Connect 5 Train the Trainer


Connect 5 Train the Trainer Briefing


What is connect 5?

Connect 5 is an accredited mental health promotion training programme that is designed to increase the confidence and skills of front line staff so that they can be most effective in having conversations with the people they work with about mental health and wellbeing, and so help people to manage mental health problems and increase their resilience and mental wellbeing through positive changes.

Connect 5 promotes a self-help philosophy of helping people to better understand, manage and improve their mental health including understanding how environmental factors influence mental health and wellbeing.

What is the current connect 5 training offer?

Health Education England has funded a national pilot train the trainer programme working with Public Health England and the Royal Society for Public Health. The public health lead from Stockport Local Authority who has been developing, delivering and testing connect 5 training over the last 10 years will be co-ordinating the national programme and delivering the train the trainers.

25 free train the trainer places are available to each of the nine PHE centre areas, in collaboration with HEE local areas.

Who is Connect 5 suitable for?

Connect 5 is a training programme for people (either workers or volunteers) who want to help clients and service users to improve their mental health and wellbeing

Connect 5 is a training programme with three stages. Participants progress though stages, dependent on how much of their role involves working with people experiencing poor mental wellbeing.

Example of relevant workforces include:

  • Justice and rehabilitation
  • Social care
  • Housing association
  • Worklessness
  • Social enterprise and third sector
  • Pastoral and higher education support services
  • Allied health

What is the time frame for the Connect 5 train the trainer delivery?

Delivery will be between January 2017 and July 2017. Presently February and March are almost booked up.


How does connect 5 fit with current system priorities?


This connect 5 train the trainer programme supports a number of policy areas and priorities. It will help to:

  • Build capacity and capability to support prevention and reduce demand, supporting the Five Year Forward View (FYFV) and specifically the FYFV for Mental Health workforce
  • Deliver brief interventions for mental wellbeing as part of Making Every Contact Count (MECC), as agreed in the MECC national consensus statement.
  • Promote a self-care and self-management approach and increase mental health
  • Promote people’s health, wellbeing, independence and control, supporting the Care Act and Public Health
  • Build the role of the ‘wider workforce’ to embed prevention and public health across a broader system, in line with the Fit for the Future Public Health strategy and the Public Mental Health Leadership and Workforce Development Framework.
  • Foster parity of esteem by ensuring people’s mental health needs are

What will the national programme deliver?

  • co-ordinate national delivery between PHE, HEE and RSPH
  • liaise with centre area co-ordinators
  • gain RSPH accreditation for connect 5
  • provide all training materials and resources for participants
  • deliver the train the trainers with two experienced trainers
  • carry out an evaluation of the programme
  • secure further resources to support sustainability
  • align the programme to national developments as part of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

Who is expected to co-ordinate the Connect 5 train the trainer in each centre/ area?

The national connect 5 facilitator is co-ordinating the national programme. She has contacted all the PHE centre and HEE local leads (workforce/ mental health/ public health). It is now expected that these leads will nominate a named co-ordinator. As areas aren’t co-terminus the co-ordinator might decide to deliver in a sub-area.

What does the co-ordinator need to do before the train the trainer delivery?

  • Set delivery date with national connect 5 facilitator
  • Decide which workforces/ stakeholders you will offer the training to
  • Find resources for a venue and refreshments
  • Publicise training and encourage key workforce to apply
  • Establish system to book participants on to train the trainer


What will the nominated co-ordinator be expected to do post train the trainer?

  • Oversee the connect 5 trainers to deliver a connect 5 programme in their agreed setting
  • Find local opportunities for post training support and development e.g. opportunity for the trainers to learn and share training experience, co-train, share resources


  • Help RSPH to monitor, evaluate and assess the impact of the training using connect 5 evaluation framework
  • Provide feedback to national connect 5 facilitator


How is connect 5 different from other mental health training programmes?

Connect 5 is a psycho-educational programme designed to promote self-management and improve public mental health and prevent poor mental health. It is not a training designed to address mental illness or mental health crisis response. For more information see mental health promotion and prevention training programmes emerging practice examples ealth_promotion_and_prevention_training_programmes.pdf


What does connect teach?

The techniques covered in Connect 5 flow from the knowledge base and philosophy of cognitive behavioural therapy, suitable for a non-specialist frontline workforce. The intervention is collaborative, so the client is encouraged to share responsibility for and to be an active co- participant in the work. The frontline worker is taught and coached in a self-help approach rather than expecting the frontline worker to ‘fix’ things for them. The intervention techniques should help people to learn skills which enable them to cope with future adversity in a more effective way. It is intended that the training will address the needs of people who do not reach the threshold for clinical / medical mental health services – it is a preventive intervention. This involves population- wide dissemination of informal self-help strategies that have evidence of effectiveness, and may avert the development of many mental health problems.


What are the outcomes for the worker that attends connect 5 training?


  • Improved service delivery by staff in participating organisations by virtue of their improved “psychological mindedness” i.e. understanding the psychological aspects of their service users’ difficulties, for example in gaining employment, managing illness, maintaining accommodation, managing behaviour
  • Increased capacity of the workforce to support people with low level mental health/wellbeing who either would not meet the criteria for specialist mental health services or who do not want to be referred
  • Continuing support and reinforcing of the learning for those who have accessed IAPT services
  • Developing psychological readiness for clients to make most effective use of IAPT/mental health services
  • Increased awareness of frontline staff regarding how to improve their own mental health and wellbeing
  • Increased skill in holding a conversation around mental wellbeing
  • Increased confidence and skill of participants when they talk about mental health to people who use their services
  • Increased skill in applying practical evidence-based activities that participants can use in helping someone to improve their mental health and wellbeing


What is the outcome for the people using services that have connect 5 trained staff?


  • Improved access to support for people with low level mental health problems, given that the majority of people with poor mental health and low levels of mental wellbeing will not be in touch with specialist mental health services
  • Increased health and wellbeing for people with low level mental health/wellbeing; and
  • Improved knowledge and skills in self-management and care of their own mental health and wellbeing

What is expected from the Connect 5 trained the trainers?


Connect 5 trainers will be expected to:

  • Attend and participate in all 4.5 days of the training. Qualifying as a connect 5 trainer is not possible without full attendance
  • Deliver minimum of one connect 5 session in your locality or to your workforce within the first month of completing the train the trainer. Time will be allocated in the training session for action planning to ensure this
  • It is expected that the trainers will deliver minimum 3 sessions 1; 2 session 2s; 1 session 3 within the first 6 months
  • Will develop an ongoing training programme delivering minimum of 6 sessions 1: 4 session 2; 2 session 3 over a year
timeframe minimum number

delivered of session

within 6 months session 1 x3

session 2 x2

session 3 x3

within first year session 1×6 session 2 x4

session 3 x3


  • the trainers will be required to collect connect 5 evaluations from each participant
  • trainers will be required to send connect 5 evaluations to the nominated co-coordinator


Are there any ongoing costs when delivering the connect 5 training programme?


Depending on local resources costs of delivering connect 5 programme can vary between: Minimum costs

  • Use PDF electronic participant notes to support training
  • photocopy training resources, most of which (especially if laminated) can be reused in subsequent sessions
  • signpost to free to access online self help
  • use local mental health and wellbeing resources and services Maximum costs
  • Print participant notes
  • Print training resources
  • Provide complementary self-help resources e.g. five areas booklets