New Certificate Awarded

After an almost two year wait, finally been awarded with the NCFE CACHS Level 2 Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems, although I completed and received my certificate for the Level 3 course in September 2020.

Read about the course below.

What Does This Qualification Cover?

This qualification aims to raise awareness of mental health and a range of mental health problems.

Who Is It Suitable For?

This qualification is designed for anyone looking to develop their understanding of mental health and the problems that can cause mental ill health.

This qualification is suitable for learners aged 16 and above.

What Are The Entry Requirements?

There are no specific prior qualifications needed to access this qualification, although learners may find it useful to have previously achieved a Level 1 qualification in a health, social care or mental-health related area.

How Is This Qualification Structured?

To be awarded the Level 2 Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems, learners are required to successfully complete 13 mandatory units.

How Is It Assessed?

To achieve the Level 2 Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems, learners must successfully demonstrate their achievement of all learning outcomes and assessment criteria of the units as detailed in the qualification specification. Grades are not awarded.

The Level 2 Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems is internally assessed.

What Related Qualifications Can You Progress To?

Learners who achieve this qualification could progress to:

  • Level 2 and 3 Certificate in Preparing to Work in Adult Social Care.
  • Level 2 Award in Awareness of Dementia.
  • Level 2 and 3 Certificate for Working in the Health Sector.
  • Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of End of Life Care.
  • Level 3 Certificate in Stroke Care Management.
  • Level 3 Certificate in Understanding Mental Health.

Book: Insane Medicine: How the Mental Health Industry Creates Damaging Treatment Traps and How you can Escape Them

Book Title:

Insane Medicine: How the Mental Health Industry Creates Damaging Treatment Traps and How you can Escape Them.

Author(s): Sami Timimi.

Year: 2021.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Independently Published.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.


This book digs through the rotten undergrowth which fertilises the mental health industry. The level of failure and deceit is hard to believe. The diagnoses we use are more akin to astrological than medical constructs. We have no medical tests and despite apparent innovations in drugs and therapy, five decades of research has shown no improvement in outcomes from treatment and instead an increase in the numbers categorised as severely mentally ill. Worse, we have convinced the population that they are experiencing pandemics of mental disorders, leading us to fear our ordinary emotions and to scythe away at our natural resilience. There can be no doubt that the mental health industry has caused more harm than good. In this hard hitting book, Dr Timimi, a child psychiatrist with over 30-years-experience as a practicing clinician and researcher, reveals the shocking truth about the unintended harms this industry has caused, both to those in distress and our culture more broadly. He explains how our institutional ideology traps people into becoming long-term patients and proposes a simple theory that explains why more people become long term patients than get better as well as sharing tips on how those caught in this trap can find safe ways back to health and contentment. A revolution in mental health care is inevitable. The current systems have failed and are un-reformable. They will be overthrown. This book will tell you why.

Book: A Practical Guide to Mental Health Problems in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Book Title:

A Practical Guide to Mental Health Problems in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder: It’s Not Just Their Autism!.

Author(s): Alvina Ali, Michelle O’Reilly, and Khalid Karim.

Year: 2013.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.


Exploring the relationship between ASD and mental health difficulties, this book offers practical guidance to help parents and professionals recognise and handle co-morbid conditions, and dispels the myth that they are just a part of autism. The authors cover a wide range of common mental health problems experienced by children with ASD, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety, ADHD, eating disorders, psychosis, stress, tics and depression, and illustrate these issues with case studies. They also provide vital advice in an accessible format and suggest strategies to ease the difficulties which arise from these co-morbid conditions. This book is essential reading for professionals working with children on the autism spectrum and is an accessible and practical resource for parents and carers.

Book: A Guide to Mental Health Issues in Girls and Young Women on the Autism Spectrum

Book Title:

A Guide to Mental Health Issues in Girls and Young Women on the Autism Spectrum: Diagnosis, Intervention and Family Support.

Author(s): Judy Eaton.

Year: 2017.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.


This book addresses the specific mental health needs of girls and young women with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Looking at the ways autism presents differently in girls than in boys, and the mental health conditions that occur most frequently in girls with ASD, this is the essential guide for clinicians and educators on tailoring interventions and support to meet girls’ needs.

Describing the current assessment process for autism diagnosis, the book explains why girls are under- or mis-diagnosed, leading to later mental health issues. It outlines the types of intervention that are particularly helpful for working with girls to reduce anxiety, improve social interaction skills, and manage self-harm. The book also covers how to manage eating disorders and feeding difficulties, focusing on working with girls with sensory processing difficulties. There is advice on how to deal with the emotional impact on parents, carers and families, and the challenges they face when negotiating appropriate psychological and educational support.

Book: Positive Male Mind: Overcoming Mental Health Problems

Book Title:

Positive Male Mind: Overcoming Mental Health Problems (Positive Wellbeing Series).

Author(s): Shaun Davis and Andrew Kinder.

Year: 2018.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: LID Publishing.

Type(s): Hardcover and Kindle.


Mental health problems affect both men and women, in fact, every one in four of us. However, it has been widely accepted for some time that men are much less likely to seek help from a doctor or mental health specialist, as they traditionally expect themselves to be competitive and successful, tough and self-reliant and can find it difficult to admit that they are feeling fragile and vulnerable. This book aims to build on the current progressive movement by supporting men and those that care about them – be that a partner, friend, family member or colleague – by providing insight, advice, and tips on what can be done at a very practical level to make men’s mental health much more positive.

Book: Positive Mental Health: Overcoming Mental Health Problems

Book Title:

Positive Mental Health: Overcoming Mental Health Problems (Positive Wellbeing Series).

Author(s): Shaun Davis and Andrew Kinder.

Year: 2019.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: LID Publishing.

Type(s): Hardcover and Kindle.


Whether you work with 10 people, 10,000 people or just yourself, paying attention to mental health in the workplace has never been more important. We all face mental health challenges, regardless of our gender, age or sexual orientation, and too often we can be guilty for taking our mental health for granted. This book aims to build on the current progressive movement around mental health awareness and is in line with current thinking on mental health in the workplace. In this book, the authors provide employees with a resource to develop greater mental health in the workplace and provide employers with a resource to develop greater wellbeing amongst their employees therefore increasing quality, performance, productivity and overall business effectiveness.

Is There Value in Targeted Screening & Intervention Programmes of Anxiety in Young Adult Offspring with Parental Mental Health Problems?

Research Paper Title

Associations of maternal and paternal mental health problems with offspring anxiety at age 20 years: Findings from a population-based prospective cohort study.


Epidemiological studies indicate that children of parents with mental health problems are at an increased risk of developing anxiety disorders.

Few studies have investigated this relationship in young adults.


Participants were from the Raine Study, which is a multi-generational birth cohort study in Australia. Maternal anxiety and depression in late childhood were assessed using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-42), and paternal lifetime mental health problems were assessed using a self-reported questionnaire.

The short form of DASS-42 (DASS-21) was used to assess anxiety symptoms among offspring at age 20. Negative binomial regression model was used to quantify the association. Data were available for 1,220 mother-offspring and 1,190 father-offspring pairs.


After adjusting for potential confounders, the researchers found an increased risk of anxiety in young adult offspring exposed to maternal anxiety in late childhood and paternal lifetime mental health problems. However, they observed no increased risks of anxiety in offspring exposed to maternal depressive symptoms. Their sensitivity analysis based on the log-binomial model (binary outcome) as well as the linear model (log-transformed data) confirmed the robustness of the main results.


The findings suggest there can be value to consider and apply targeted screening and intervention programmes of anxiety in the young adult offspring with parental mental health problems.


Ayano, G., Betts, K., Lin, A., Tait, R. & Alati, R. (2021) Associations of maternal and paternal mental health problems with offspring anxiety at age 20 years: Findings from a population-based prospective cohort study. Psychiatry Research. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2021.113781. Online ahead of print.

What is Mental Health Triage (Australia)?


Mental health triage is a clinical function conducted at point of entry to health services which aims to assess and categorise the urgency of mental health related problems.


The mental health triage service may be located in the Emergency Department, Community Mental Health Services, Call Centre, or co-located with other specialist mental health services such as the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team.

Emergency Services such as police and ambulance may also have a co-located mental health triage service.

There is considerable variation in the clinical settings in which mental health triage services may be operating, therefore service delivery models vary, however, the essential function is to determine the nature and severity of the mental health problem, determine which service response would best meet the needs of the patient, and how urgently the response is required.

A core function of mental health triage is to conduct risk assessment that aims to determine whether the patient is a risk of harming self or others as a result of their mental state, and to assess other risks related to mental illness. As with other triage models, the mental health triage clinician must assign a category of urgency to the case, which is recorded using verbal indicators of risk such as ‘extreme risk’ through to ‘low risk’, or by using numerical (urgency= time-to-treatment) categories 1 (immediate) to 5 (2 hours), as per the 5-point Australasian Triage Scale.

Mental Health Triage Training

In 2006 the Centre for Psychiatric Nursing Research and Practice introduced a 2 day mental health triage training programme designed and facilitated by Dr Natisha Sands.

The focus of the programme is on providing specific, targeted education to support triage duty and intake clinicians in conducting point of entry mental health assessment and service provision to Area Mental Health Services.

The aim of the programme is to increase the quality and consistency of mental health triage service delivery, by providing the clinician with sound theoretical and practical knowledge to guide clinical practice.

The expected outcomes of participation in the program are increased confidence and skill in triage clinical practice, improvement in the quality of service delivery, improvement in the quality of triage documentation, and professional development and support of clinical staff.

Brief Overview of the Programme

  • Telephone skills (phone manner, phone assessment, problem callers).
  • Risk assessment (assessment, diagnosis, priority, action).
  • Medico-legal issues.
  • Decision-making (the phases of triage, under pressure, influences, resource management, decision-making frameworks).
  • Negotiation skills (other agencies, team, clients, families).
  • Crisis management (identification, types of crises, problem solving, diffusion, resolution).
  • Secondary consultation and education (other services/agencies, clients, families).
  • Effective documentation (risk assessment, incidents, care planning, confidentiality, electronic documentation, exchange of information).
  • Engaging consumers (consumer centred service delivery).

The programme is open to mental health triage, duty, and intake clinicians of all disciplines, and is suitable for both novice and expert clinicians and is designed to assist clinicians engaged in both face-to-face and telephone only triage.

Book: Life Is a Four-Letter Word

Book Title:

Life Is a Four-Letter Word: A Mental Health Survival Guide for Professionals.

Author(s): Andy Salkeld.

Year: 2020.

Edition: First (1st), Illustrated Edition.

Publisher: Practical Inspiration Publishing.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.


  • Do you ever feel you’re a fraud and about to be found out?
  • Do you feel an expectation to keep going and to be strong?
  • Do you ever think what it would be like to just… ‘STOP’?

You are not alone. Mental ill health impacts one in four people every year, and professionals in high-pressure jobs are especially vulnerable.

Life is a Four-Letter Word is a mental health survival guide for professionals, from a high-flying Big 4 accountant who has struggled with depression, anxiety, stress and suicidal thoughts and learned a lot along the way.

Andy now advocates positive action around mental health, working closely with business leaders across the UK to help them build mentally healthy cultures. He is a renowned speaker and writer on mental health, entrepreneurship and finance.

A New Definition of Mental Health!

Research Paper Title

A proposed new definition of mental health.


The authors propose a new approach to the definition of mental health, different than the definition proposed by the World Health Organisation, which is established around issues of person’s well-being and productivity.

It is supposed to reflect the complexity of human life experience.


The definition of mental health proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO) is organised around a hedonic and eudaimonic perspective, in which a key role is assigned to person’s well-being and productivity. While regarding well-being as a desirable goal for many people, its inclusion in the definition of mental health raises concerns. According to Keyes, well-being includes emotional, psychological and social well-being, and involves positive feelings (e.g., happiness, satisfaction), positive attitudes towards own responsibilities and towards others, and positive functioning
(e.g., social integration, actualisation and coherence).

However, people in good mental health experience a wide range of emotions, such as sadness, anger or unhappiness; most adolescents are often unsatisfied, unhappy about present social organisation and may lack social coherence. Does this mean that they are not in good mental health? A person responsible for her/his family might feel desperate after being fired from his/her job, especially in a situation characterised by scarce occupational opportunities; should we question her/his mental health? Actually, raising the bar of mental health may create unrealistic expectations, encourage people
to mask most of their emotions while pretending constant happiness, and even favour their isolation when they feel sad, angry or worried.

Also the concept of positive functioning (“can work productively and fruitfully”), in line with the eudaimonic tradition, raises concerns, as it implies that a person at an age or in a physical or even political condition preventing her/him from working productively is not by definition in good mental health.

The definition of mental health is clearly influenced by the culture that defines it. However, as also advocated by Vaillant, an effort can be made to identify elements that have a universal importance for mental health, as for example, vitamins and the four basic food groups are universally given a key role in eating habits, in spite of cultural differences.

You can read the rest of the article here.


Galderisi, S., Heinz, A., Kastrup, M., Beezhold, J. & Sartorius, N. (2020) A proposed new definition of mental health. Psychiatria Polska. 51(3), pp.407-411. doi: 10.12740/PP/74145. Epub 2017 Jun 18.