Mental health training courses in Scotland

Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA)

  • What’s it for? SMHFA improves mental health literacy and helps people recognise the signs and symptoms of someone with mental health problems. It helps individuals respond to various mental health crises as well as engage with, support and signpost people to appropriate professional help.
  • Who is SMHFA for? The Scottish public, employers, managers, HR teams, voluntary sector frontline staff in local authorities, NHS staff, Scottish Prison staff, Jobcentre Plus staff and other interested organisations.
  • How much does SMHFA cost? Costs range from free up to £150 per person per course (it depends on who delivers the course and where).
  • How long does SMHFA take? SMHFA is a 12 hour course which can be delivered in 12 x 1 hour, 6 x 2 hour, 4 x 3 hour or 2 x 6 hour sessions over a period of a month.
  • Where does SMHFA take place? Across Scotland.

For more information, visit the SMHFA website [external link].

Mentally healthy workplace training

  • What’s it for? Mentally healthy workplace training gives employers the understanding, knowledge and skills to address a wide variety of issues relating to employment and mental health. It encourages employers to promote positive mental health and aims to reduce the barriers to employment by addressing stigma, discrimination and negativity towards mental health within the workforce.
  • Who’s mentally healthy workplace training for? Employers, managers and supervisors.
  • How much does mentally healthy workplace training cost? It’s free of charge.
  • How long does mentally healthy workplace training take? The training can be delivered over two days (not necessarily consecutive days) or as a blended learning course that involves an e-learning section followed by a one day course. Large organisations can be supported to deliver the training internally through a 'training for trainers' process.
  • Where does mentally healthy workplace training take place? Across Scotland.

Further information on mentally healthy workplace training is available from the Healthy Working Lives Adviceline on 0800 019 2211 or the Healthy Working Lives website [external site].

Choose Life

Choose Life offers suicide prevention training programmes covering awareness and exploration to suicide first aid skills. Courses are organised and delivered at a local level by qualified trainers, supported by the Choose Life quality assurance framework.

  • ASIST [external link]: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training is a two day interactive course designed to help people learn how to recognise the signs of suicidal thoughts and how to intervene to prevent the immediate risk of suicide. The course is designed to help communities to become more willing, ready and able to do suicide first aid.
  • safeTALK [external link]: safeTALK is a half day session aimed at giving participants the skills to recognise that someone may be suicidal and to connect the person to someone with suicide intervention skills. It is designed for communities or organisations that already have ASIST-trained helpers in place to maximise intervention as the main suicide prevention focus.
  • suicideTALK [external link]: suicideTALK is a short exploration and awareness session. It lasts between one and three hours, as the content is adapted to meet the needs of the group. The talk encourages participants to explore their attitudes and feelings about suicide, based around the question, ‘Should we talk about suicide?’
  • STORM [external link]: Skills–based Training On Risk Management is available as 3 training packages - Adult, Children and Young Adult, and Prison for frontline workers in health, social and criminal justice services. It develops the skills needed to assess and manage a person at risk of suicide.

    Other courses are run in local areas to meet local needs. You can contact your local mental health improvement lead to find out what is available.