Resources page for staff working in mental health and suicide prevention at the Skilled level.
The 'Skilled Level' describes the knowledge and skills required by ‘non-specialist’ front line staff working in health, social care, wider public and other services. These workers are likely to have direct and/or substantial contact with people who may be at risk of mental ill health, self-harm or suicide, meaning that they have an important contribution to make in mental health improvement and self-harm and suicide prevention.
If you have not already done so, we recommend that you complete the Informed Level Resources before accessing the skilled level.
This resource is a series of 5 short leaning bytes designed to support staff to develop their knowledge and practice at the Skilled Level of the Knowledge and Skills Framework for Mental Health Improvement, and Prevention of Self-Harm and Suicide.
Each learning byte focuses on a different topic but they are all connected; some themes run through them all and they link back to each other where required. They can be completed in any order. The learning bytes are designed to be used flexibly by individuals, teams, organisations and training providers to meet local learning and development needs and priorities.
To use the learning bytes download them to your desktop.
Learning Byte 1: Promoting Mental Health and Tackling Inequalities
Includes understanding what mental health is, features of positive mental health determinants of mental health, risk factors and inequalities that can lead to mental ill health, what works to improve mental health and how you can apply this knowledge in your own workplace.
Learning Byte 2: Supporting People in Distress and Crisis
Includes understanding distress, crisis and related risk or protective factors, recongnising when someone may be experiencing distress or crisis, providing a compassionate and helpful response, supporting self-help and problem-solving and knowing how and when to access more urgent support for someone.
Learning Byte 3: Supporting People at Risk of Suicide
Includes the factors that might cause people to
think about suicide, working with people to assess their risk of suicide, conversations that enable people to talk
about their thoughts of suicide, when to seek emergency support and intervention for people at risk of suicide, practical and emotional approaches to supporting people at risk of suicide. Part B inlcudes additional information about children and young people who may be at risk of suicide.
Learning Byte 4: Supporting People at Risk of Self-Harm
Includes the different reasons why people self-harm, understanding self-harm as communication of distress, some common misconceptions surrounding self-harm, impact of thoughts, feelings and emotions on self-harm, adopting a sensitive, compassionate and non-judgemental approach when talking about self-harm, risk and protective factors associated with self-harm, ways you can positively respond to and talk about self-harm.
Learning Byte 5: Supporting Recovery and Quality of Life for People Living with Mental Ill Health
Includes understanding the concept of recovery and how to work in a way that promotes this, supporting people to engage with wider community resources that promote social and peer support, meaningful purpose and positive relationships, understanding the physical health problems and barriers to treatment and lifestyle change that can be experienced by people living with mental ill health, recognising the impact of stigma and discrimination on mental health recovery, and promoting inclusion, health and quality of life.
Please note the learning bytes discuss the subject of distress, self-harm and suicide. Details of support organisations are listed below and within the bytes but please also speak to someone if you do experience distress.
Accessible word versions of the learning bytes are available here: