Building Mental Health Skills Across Health & Care

What is Connect 5?

Connect 5 is a mental health promotion training programme developed from a unique collaboration between Public Health England (PHE) & Health Education England (HEE). It is designed to increase the confidence and core skills of front line staff so that they can be more effective in having conversations about mental health and wellbeing, help people to manage mental health problems and increase their resilience and mental wellbeing through positive changes.

Connect 5 Delivers the skills and competencies outlined in the Core Skills for Mental Health Education & Training Framework (2017) for Tier 1 & Tier 2 section of the workforce. 

Connect 5 promotes a self-help philosophy of helping people to better understand, manage and improve their mental health through a bio-psychosocial understanding of mental health and wellbeing.

Connect 5 enhances the stepped care model of mental health intervention used within community, primary care and in-hospital settings.

Connect 5 has synergy with the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Programme and helps build the capacity and capability of the wider workforce to support timely and effective access to specialist help.

During 2017/18 Health Education England is collaborating with Public Health England and the Royal Society for Public Health to train a number of ‘Connect 5 Trainers’ to facilitate the cascading of Connect 5 skills throughout the wider workforce. Connect 5 trainers will receive a five day training programme and ongoing membership a new community of practice built in collaboration with the Psychological Professions Network to become local Connect 5 Mental Health Awareness Champions who will graduate to deliver training within their own areas.

Connect 5 is a training programme for front line health and care staff who want to help clients and service users to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Connect 5 is a training programme with three levels and participants progress though stages, dependent on how much of their role involves working with people experiencing poor mental wellbeing.

Workforces the training is useful for:

  • Primary care
  • Allied health
  • Justice and rehabilitation
  • Social care
  • Housing
  • Social enterprise and third sector
  • Pastoral, further and higher education support services

'I found the training to be very useful and it has equipped me with new skills to be able to open up and expand on conversations regarding mental health and wellbeing.' (Probation Officer)

'The training has really helped me feel more confident in talking to people about their mental health and wellbeing. The methods and tools we learnt about have made it easier to approach the conversation with the young people I work with.' (Mentor)

'I have used the 5 ways to wellbeing a lot with Clients, it seems to be a quick way to discuss easy changes they can make and they are able to see the benefits of this in the discussion. I have also used the scaling tool and the five areas model which again I have found useful and easy for Clients to understand.' (Probation Officer)

'I have adopted to use a few of the things learned on the Connect 5 course within my role like the unhelpful thinking styles which allows me to recognise a particular way a client may be thinking.' (Recovery Lead)

1. Mental health promotion and prevention training programmes emerging practice examples

This resource is a collation of emerging practice examples of mental health promotion and prevention training programmes available in England for the core and wider public health workforce. Its purpose is to support those who wish to commission or deliver such training as part of building a public health system capable of meeting the growing mental health challenge : Connect 5 page 11.

2. Train the trainer: toolkit for a sustainable method of primary care mental health education

This toolkit has been written to assist providers of primary care services to use a train the trainer method of education to upskill their workforce in mental health and wellbeing. Providers of other services may also find it helpful : case study page 10/11


For more information about the Connect 5 & the 'Train the Trainer' Programme please contact:

Elysabeth Williams
Public Mental Health Advisor
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


In this section

Become a member

Becoming a member of the Psychological Professions Network gives you access to a wide variety of resources and opportunities to contribute and influence.