A guide for employers, people managers and HR managers in Leeds.

It’s good practice to develop a training plan as part of your wellbeing strategy. The best approach is to pick and choose appropriate levels of training for different managers and team members rather than to roll out one type of training to all staff.

Your plan should consider the particular needs of your workforce and all the different training options available. You may want to consider a stepped approach which introduces:

  • mental health awareness training for all staff including managers and new starters
  • a number of designated Mental Health First (MHFA) Aiders and MHFA Champions who are spread across teams in your organisation
  • training for managers to help them feel confident supporting their team members
  • resilience training as part of personal skills development

In this page:

    Mental health awareness training

    Leeds Mind offers mental health awareness training which is useful for anyone wanting to increase their knowledge of mental health.

    The MHFA England offers Mental Health Aware, a half day introductory course, which gives people:

    • an understanding of what mental health is and how to challenge stigma
    • a basic knowledge of some common mental health issues
    • an introduction to looking after your own mental health and maintaining wellbeing
    • confidence to support someone in distress or who may be experiencing a problem with their mental health

    NHS England provide a free Making Every Contact Count (MECC) e-learning programme and toolkit, designed to support learners in developing an understanding of the factors that impact on a person’s health and wellbeing. The Making Every Contact Count (MECC) approach encourages staff to use opportunities, in their routine interactions with people, to have conversations about how they might make positive improvements to their health or wellbeing.

    Leeds Health and Wellbeing Training Programme – if you work with the community, or in a health and wellbeing role, the Health and Wellbeing Leeds Training Programme is perfect for you. The course covers the elements and theory of public health.

    Online training

    Samaritans – Wellbeing in the Workplace is an online learning programme which brings Samaritans’ listening and wellbeing expertise into the workplace. It teaches employees the skills to look after their emotional health and look out for others, before they reach crisis point.

    Rethink offers a range of online mental health awareness training including courses for managers. As well as bite sized sessions on managing stress in the workplace, supportive conversations and managing workplace wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic.

    e-LfH, a Health Education England Programme, offers an online mental health programme.

    Training for Mental Health First Aiders and Champions

    Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is delivered over four flexible sessions, which qualifies you as a Mental Health First Aider and teaches you how to:

    • identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a problem with their mental health
    • listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening
    • recognise warning signs of mental ill health, and develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone while keeping yourself safe
    • empower someone to access the support they might need for recovery or successful management of symptoms.

    MHFA Champions is a one day course which gives people:

    • an understanding of common mental health issues
    • knowledge and confidence to advocate for mental health awareness
    • ability to spot signs of mental ill health
    • skills to support positive wellbeing

    MHFA training is available through the following qualified providers:

    Find out about courses run by other MHFA providers. All Mental Health First Aid trainers should be certified by the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Centre

    Skills training for managers

    Leeds MindACAS and Rethink offer skills for managers training courses which can help managers to support staff experiencing mental health difficulties such as stress, anxiety and depression.

    Wellbeing and resilience training

    Leeds MindRethink and Samaritans offer training to help build employees’ personal resilience and cope better with life and work challenges.

    Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service offers free courses, workshops, group classes, and a range of online support options for common mental health problems such as stress, anxiety. low moods and depression. People in Leeds aged over 17 years or above who are registered with a Leeds GP can self-refer.

    Leeds Mind offers a range of workshops and courses to help people take better care of their mental wellbeing, manage common problems like anxiety and stress and be well at work. They can also design bespoke training for individual employers.

    Touchstone runs a Workplace Wellbeing service which offers three different packages designed specifically for your organisation.

    • Package 1: Keeping all staff well and performing in the workplace.
    • Package 2: Getting people who are showing trigger signs of sickness to stay in the workplace.
    • Package 3: Supporting people who have recently returned into the workplace from long term sickness leave

    Phoenix Health and Wellbeing is a social enterprise which offers a Workplace Wellbeing service including stress management workshops, a confidential counselling service and workplace massage.

    Suicide prevention training


    Community Links offers SafeTalk training which prepares you to recognise and talk to people with thoughts of suicide and to connect them with further help. The three hour course is suitable for anyone who may come into contact with individuals at risk of suicide, either at work or in their personal life.

    Course participants will be able to:

    • recognise those who may be at risk of suicide
    • ask individuals clearly and openly about their thoughts of suicide
    • connect individuals at risk to local sources of help

    Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

    Community Links offers ASIST training in Suicide First Aid skills. ASIST teaches participants to recognise when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will that will support their immediate safety.

    Course participants will learn to:

    • Recognise invitations for help.
    • Reach out and offer support.
    • Review the risk of suicide.
    • Apply a suicide intervention model.
    • Link people with community resources.

    A Life Worth Living

    Leeds Mind offers A Life Worth Living training, suitable for anyone who would like to increase their understanding of suicide, how to take practical steps to respond to and support someone with suicidal thoughts and signpost them to appropriate services.


    Samaritans offers courses in managing suicidal conversations.

    Zero Suicide Alliance

    Zero Suicide Alliance offers free online suicide prevention training.

    Check-in campaign

    The ‘Check-in‘ campaign aims to reduce staff suicide and promote a wellbeing culture by normalising the conversation around suicide and mental health as well as providing training, resources and signposting to support. The campaign runs across the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership and is accessible by all colleagues, working and volunteering, in your organisation.