Mental health, dementia and learning disabilities

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On this page, you will find learning resources and links to support you in practice in the areas of:  

To make sure you are working safely during the crisis, please regularly check the evolving advice on these two websites: 

It is also essential that you look after yourself when you are busy supporting others. You may find the Psychosocial mental health and wellbeing support resources helpful during these challenging times. Please note, this link leads to a seperate section of the NES COVID-19 site. Use the navigation arrows on the top left of your browser to return to the Practice in the community setting section.

Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention - Informed Level Animations  

Suicide prevention

These animations have been produced to support the implementation of Scotland’s Public Health Priorities for Mental Health, Scotland’s Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027; and Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan – Every Life Matters. They cover the areas of mental wellbeing, suicide prevention and having compassionate conversations with people who are experiencing mental distress or may be feeling suicidal. They are designed to support learning at the Informed Level of Scotland’s Knowledge and Skills Framework for Mental Health Improvement, Self-Harm and Suicide Prevention. While each animation can be viewed on its own, we recommended all 3 are completed. You are required to register with TURAS Learn to access these resources. 

Note: You will need to login with your Turas account to view the above animations via a link below: 

  •     Mental health improvement and suicide prevention 

This account is the same as your Turas Appraisal account. If you do not have an account then please register for a free Turas account. 


You can access all other resources on this page below without registering for Turas Learn.

COVID-19 and Responding to People in Mental Distress and Crisis  

This learning byte is aimed at staff who, in the context of their work, are likely to have direct or substantial contact with people who may be at risk of mental ill health, distress, crisis or suicide and where they may play a role in supporting people’s health and wellbeing.  

Completing this resource will help you understand: 

  • Understand mental distress and why someone’s mental wellbeing may be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak 

  • Recognise when someone may be experiencing distress or crisis 

  • Provide a compassionate and helpful response 

  • Support self-help and problem-solving  

COVID-19 - Suicide Prevention  

This learning byte is aimed at staff who have a direct role in supporting people’s health in a variety of settings and who, in the context of their work, may come into contact with people who are experiencing distress, crisis or thoughts of suicide.   

Completing this resource will help you understand: 

  • Why people may experience distress, crisis and thoughts of suicide  

  • How you can recognise and explore someone’s thoughts about suicide 

  • How to seek immediate support  

  • Strategies to support people in crisis and who are experiencing thoughts of suicide.  

This resource accompanies ‘COVID-19 and Responding to Mental Distress and Crisis’.

Mental Health and Suicide - Older Adults and COVID–19  

This learning byte will be useful for people who, as part of their work, come into contact with older adults. This may be through their work in any setting as health or social care staff, carers or volunteers.  

Completing this learning byte will help you: 

  • Understand the factors that affect the mental health of older adults, and may lead to an increased risk of suicide 

  • Recognise the impact of COVID-19 on their mental health and risk of suicide   

  • Support the improvement of mental health and reduced risk of suicide in the older people you work with  


Key considerations in supporting people with dementia in care homes during the COVID-19 Pandemic

dementia skilled practice

The social restrictions and other measures being implemented to reduce the spread of COVID-19 could have a profound impact on the health, wellbeing and quality of life for people with dementia and their families and carers. This could include physical, emotional and psychological impacts that dramatically change the practicalities of their everyday life and may have long term negative outcomes.




This set of 5 short learning bytes aims to help staff supporting people in to develop their understanding about dementia to support people in care homes living with dementia and their families and carers to maintain the best quality of life possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Enriched model of psychological needs – poster (Care Inspectorate June 2020)

Over recent weeks we have heard about the impact of isolation on individuals living with dementia, and how this presents a challenge to their quality of life. The ‘Enriched Model of Psychological Needs’ helps to explore needs in a person-centred way, resulting in better outcomes.

Altz Scot

Supporting people with dementia in care homes

In this podcast, Helen Skinner, Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultant, NHS Fife is in conversation with Yvonne Manson, Quality Care and Support Manager at Abbotsford Care. Yvonne is one of Scotland’s Dementia Specialist Improvement Leads and describes her work with colleagues to support the wellbeing of care home residents during the COVID-19 outbreak. Some documents referred to in the podcast have been designed specifically by the team at Abbotsford Care to help support residents at this time and they have kindly agreed to share these. View the podcast here.  

Psy wellbeing

Psychological wellbeing podcasts

The focus of this series of resources is on promoting psychological wellbeing, including the use of Psychological First Aid (PFA) and practical strategies to protect managers and staff’s psychological wellbeing when faced with heightened stresses when at work. They have been specifically developed for managers and staff working within the care home sector.

The content of Key considerations in supporting people with dementia in care homes during the COVID-19 Pandemic (above) is based on the Dementia Skilled Improving Practice resource and the Essentials in Psychological Care - Dementia training programme. 


Alzheimer Scotland have created a suite of information resources to support people with dementia, their families and carers throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. It includes a range of podcasts and information on activities, support for families and preparing to go into hospital during this time.

Learning disabilities

You will find a range of useful information covering communication, physical health, psychological health and distressed behaviour to help you to support people with learning disabilities here.