Communication Skills for the Mental Health Practitioner - elearning for healthcare
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About the Communication Skills for the Mental Health Practitioner programme

This elearning programme aims to help health and care professionals who support people with mental health needs by improving their communication skills to de-escalate difficult situations.  It has been developed by Health Education England, elearning for healthcare (HEE elfh) and HEE Global Engagement.

Course information

Communication skills for the mental health practitioner was originally developed as a face to face course for nurses in West Bengal, India. The pre-reading materials have been re-designed into 4 online sessions.

  • Session 1: Principles and strategies in communication
  • Session 2: Verbal de-escalation techniques
  • Session 3: Reducing restrictive practice – communication during physical restraint
  • Session 4: Reducing restrictive practice – communication during chemical restraint

The programme also features workshop materials for learners to access ahead of future face to face workshops.

It is intended that the elearning and teaching materials within this programme are used together to support experienced mental health professionals to deliver a 2 day training session – 1 day elearning and 1 day face to face training.

On completion of the programme, learners will understand the principles of communication and will have made plans about how to use these skills in their workplace.

More information

The project which led to the development of this training material was funded by the United Kingdom India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI), a joint initiative between the UK and Indian governments which awards grants to institutions to support the development of stronger links and connections between both countries.

Health Education England’s Directorate of Global Health Partnerships brought together a multi-professional team of UK professionals from the Change Exchange at the University of Manchester and the National Health Service (NHS) who co-developed the training with colleagues from a number of Indian organisations led by the West Bengal Institute of Health and Family Welfare.

The following people and organisations in India and the UK were also involved in the development of the training:

  • West Bengal Department of Health and Family Welfare- India
  • Institute of Psychiatry, Kolkata – India
  • British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) – UK
  • National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (NAPICU) – UK
  • Global Education Directorate at Health Education England – UK
  • Mr Chris Dzikiti, Head of Programmes – Transformation and Delivery, NHS England and Improvement
  • Ms Rebecca Lingard, Borough lead Nurse, East London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Prof Lucie Byrne-Davis, Professor of Health Psychology, The University of Manchester
  • Prof Jo Hart, Professor of Health Professional Education & Health Psychologist, The University of Manchester
  • Prof J S Bamrah, Consultant Psychiatrist, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and Chairman, BAPIO

The co-development of the training material means that it is culturally sensitive and that it is likely to be relevant to a variety of international mental health inpatient settings.

  • David Keen RN MSc

    David Keen RN MSc

    Global Engagement Education Lead, Health Education England
  • Oluwatoni Idowu

    Oluwatoni Idowu

    Global Engagement Partnership Manager, Health Education England
  • Patricia Howe

    Patricia Howe

    Programme Manager, HEE elearning for healthcare
  • Chris Wood

    Chris Wood

    Project Manager, HEE elearning for healthcare
  • Claire Beattie

    Claire Beattie

    Learning Designer, HEE elearning for healthcare
  • Rashmi Chavda

    Rashmi Chavda

    Graphic Designer, HEE elearning for healthcare
  • Naomi Knight

    Naomi Knight

    Graphic Designer, HEE elearning for healthcare
  • Louise Garrahan

    Louise Garrahan

    Communications and Stakeholder Officer, HEE elearning for healthcare

How to access

In order to access the Communication Skills for the Mental Health Practitioner programme, you will need an elfh account. If you do not have one, then you can register by selecting the Register button below.

Register >

To view the Communication Skills for the Mental Health Practitioner programme, select the View button below. If you already have an account with elfh, you will also be able to login and enrol on the programme from the View button.

View >

Not an NHS organisation?

If you are not an NHS health or care organisation and therefore do not qualify for free access elfh Hub, you may be able to access the service by creating an OpenAthens account.

To check whether or not you qualify for free access via OpenAthens, you can view the eligibility criteria and register on the ‘OpenAthens’ portal.

Registering large numbers of users

If you are a HR, IT or Practice Manager and would like to register and enrol large numbers of staff within your organisation for access onto the Communication Skills for the Mental Health Practitioner programme, please contact elfh directly.

Organisations wishing to use their own LMS

For HR departments wanting to know more about gaining access to courses using an existing Learning Management System please contact elfh directly to express interest.

More information

Please select the following link for more information on how to use the elfh Hub.

elfh is a Health Education England programme in partnership with the NHS and professional bodies