Title Vocational Training Programme in Community Mental Health
Project Number UK/10/LLP-LdV/TOI-391
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Country UK-United Kingdom
We took the UK Primary Care Graduate Mental Health Worker Programme and Plymouth Mind’s OCN accredited level 3 course in mental health to create to create a new level 3 vocational award in Slovenia, Greece, Poland and Lithuania. This award was mapped to the national accredited City & Guilds level 3 award in Community Mental Health Work.
The transfer and adaptation completed in March 2011 and delivered to 156 trainees in the EU. The flexible training programme has been accredited in all partner countries. Evaluation results and a complete Mental Health Training Toolkit were presented at international conference in Lithuania in October 2012 and available for download: http://cmht.plymouthmind.com
All learning outcomes mapped to European Qualification Framework (EQF) level 3. In Poland, it was necessary to map to level 6 because of training level requirements for Social Workers. The EQF can be found at: http://cmht.plymouthmind.com/category/training-resources/eqf/
The World Health Organisation stated: “Primary care mental health services in Europe are under-developed with long waiting times to receive treatment in the community, resulting in significant costs to individuals, communities and economies. This lack of capacity is associated with insufficient numbers of trained workers with appropriate mental health skills.” The Mental Health Action Plan for Europe recommended that priority be given to the development of new education and training initiatives; an example of which is the Primary Care Graduate Mental Health Worker role, which demonstrated that trainees without prior mental health experience could be quickly trained to enhance primary care mental health services.
Aims were: to adapt the Primary Care Graduate Mental Health Worker Programme (PCGMHWP) so as to provide a new, non-tertiary vocational programme to train community mental health workers. This would increase the scope and range of mental health training and help to build capacity in primary care mental health in the United Kingdom, Poland, Slovenia, Lithuania and Greece as a model for other EU countries to explore.
Objectives were: To develop, accredit and evaluate a new, level three vocational programme to train 20 community mental health workers in each partner country.
Consortium: comprised a leading UK mental health charity, two Higher Education establishments (UK and Poland), two not-for-profit social care organisations (Slovenia and Lithuania) and the Mental Health Centre (Agrinio Hospital) in Greece. This diverse partnership had significant experience in teaching, service delivery and development and research in the field of mental health and social care.
Outputs: level three vocational programme to train community mental health workers, with a common 10 Essential Shared Capabilities (ESC) framework in each country mapped to EQF level 3; Evaluation report; Mental Health Training Toolkit.
Outcomes: An increase in primary care mental health capacity; interventions for low to moderate mental health problems to facilitate recovery, both mental and economical (eg reduction of work absences through stress).
Impact: The project provided a flexible training programme template for those wishing ti implement their own community mental health worker training programmes, based on the 10 ESCs. The community mental health training toolkit, incorporating this flexible framework, is now publicly available on the project web site.
Description The project was split into 3 phases - development, pilot delivery and dissemination. The development and transfer of the UK product to the partners was completed in March 2011, followed by 12 months of pilot training delivery to 20 staff/students/volunteers in each country. The dissemination process spanned the whole 2 year duration of the project - the end result being the International Conference in September 2012 in Siauliai, Lithuania.
Recognition, transparency, certification
Open and distance learning
Sectors Human Health and Social Work Activities
open and distance learning
description of new occupation profiles
material for open learning
transparency and certification
We adapted the Primary Care Graduate Mental Health Worker Programme to develop a level 3, community mental health training programme flexible enough to meet diverse, local community training needs. The programme is characterised by shared goals and outcomes based on the widely established 10 Essential Capabilities for Mental Health and a quality control was set up to achieve parity in levels of training that are transparent so as to allow mapping onto EU mental health competency frameworks. This was agreed by partners at the preparatory meeting (Ljubljana - Jan 2010) and formed the basis of the Transfer of Innovation. The programme was formally adopted by partners at the partnership meeting in Agrinio, Greece, March 2011.
Our training aims were to: produce a community mental health training programme to: promote positive mental health and awareness of the importance of addressing mental health issues; strengthen information available to patients about mental health; improve knowledge held within GP practices about the network of community resources available for people with mental health problems; promote wider community networking and liaison; support the delivery of brief, CBT-based interventions and self-help interventions for people with common mental disorders of all ages.
Training content embraced assessment, problem-formulation and treatment; knowledge of common mental health problems; planning care; record keeping and confidentiality; recovery; pharmaceutical interventions; planning and executing project work; IT skills. The 10 Essential Capabilities were embedded as a baseline for safe and effective practice. This framework embraces Working in Partnership; Respecting Diversity; Practising Ethically; Challenging Inequality; Promoting Recovery; Identifying People’s Needs and Strengths; Providing Service User-Centred Care; Making a Difference; Promoting Safety and Positive Risk Taking; Personal Development and Learning.
To maximise flexibility the training model employed Learning Contracts, Work-Based Learning Projects, Portfolios of Learning or Individual Learning Plans. The Learning Contracts (Individual Learning Plans) were used to identify learning goals, practice experience and education needs. The Work-Based Learning Projects allowed knowledge and skills to be acquired within a framework that also allowed projects to be tailored to local need. The Portfolio of Learning was used to document evidence of personal learning and practice experience in the form of a reflective journal.
These three tools were used to accredit the learning. Responsibility for ‘safe-practice’ rested with the student’s supervisor who was to provide a ‘Statement of competence’ if the student or trainee was deemed fit to be awarded a Community Mental Health Training Certificate, upon completion of the training in 2012.
All activity on the project was captured in the form of a mental health training toolkit now published as a guide for public use in the EU as a whole