NCFE qualification helps Derwentside College put mental health first


Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 was bigger than ever, a great sign of the changing attitudes to mental health and a step towards a healthier future free of stigma and judgement towards mental health issues.

NCFE has long championed the importance of mental health awareness for both learners and staff and is hugely proud that colleges and centres offering NCFE and CACHE qualifications share that view.

Derwentside College in Consett, County Durham, is no exception and is leading the way in supporting their learners and staff members to better understand mental health and lead people back into employment, together with Job Centre Plus.

To highlight their commitment to raising awareness of mental health issues, Derwentside College are giving all staff the opportunity to complete a nationally recognised qualification in mental health awareness so that they can better support learners, themselves and each other.

The NCFE CACHE Level 1 Award in Mental Health Awareness aims to raise awareness of the issues surrounding mental health difficulties. Through developing and increasing the learners’ knowledge, the qualification dispels some of the myths and misconceptions frequently linked to mental health issues.

Derwentside College is also including the qualification in work they are doing with Job Centre Plus around employability and other vocational skills provision. The college found that mental health issues are amongst a number of barriers facing people who are struggling to find work, along with literacy, numeracy and digital skills. Through incorporating mental health awareness within a wider programme of learning, they’re seeing fantastic results and helping more and more people get back into employment.

Esme Winch, Managing Director at NCFE said:

“Mental health awareness and wellbeing are really important to us at NCFE and it’s great to see our qualifications making a real difference in our centres and the wider community. We hope this inspires more employers to invest in staff development relating to these issues and provokes more discussion and awareness in the future.”

Susan Errington, Executive Director of Business Development at Derwentside College said:

“At Derwentside College, we’re dedicated to developing the skills of our learners so that they achieve truly amazing outcomes.  Our staff are continuously given a wide range of opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills.  The Mental Health Awareness qualification is a great way for both staff and learners to gain a better understanding of the issues related to mental health and how best to support those that may be affected. “ 

Michael Johnson, Curriculum Manager for Care and Engineering at Derwentside College said:

“The feedback received from the learners to date has been extremely encouraging.  Many learners have requested more in depth training as a result of their studies.  As a result, I would highly recommend these qualifications.”