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Connect 5 has been developed by a unique partnership of academic, clinical and public mental health expertise based primarily in Greater Manchester. Connect 5 is a mental health promotion training programme based on the latest evidence base. Evaluation has shown it increases the confidence and core skills of front line staff so they are more effective in having conversations about mental health and wellbeing. It has been designed to help people manage stress and distress and increase their resilience and mental wellbeing through positive change. Connect 5 takes the position that we don’t need to be mental health specialists to support those who are experiencing emotional and mental health problems.


Both the 'Face to Face' and 'Live Online' Connect 5 training aim to improve population health by changing the way people have conversations about mental wellbeing with the public. Both training programmes contain the same content with the 'Live Online' training having been developed and piloted in light of the recent crisis and social distancing responsibilities we all face.


Connect 5 provides an introduction to:

  • Our characters, whose stories span the three connect 5 training sessions

  • The five ways to wellbeing

  • The five areas model (on which the three sessions are based)

  • Different public health models of mental health, mental illness and mental wellbeing

  • Initiating conversations about mental wellbeing and the key skills needed


Connect 5

The focus of Connect 5 is to enable you to feel more confident and skilled to work collaboratively with individual adults,

so you can help them improve their mental wellbeing and:

  • Better understand language around mental health, mental wellbeing and mental illness

  • Learn about local services and self-help resources available

  • Become more confident about offering wellbeing advice and support within your everyday work or volunteering role

  • Provide an accessible, de-stigmatised common language and understanding with which to confidently discuss mental wellbeing and distress in day-to-day settings

  • Impact the numbers of people transitioning from poor mental wellbeing into serious mental health problems and to support improved access for those in need of specialist help


Connect 5 is relevant to a wide range of non-specialist frontline staff who work with people at risk of poor mental health. It uniquely optimises opportunities for building a culture of self-management, prevention and improved access to psychological approaches for mental health and wellbeing.  Examples of relevant workforces could include: justice and rehabilitation, social care, housing associations, social enterprise and third sector, pastoral and higher education support services, allied health as well as hair dressers, barbers, taxi drivers and really anyone in a public facing role. All can benefit from this evidence based innovative and grounded training.


Train The Trainer

We have recently delivered Connect 5 training to over 400 people and from September onwards we will be rolling out Train the Trainer for anyone interested in delivering mental wellbeing training across Greater Manchester.

If you are interested in joining our waiting list, please email us at: trainingacademy [at]


Together, let’s change the mental wellbeing conversation across Greater Manchester.


We have now filled all our courses in phase one of the Connect 5 roll out across Greater Manchester and will therefore not be adding anyone else to our courses before the end of March 2021. From April we will be entering phase two of our roll out which will see us go from offering our courses to anyone wishing to attend to only booking in those who are also keen on completing our Train the Trainer course. 


Our Train the Trainer course is free to attend and will allow you to deliver our Connect 5 course within your community or organisation. To complete the Train the Trainer course you will need to complete our three live online modules (delivered via zoom) as well as our four train the trainer specific sessions. 


As we know this is a very busy time for frontline workers we have recently changed our process so that you can attend Train the Trainer any time after completing module one as long as you complete modules two and three at a later date before delivering any training. 


Below are the dates we have booked so far for our train the trainer courses. You must be able to attend all four sessions per module and cannot spread the training across different modules.


Please make sure that you have attended all three live online sessions before registering for Train the Trainer.

We will not be able to admit you to the training unless you have completed these.


Cohort Face to Face or Online Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 Session 4
3 Online 17th Feb AM 17th Feb PM 18th Feb AM 18th Feb PM
4 Online 22nd Feb PM 1st March PM 8th March PM 15th March PM
5 Online 9th March AM 9th March PM 16th March AM 16th March PM
6 Online 22nd March AM 24th March AM 29th March AM 31st March AM
7 Online 25th March PM 1st April PM 8th April PM 15th April PM
8 Online 26th April AM 26th April PM 28th April AM 28th April PM
9 Online 4th May AM 6th May AM 11th May AM 13th May AM


If you would like to sign up to our Train the Trainer course please email trainingacademy [at] with your chosen training date, we will then send you dates to book on to module 1 as well as a booking link. Cohorts are capped at 15 places per course so please book soon to avoid disappointment.

Benefits and Outcome Measures

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

  • Improved service delivery by staff in participating organisations

  • 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 I touch with specialist mental health services

  • Increased health and wellbeing for people with low level mental health/wellbeing

  • Improved knowledge and skills in self-management and care of their own mental health and wellbeing

Module 1 / 2 / 3

Module 1

Brief mental health and wellbeing advice. Aims to raise awareness of how you can support mental health and wellbeing within your everyday practice the intended outcome of session 1 is to change the way we have mental wellbeing conversations so that we are confident and skilled to have brief conversations in which we help a person think about ways they can take action to improve their mental wellbeing.


The purpose of this session is to:

  • Extend participants skills and confidence to have mental wellbeing conversations within everyday practice

  • Explain two public mental health models so that they can be used to frame mental wellbeing conversations

  • Describe the 3 Cs of connected conversations

  • Locate mental wellbeing services and resources in your area


This session focusses on conversations in which you suggest ways a person can take action to improve mental wellbeing. These conversations can include brief wellbeing advice such as “have you thought of looking at any self-help materials?” This behaviour assumes that you might not have opportunity in terms of your role or time to go a step further and, together with the person, develop a shared understanding of their mental health and wellbeing needs

This 3 hour session is practical and interactive, involving a PowerPoint presentation, large group discussion, small group work and exercises in pairs.


Module 2

Brief mental health and wellbeing intervention. Aims to develop your skills and confidence to recognise mental health and wellbeing needs and to make effective interventions to improve mental health and wellbeing

This session provides opportunities to gain greater insight into experiences of stress and distress and explores how to help people take their first steps to feeling better. Participants will gain confidence and skills needed to help others improve their mental health and wellbeing

The intended outcome of session 2 is to change the way we have mental wellbeing conversations so that we can have conversations in which we and the person we are talking with develop a shared understanding of their mental wellbeing needs.

The purpose of this session is to:

  • Apply the five areas model to a wellbeing conversation

  • Practice the 3Cs of connected conversation

  • Assess the nature and extent of the mental wellbeing issue being presented to ensure people get the right help at the right time

  • Identify steps that can be taken to improve mental wellbeing

  • Locate services and resources that support people to improve mental wellbeing

This session focuses on conversations in which you and the person you are talking to develop a shared understanding of that person’s wellbeing needs. These conversations include brief mental wellbeing interventions. This goes beyond the brief wellbeing advice covered in session 1. These conversations provide a framework for a person to understand why they feel like they do and what action they can take for themselves to feel better.


This 3 hour session is practical and interactive, involving a PowerPoint presentation, large group discussion, small group work and exercises in pairs.



Module 3

Extended mental health and wellbeing intervention. Aims to develop your knowledge, skills and confidence to use a range of strategies and interventions which effectively support people to take positive steps to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

This session will advance your skills to work collaboratively with clients to create an action plan and integrate brief interventions to motivate and support people to make changes that last. The intended outcome of session 3 is to change the way we have mental wellbeing conversations so that we have conversations that empower a person to make changes that address their mental wellbeing needs.

The purpose of this session is to:

  • Explain a number of strategies and techniques that break the vicious cycle at each of the five areas

  • Apply strategies and techniques relating to each of the five areas

  • Practice implementing self-management strategies to support successful change processes

  • Practice working collaboratively to set goals

  • Incorporate self-management strategies and resources into everyday practice.

This session focuses on conversations in which you use appropriate methods to empower a person to make changes that address their mental wellbeing.

These conversations work with someone to help them gain insight into actions that might help them to address their mental wellbeing.


This session is practical and interactive, involving a PowerPoint presentation, large group discussion, small group work and exercises in pairs

Become a Connect 5 Trainer

Once you have attended the three connect 5 sessions you are able to sign up to become a trainer which will enable you to deliver connect 5 to your workplace and community. Prospective trainers will attend the Connect 5 Train the Trainer programme delivered by a lead trainer – an experienced Connect 5 trainer who also has expertise in teaching training skills for Connect 5.


Trainers for Connect 5 will aim to achieve behaviour change within the workforce. This behaviour change will be framed by the COM-B model of capability, opportunity and motivation. By understanding this model it can help you to deliver training that is effective in changing the behaviour of participants.  Our train the trainer course runs for two full days and will cover the skills needed to effectively deliver the three day connect 5 course. participants are taught the underpinning frameworks, principles, values and approaches of the Connect 5 programme as well as skills on how to deliver connect 5 sessions 1, 2 and 3 to peers.

Session one will cover:

  • Using transformative educator skills to create an effective adult learning environment

  • Attending to emotions that might surface on the course

  • Asking questions and giving feedback

  • Training for behaviour change

  • Trainers box of tricks

  • Identifying who you are and reflective practice as a trainer


Session two will cover:

  • Setting up for practice

  • Practice session

  • Action planning for delivery

  • Establishing needs moving forward


Once you are signed off as a Connect 5 trainer you will:

  • Be able to deliver all the connect 5 sessions

  • Be able to access online development pathways

  • Be part of a community of best practice

  • Be able to attend CPD events

  • Receive one to one mentoring from lead trainers

If you would like to deliver CBT based sessions with clients, you will also be able to access our printed resources including living life to the full, reclaim your life and enjoy your baby which are designed by Chris Williams and free for you to use in your sessions.

Participant and Trainer Resources

Connect 5 -  Live Online - Module Resources:

Connect 5 - Live Online Module 1 Resources Connect 5 - Live Online Module 2 Resources Connect 5 - Live Online Module 3 Resources


Connect 5 -  Face to Face - Module Resources:

Connect 5 - Face to Face Module 1 Resources Connect 5 - Face to Face Module 2 Resources Connect 5 - Face to Face Module 3 Resources

Feedback and Testimonials

“I found the overall experience to be helpful, in particular the break out room sessions during the training. I found them to be an effective way of collaborating information, and gaining insight and ideas from fellow practitioners within the mental health field”

Megan McCann – Community wellbeing practitioner


“I found the Connect 5 training extremely informative – my favourite part was being able to connect with others who had different experiences and learning from these experiences. The online delivery was smooth and enjoyable.”

Mary Taylor – Wellbeing Centre Coordinator


“Really informative and the time went so quickly because it was so insightful. I’d call it a simple yet necessary and effective learning experience!”

Leonie Quilliam – Community Wellbeing Practitioner


“It was great to get together and see the way different people view and deal with mental health through the tasks of the session! It helped during these uncertain times to get the conversation going about mental health and the ways in which we can keep on top of our wellbeing”

Jessica Atkins – Community Wellbeing Practitioner


"I thought that the session today was excellent. It was presented well by Mel and good interaction with the other group members. I am looking forward to taking part in the second session as soon as it is up and running. I have passed details to other people who I think would benefit from attending these sessions."

Douglas Craddock – Army Cadet Force


"I really enjoyed this training and have learnt many new skills. I really enjoyed the small group work and felt as it was online there were not as many opportunities to speak in the larger group and I felt I had 'saved' it all until the end (which Mel was very patient with). Mel is a great trainer and managed the group and process very well, listening and hearing what everyone contributed."

Emma Lenihan – Calm Connections


"I found all the Connect 5 sessions very useful, learning experience and it was nice to work in smaller groups for everyone to get their feedback in. Looking forward to doing the next Connect 5 session."

Fozia Khan – Pennine Care


"I really enjoyed the session, Mel was a great trainer and was very supportive, made everyone feel at ease. I've never used Zoom before, so I found this really helpful that Mel sent us a how to link - thanks Mel. I really enjoyed going into the 'break out' rooms and working in small groups, then going into whole group feedback and discussion. Thank you for a really good session."

Debbie Tyszkowski – Guiness Partnership


"Helped develop an understanding of the difference between mental wellbeing and symptoms of mental health. Demonstrated ways of opening difficult conversations. Used different theories that can be used in practice when working with someone with low wellbeing. Helped to understand the things I can do for my own wellbeing."

Paige Artus – Pure Innovations


"I found the online course extremely informative. I feel I have a much greater understanding of mental wellbeing and will be far more confident when discussing these issues with clients.  A big thank you to Mel who delivered the online course, Mel was extremely informative and delivered the course professionally."

Julie Simpson – Bury Council


"A lot of the content is familiar to me as a Samaritan, but the different models studied were interesting and helpful. The small group work was useful, and Mel's general approach was warm, informed and encouraging. My first Zoom meeting - a learning experience! Looking forward to Module 2."

Isobel Matthews – Samaritans


"I thoroughly enjoyed this Connect 5 session - I didn't know how the Virtual sessions would feel compared to the face to face sessions but it certainly worked from my point of view. Mel was great, making connections to us all and slick with the break out rooms/white board function etc. Really enjoyed it thank you :)"

Francesca Tabern – Wigan Council


"The pace was just right, the language was very accessible, you explained clearly what was going to happen in terms of using Zoom. The time just whizzed. Excellent."

Jane McAllister – NHS


"Enjoyable 3 hours. It was a refresher and complemented other training that I have completed in the past."

Julie Miller – Oldham council


"I am new to a role where mental health issues exist, found the content was good for a beginner like myself and the more experienced members on the module. Found it very educational and thought provoking and look forward to Module 3."

Jane Lees – Age UK


"A very interesting and thought provoking session. Lots of ideas and tools to help promote wellbeing. Thank you."

Phillip Brooke – Active Tameside

Connect 5 Training Delivery via Zoom Tutorial

If you're new to delivering training or new to using Zoom then it may be quite difficult to get your head around how it all works. We've put together a video tutorial that should guide you through the steps on how to successfully deliver Connect 5 training via Zoom! 

I need help now!