A network for anyone with an interest in
adult education and mental health

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Libraries as a great resource

Hi, Have you heard about a national initiative that Libraries are doing called 'Books on Prescription'? If not, there is info on readingagency.org.uk/readingwell. This would support any of the Mental Health Community Learning Pilots that are out there. Lisa

It's time to improve access to equality and diversity resources

Because of the nature of my work – a combination of project management, research, and administration (we all seem to be getting more generic these days in the way we multi-task), I spend a certain amount of my time searching for, you guessed it, good quality, up-to-date, relevant equalities resources which can take a considerable amount of time.

My Work With MHFE

I first saw a link to the MHFE virtual secondees project on the NSUN (that’s National Survivor User Network) mailing and was really interested. I am a mental health service user, but had 6 years experience teaching in FE and HE. Funnily enough, I think it was the stress of this work that pushed me to breaking point! I became ill with stress and then after I lost my job my condition deteriorated. As part of my own recovery I completed an MA and then just last year finished an NVQ in Beauty therapy.

Chesterfield college local working with CAMHS

Here at Chesterfield college we have been busy trying to link with our local CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services) team to make college a more welcoming environment for perspective learners who have mental health difficulties. With this in mind, in the summer we will be holding our first CAMHS open day at which learners who have been in contact with the service can find out about college course and the support available to them.

Support information for young people and parents

I have been looking at the different forms of support available to young people and parents and have linked to Choice forum which provides some interesting comments about the way in which learners with disabilities have been treated. Has anyone else come across this group, it is very very active and seems to have a strong and diverse range of contributors?

January 2013

I am really keen to investigate the way in which learners are coping after the Christmas break. Often after Christmas there is a natural low , getting back into the swing of learning, maybe exams or assessments and would be interested to find out how learning services like counselling and support are asked to address this in terms of their time planning? It might also be useful to see which type of counselling the learners might use, PCT, CBT or psychodynamic? Has anyone any experience in looking at this? 


Making some new network links with NUS, looking at the way in which curriculum is being developed involving learners. It is interesting to look at the way learner feedback affects the way in which the courses are being developed, especially in relation to the learners who struggle with interpreting feedback, where they have low self esteem or perhaps do not have the technical language to understand what is meant, and how this impacts on their decision to remain on the programme, let alone their success. Watch this space.

New challenges

I have been asked to consult and advise on an LSIS bid from National Careers Service Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland. Initially the focus was only related to LLLD, but they have now, following discussion and input  added the issues surrounding mental health. This means that if the bid is successful, not only will NCS Newcastle etc., be working towards developing resources for clients and employers who have LLLD concerns but also taking on board the hidden issue of mental health difficulties in employability and training. Fingers crossed for the bid!!!! 

Re what's been happening

This year has really whizzed by. I have been busy networking with a range of support groups within the North East each one giving me a valuable insight into provision and need with the region. I am hoping to build on this with some of the groups in order to develop CPD for FE tutors/managers but also perhaps to link different groups together. I am particualry interested in the possibility of creating an app for service provision and information for parents/ carers for post 18 learners...more about this later on. Hopefully see you at the London conference on November 9th. 

University of Huddersfield conference

I was really lucky last week and enjoyed a brilliant conference at Huddersfiled - and The Consortium for PCET.


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