Training Opportunities

How to help employees struggling with mental health issues.



This course will enable your employees to feel more confident to attend to others mental health needs without feeling the need to be responsible or to rescue them. They will have an opportunity to consider.

1.     Their relationship with helping others

2.     The skills needed to empathise

3.     Practical listening skills

4.     Exploring how to know and keep boundaries and why this is necessary

5.     Self-Care



According to MIND official statistics

  • One in six children aged five to 16 were identified as having a probable mental health problem in July 2021, a huge increase from one in nine in 2017. That’s five children in every classroom.
  • The number of A&E attendances by young people aged 18 or under with a recorded diagnosis of a psychiatric condition more than tripled between 2010 and 2018-19 (ii).
  • 83% of young people with mental health needs agreed that the coronavirus pandemic had made their mental health worse.
  • In 2018-19, 24% of 17-year-olds reported having self-harmed in the previous year, and seven per cent reported having self-harmed with suicidal intent at some point in their lives. 16% reported high levels of psychological distress.
  • Suicide was the leading cause of death for males and females aged between five to 34 in 2019.
  • Nearly half of 17–19-year-olds with a diagnosable mental health disorder has self-harmed or attempted suicide at some point, rising to 52.7% for young women (vi).

As organisations we now have a responsibility to the young people, we work with to provide a safe environment for them to discuss mental health difficulties, employees will need skills to be able to listen, tune in, contain the concerns and signpost to other services whilst also holding firm boundaries personally and professionally to avoid confusion of roles and employee burnout.



The training will be delivered through case discussion, presentation, small groupwork, activity and games. The training will be an interactive process, collaborative and will involve participants as active learners throughout the session. There will be a variety of resources used to help participants engage and to own the learning experience.


By the end of this training participants will have an increased awareness of mental health and feel more confident to attend to young people’s mental health without creating additional stress and whilst meeting their own workplace targets and expectations.

They will have gained practical skills of helping and have a better understanding of boundaries.

Personally, they will have an opportunity to consider their own relationship with help and how this informs the way they relate to young people.

An increased awareness of signposting to services and what the priorities may be.

A reduction of stress as participants has an increased appreciation of their role and the need for clear boundaries for themselves and the young people.

·       Joanne King Family Therapy is an independent therapist (UKCP) in clinical practice with young people and families and has 15 years’ experience working in Children’s Mental health (CAMHS) and 20 years’ experience in teaching and training. 

Recognised lecturer at University of Birmingham


Cost: 6-hour training session = £480


Reflective Practice Group for employees

“We don’t learn from experience we learn from reflecting on experience” John Dewey

What is reflective practice?

Imagine that you come home at the end of a bad week where everything possible has gone wrong. When you walk in the front door you are confronted with a time machine which can take you back to Monday morning so you can live the whole week over again. You use this opportunity to think about everything that went wrong and what you could do (if anything) to correct things as well as trying to repeat the things that you have done right. It may not seem like it, but this is reflective practice - the act of thinking about our experiences to learn from them for the future. In real life you probably don't have access to time travel, but you can still work towards being a reflective practitioner. We can all undertake activities to think about our experiences, learn from them and develop an action plan for what we will do next.

Reflective practice was something which developed in disciplines such as teaching, medicine, and social work to learn from real life experiences. People in these areas would think about encounters with their students, patients, or clients, how these worked and what lessons they could take away. Over time many other areas have adopted the principles of reflective practice, including education. You can use reflection when studying, for example when preparing group work or when working on assignments. It is also useful beyond academia when you are applying for jobs, as part of a professional qualification or just as a way of thinking about your role.

Although a definition of reflective practice has been included above this is only one part of a larger process. Reflection is a very personal thing and different people will define it in different ways. It is important to remember that there is no one 'correct' way of defining what reflection is or how it should be done as a lot of this will depend on your own circumstances.

Why reflect in a group?

You can practice reflection during your education, within the workplace or as part of your general personal wellbeing, however the value of being in a group.

·        In a group learning setting, you get to bring together an array of perspectives, knowledge, skills, and understanding. This pool of knowledge can then be shared and make it easier to understand new topics. For example, say you have a group of three employees learning together. One of them is a great problem-solver, the other one is very articulate, and the third is a creative thinker. The combination of all three skills can contribute to creating an amazing output, one that would have never otherwise existed without bringing the three students together. It can change the learning dynamic and make for a better overall experience. It has many benefits at both a personal and professional level and can help you to focus on planning for future experiences.

In groups we:

·       Pool knowledge and skills. ...

  • Articulate ideas. ...
  • Listen with intent. ...
  • Broaden perspectives. ...
  • Effective for critical thinking. ...
  • Build interpersonal relationships. ...
  • Positive learning experiences. ...
  • Career preparation.


So, what are the main benefits of reflection?

  • When you're studying you are likely to be very involved in your work and achieving academic success. It can be easy to become too focused on your work in this situation, but reflective practice allows you to look at the bigger picture. Undertaking regular reflection, for example once a term, can help you to think about your goals for studying and your plans.
  • It can help with the issue of 'self-talk'. We all have a little voice inside our heads which reminds us of all the things we could have done differently in certain situations. Reflecting on an experience can help to put this voice to use as we learn from what we have done and move forward.
  • It gives you areas to improve on or develop. Whether you are a student or in the workplace you will find that you are constantly being asked for ways in which you can develop your knowledge and skills. Undertaking reflections can help you to think about areas that you can work on as well as what you are doing well.
  • Reflection can help you to be more creative and try new things. It's very easy to get stuck in a rut and it can be helpful to think about what you are doing and why you are doing it. This can help to spark new ideas and ways of thinking.
  • Human nature means that we all make assumptions about people and situations. Taking a step back and reflecting can help you to challenge some of these assumptions and see things from a new perspective.
  • Reflection is a key part of emotional intelligence - the ability to understand and remain in control of our emotions. This is a useful skill to have both for our own wellbeing and when working with others.
  • It helps to maintain a healthy work/life balance by offering a defined process for thinking things through. Hopefully you can learn from them and move on rather than dwelling on what happened.

The Group

The group of employees would come together on a monthly basis either face to face for 1.5 hours (preferable) or online to think about issues at work in relation to the following areas to explore;

·     What did I learn?

·     What do I need to learn more of for next time?

·     Why did I feel this way?

·     What would others say about how I handled that?

·     What went well?

·     What didn’t work?

·     What would happen if….?

·     How can I improve?

·     Who can support me to do it differently?


The model

Gibbs' Reflective Cycle was developed by Graham Gibbs in 1988 to give structure to learning from experiences. It offers a framework for examining experiences, and given its cyclic nature lends itself particularly well to repeated experiences, allowing you to learn and plan from things that either went well or didn’t go well. It covers 6 stages:

  • Description of the experience
  • Feelings and thoughts about the experience
  • Evaluation of the experience, both good and bad
  • Analysis to make sense of the situation
  • Conclusion about what you learned and what you could have done differently
  • Action plan for how you would deal with similar situations in the future, or general changes you might find appropriate.


Benefit of reflective practice groups for the employer

Offering reflective practice groups builds a culture of reflection into an organisation which in turn offers a sense of value for employees as individuals in a community. It offers a well-being opportunity for human connection, insight and understanding and builds inter-personal relationships. Having groups embedded into your organisation opens other opportunities for reflection throughout the whole system and on day-to-day projects as employees and managers learn to reflect in and on action as a matter of course.

Research has repeatedly seen that investing in employees in this way increases productivity by 23% and has an impact on staff retention as people feel valued and appreciated rather than criticised. Creating a culture and space for reflection then has an impact throughout organisations as it filters through to client groups and to family and friends. It is a different way of thinking about the world as we encourage a greater sense of systemic thinking.


Joanne King Family Therapy has 20 years’ experience of group work with a specialism in reflective practice/personal and professional development.

Cost: £120 for 1.5 hrs plus travel expenses if face to face.