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Public Health training

Our training aims to increase awareness, knowledge and skills across Islington around issues that our residents are facing, including money worries, finding a job, concerns about housing, mental health and wellbeing, suicide prevention and bereavement support.


The courses are free to anyone who works, volunteers, studies or lives in Islington.

Places can fill up quickly. However, all courses form part of rolling programmes with new dates being released regularly across the year. Course dates are published as they become available. 

Once you have booked on to a course please ensure that you can attend every one of the sessions (for courses with more than one session) this is important from a group dynamic point of view and from an economic one. Although the courses are free for you at point of delivery, Public Health commissions the courses at a significant cost per participant and this has to be paid even if someone who has registered for a place does not attend.

The mental health first aid courses, in addition to in-depth learning, also include skills and knowledge similar to that covered by the mental health awareness training course. There's no need to attend the mental health awareness training courses if you attend a mental health first aid course.

Following the latest advice and recommendations relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) some of our face-to-face training courses have been put on hold for the current time. Where possible we have adapted our courses to an online offer.

If the courses are booked up and you would like to be put on a waiting list please contact

Which course is right for you?

  • Mental Health Awareness: Anyone can attend
  • Mental Health in the Workplace for Managers: Staff with people management responsibilities
  • Mental Health First Aid (adult): Anyone can attend
  • Managing Suicidal Conversations: Anyone whose role might bring them in direct contact with people who have suicidal feelings
  • Suicide let’s talk: Staff and volunteers who come in contact with residents
  • Bereavement Awareness: Staff and volunteers who come in contact with residents
  • Making Every Contact Count: Anyone can attend
  • Psychological First Aid: Staff and volunteers who come in contact with residents
  • Stop smoking awareness (level 1): Staff and volunteers who come into contact with residents
  • Substance misuse training: Staff who come in contact with residents.

You can find out more and book your place on any of these course below

Training courses

Our courses do not turn people into expert counsellors, but give people valuable tools to help someone in the first instance. Our courses are not about adding to staff workloads or about staff becoming experts in mental health but are about taking an opportunity to have valuable conversations and to point people to support available.

Our mental health and suicide prevention training courses are primarily focused at staff and residents who don't work in mental health, to reflect a whole-system approach to prevention and support and to reinforce that mental health is everyone's business.

Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Awareness delivered by Rethink Mental Illness will equip you with the knowledge and skills to better understand mental health and mental illness and to have good quality conversations with residents, your friends, family members or work colleagues about mental health. It will also help you to feel more confident supporting others who may be experiencing poor mental health, particularly in the workplace. This course is an on-line version of the popular one-day face to face course. It has been adapted to specifically address mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. The course remains engaging and uses interactive delivery methods.

Duration: 3.5 hours

More details on the course outline and learning objectives.

Upcoming dates and to book your place.

Mental Health in the Workplace for Managers

Mental Health in the Workplace for Managers delivered by Rethink Mental Illness introduces employers and employees to the stigma and discrimination people living with mental illness face, as well as introduces a range of tools to support colleagues in their workplace who might have their own mental health concerns. The course also considers the signs and symptoms of general mental ill health and how this might show up in the world of home working and remote line management, including how you might spot poor mental health in an e-mail or phone call.

Duration: 3.5 hours

View more details on the course outline and learning objectives.

See upcoming dates and book your place.

Mental Health First Aid

This course will teach you practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues. Gain confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress. On completion you will be a certified Mental Health First Aider. This course is a blend of live training sessions and self-learning activities.
Duration: Learning takes place through four live training sessions, spread across two weeks, with self-learning activities in between.

  • Self-learning: 7 hours in total (over two weeks)
  • Live sessions online: 8 hours in total (over two weeks)

Upcoming dates and to book your place.

Managing Suicidal Conversations

Managing Suicidal Conversations delivered by the Samaritans is designed to support anyone whose role brings them into direct contact with people who have suicidal feelings especially staff with no prior training in mental health or similar relevant professional training. Like first aid, the training doesn’t turn you into an expert counsellor, but gives you valuable tools to help someone in the first instance. This can be the difference between life and death.

At the end of this course attendees will be able to:

  • Understand the scale of the problem
  • Recognise the factors that lead to suicide
  • Recognise signs of distress and suicidal thoughts
  • Understand and acknowledge suicidal thoughts and feelings
  • Show that you have listened, heard and understood,
  • Understand how talking about suicidal thoughts and feelings can be beneficial,
  • Feel confident to converse with someone who is feeling suicidal,
  • Sign-post people to support.

Duration: three sessions lasting two hours each

Upcoming dates and to book your place

Suicide Let’s talk

This free online training shows how you can help people who might be contemplating suicide by bringing up the subject and offering support. The course is accessible without any kind of registration or login.

Duration: two courses available

Bereavement Awareness

Islington and Camden Councils bereavement awareness training in delivered in the form of webinars by Cruse Bereavement Care with an aim to give participants the confidence to talk to people who are bereaved in a simple, empathic way, to be able to find the right words, and to provide simple signposting where needed. The training is for front-line workers or anyone who would come in contact with the bereaved individuals.

The participants can either be living, working, or volunteering in Islington or Camden, within the statutory, voluntary and community sectors. 

Making Every Contact Count

Making Every Contact Count (MECC), delivered by Social Marketing Gateway, equips participants with the tools to spot an opportunity in conversations with residents and the confidence to deliver brief advice and help local people improve their wellbeing.

Cost of Living Crisis and MECC 

The 'Cost of Living Crisis and MECC' training introduces the basics of MECC, and explores how it can be used to support with the impacts of the cost of living crisis residents may be facing. It equips participants to recognise the various needs of residents and gain knowledge on where to signpost them for further support.

Duration: 1 hour

Good Conversations

The 'Good Conversations' skills training supports frontline workers to Make Every Contact Count (MECC). It is a highly interactive online course, which aims to build confidence, knowledge and skills required for good conversations in these very challenging times. With its strong emphasis on core communication skills, the course also provides excellent foundation-level training for staff who plan to engage in more specialist training in areas such as Mental Health First Aid, Domestic Violence and Motivational Interviewing. The course includes an introduction to using online resources to support good conversations and signpost residents to further help.

Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Basics of Motivational Interviewing

The 'Basics of Motivational Interviewing' training offers a more advanced training, suitable for those who are able to talk to residents for 10-15 minutes about changes they can make in their lives. The training provides the knowledge and confidence to support participants in making healthy and positive life changes.

Duration: 3 hours

Book your place

To book your place and find out more about our MECC training programme, visit the MECC website.

Covid-19 Psychological First Aid

Psychological First Aid (PFA) is the globally recommended training for supporting people during emergencies and offers guidance on delivering psychosocial care in the immediate aftermath of the emergency event. On this course, you’ll explore the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and what you can do to help people cope. The course will teach you the key principles of giving psychological first aid in emergencies. This course has been produced by Public Health England and is based on international guidance from the World Health Organisation, United Nations and partners. This course is aimed at frontline or essential workers and volunteers dealing with the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duration: Weekly study 1 hour over 3 weeks

Access the course.

Stop smoking awareness (level 1)

It is a live online course for small groups, delivered by Breathe stop smoking service. Whatever your reason of contacting a resident, the course will help you raise the topic of smoking confidently and positively, understand and explain what Breathe stop smoking service can offer and make a referral. The course will improve your knowledge of tobacco addiction, the impact of smoking on health, the benefits of stopping smoking and what works to help smokers quit, including behavioural support and medications.

Duration: 1.5 hours

To arrange a course date for your team, or find available dates, contact

Substance misuse training

Provided by Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (Substance Misuse Division) and Change, Grow, Live (CGL). If people are interested in substance misuse training they can contact the public health commissioning team at, the team will then then liaise with the relevant service about offering training.

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