of learning styles,
- using a learner-led approach.
We discussed how important it is also for tutors to be aware of their own mental health, and not to try to solve learners’ problems, but to have the information to sign-post them for more support if necessary. Please see the websites below which will be useful:
http://www.staffordshirementalhealth.info/startpage.aspx? – Directory of Mental Health Services in Staffordshire
http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/ – campaign to get the nation talking about mental health with the aim of ending mental health discrimination #timetotalk
All the resources from the session can be found on Fenc, at the following link: Mental Health Awareness
Please use the comments box below to tell us:
have you found these resources useful?
what has worked for you in supporting learners?
what other strategies you would like to try out?
Thanks again to Changes staff, Liz and Ben, for delivering such an interesting session and to all the tutors who attended and shared their experiences.