The Mental Health Core Skills Education and Training Framework

The ‘Mental Health Core Skills Education and Training Framework’ outlines the skills and knowledge that staff that work in mental health services need. Mental health services may be offered in a broad variety of settings including an individual’s own home, community settings, residential homes and acute hospitals. In addition, support staff and other individuals outside the health and care sectors (e.g. justice, education, housing and employment) may interact with those affected by mental health issues and therefore need to have an awareness and understanding of mental health issues.

The core skills and knowledge described in the framework are therefore defined for 3 tiers:

  • Tier 1 – People that require general mental health awareness.
  • Tier 2 – Staff that will have some regular contact with a person/s who is experiencing a mental health problem.
  • Tier 3 – Staff who support someone who may experience a mental health problem.


Summary of Framework subjects and the relevant target audience

The Framework is presented is 18 subjects  Within each subject, the learning outcomes are presented for relevant tiers. The learning outcomes are intended to provide a clear focus on what a learner should know,understand or be able to do following completion of any learning activity.

The 18 Subjects:

1) Mental Health Awareness 2) Establishing positive relationships with individuals who have mental health problems
3) Promoting general health and wellbeing for individuals with a mental health problem 4) Promoting mental health and preventing mental illness
5) Self-harm and suicide: Understanding and prevention  6) Enabling a recovery focused approach to mental health
7) Coaching conversations in supporting recovery in mental health 8) Families, carers and friends as partners in promoting positive mental health
9) Supporting children and young people with mental health problems 10) Supporting children, young people and adults with a learning disability and a mental health problem
11) Mental health identification and assessment 12) Biopsychosocial formulation in mental health
13) Appropriate and effective use of medication in mental health care 14) Using technology to promote positive mental health and deliver effective support 
15) Equality, diversity and inclusion in mental health 16) Law, ethics and safeguarding in the context of mental health
17) Research and evidence-based practice in mental health 18) Leadership in transforming mental health service

The subjects are numbered (1 to 18) for ease of reference. This does not indicate a prescribed process or subject hierarchy; relevant subjects can be selected from the framework as required.

» Click here for the full framework