October 2015
Mental Health

The economic and social costs of mental health are high. Research carried out by the Centre for Mental Health reveals that in 2010 the total cost of mental health problems in England was £105.2 billion (compared to £77.4 billion in 2003). This figure includes the cost of health and social care for people with mental health problems, lost output in the economy, for example, from sickness absence and unemployment, and the human costs of reduced quality of life.


In the October Spotlight we want to draw attention to this and explore what it means for the education and training sector. The following information looks at current government policy, what providers are saying, what providers are doing, sources of support available and next steps for the Foundation.


Current government policy

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Spotlight history

Future in mind: promoting, protecting and improving our children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing

Over half of mental health problems in adult life start by the age of 14 and 75% by the age of 18. Supporting children and young people to recover from mental health problems, remain in education or training and work to their potential is key. What is happening in the sector? Many providers have already developed mental health courses targeted specifically at people with mental health problems. There is already evidence that mainstream non-vocational education supports improved life satisfaction, self-worth and self-confidence. (Review and Update of Research into the Wider Benefits of Adult Learning. London School of Economics. 2012)

BIS Community Learning and Mental Health

Adult Education providers in 62 local authorities ae now working with mental health partners to pilot short, part-time community learning courses to test the effectiveness of targeted adult education courses in supporting recovery of mild to moderate mental health problems. The projects will use the same standardised and validated assessment scores as used by the national IAPT programme to measure anxiety, depression and wellbeing.

AoC Mental Health Survey

AoC recently surveyed 127 providers of which 86% said that there has been an increase in students with mental health difficulties attending their colleges.

AoC Mental Health Conference

AoC also held a conference in July. See the slides and information from the event.

Mental Health in FE

This is the best website for resources on mental health and includes a series of booking details for a series of webinars in Oct for World Mental Health Day

AoC Workforce Resilience Conference

Notes from the conference held on September 23rd

AoC SEND conference

Forthcoming event on December 6th

Mentors - Angela Whitehall

Search on mental health to find managers and practitioners who will offer mentoring and advice on mental health Angela is a Supported Learning Manager at York Learning. The primary offer is the Learning for Recovery programme for adults with mental health conditions

Mentor - Sue Ward

Search on mental health to find managers and practitioners who will offer mentoring and advice on mental health Sue recently worked for Highbury College as Head of skills for Life and Work, which included setting on managing the ‘Back on Track’ provision for young people with severe and enduring mental health problems and to the setting up of a Recovery College.

Mentor - Jessica Russell

Search on mental health to find managers and practitioners who will offer mentoring and advice on mental health Jessica is currently leading a BIS Community Learning an Mental Health pilot project and has experience in health impact tools and co-design, production and delivery.

Mentor - Ian Bond

Ian is Head of Nottinghamshire Community Learning and Skills Service which offers learning opportunities to young people and adults with mental health difficulties.

Mental Health Learning Delivery

Read how Nottinghamshire Community Learning Service has met increased demand for provision that can accommodate learners with a variety of mental health needs.