Mental health awareness and strategies for frontline professionals

3 March



Felicity Reed
PAUSE Southwark


March 3, 2020 - 9:30 am


March 3, 2020 - 3:45 pm


Aston University, The Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 7ET   View map



Increasing numbers of people are reporting mental health distress and this can pose significant additional challenges for professionals, from workers in homeless hostels and supported accommodation, to health and signposting services, social services and the police.


Recognising signs of mental health problems is the first challenge, and feeling confident in responding appropriately is the second.


A significant proportion of people have common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. A smaller proportion have more serious and complex difficulties, such as schizophrenia, bipolar or personality disorder. But how does a professional first coming into contact with a service user, often under pressured circumstances, recognise this? Especially when the individual may also have other difficulties such as drug and alcohol problems, and may not want to access help.


Referral on to mental health services seems the best option, where a condition is recognised. However, there are long waiting lists for specialist mental health services, many are not available out of hours, and many will often not accept a service user who is actively using drugs or alcohol. The reality is that front line professionals are often left to respond by default.


This learning day aims to enable front line professionals to cope better with mental health challenges encountered in real world situations, enabling better outcomes for clients, and safer working for themselves.


The day is facilitated by Felicity Reed, an experienced psychotherapist who has been working in the field of mental distress for 20 years. She works for PAUSE where she supports women with highly complex needs, including drug and alcohol misuse.



The day will include:


  • Recognising common characteristics of mental health conditions and disorders, and how these might impact behaviour, while understanding that no two individuals are the same
  • Understanding common underlying factors in all mental distress
  • The role of trauma, disadvantage and discrimination in mental distress, diagnosis and treatment
  • Understanding the system and accessing support
  • 3 tools for working with people experiencing mental distress


Clarification: the day will focus principally on adults’ mental health (excluding older people’s mental health), although it will refer to young adults.


It will be facilitated by Felicity Reed, an experienced psychotherapist who has been working in the field of mental health and complex distress for almost twenty years, both in service design, frontline practice, clinical supervision and service oversight. Felicity Reed is currently the Lead for Pause Southwark, a programme supporting parents who have highly complex needs, including a range of mental and trauma related distress, as well as learning needs, drug and alcohol misuse.

Agenda (subject to change)

9.30 – 10.00

Registration and coffee

10.00 – 10.10

Welcome and introduction to the day

10.10 – 11.20

  • How and why have the challenges increased for front line professionals? Categorising mental distress
  • Introducing depression, anxiety and OCD

11.20 – 11.45

Coffee break

11.45 – 12.45

  • Introducing psychosis and Personality Disorder
  • Trauma, Disadvantage and Discrimination

12.45 – 1.35


1.35 – 2.35

  • Accessing services, understanding the system, and relevant legislation

2.35 – 2.55

Quick break – collect tea and snacks

2.55 – 3.45

  • 3 tools for common scenarios


Final questions and close of day

  • Social workers – working with parents and families, adults of working age, and teenagers
  • Support workers, key workers, link workers
  • Children’s charities which also work with parents and families
  • Homeless services, including hostels
  • Police
  • Carers
  • Prison officers
  • Probation services
  • Community protection services
  • Services supporting prison leavers and families of prisoners
  • Services supporting veterans
  • Social housing providers
  • Domestic abuse services supporting victims and perpetrators
  • Drug and alcohol services
  • Peer supporters and people with lived experience


 This learning day is suitable for people who encounter individuals who may have mental health problems, who would benefit from an understanding of mental health conditions, their likely impact on behaviour, how to access support, and appropriate strategies for handling immediate challenging relationships.

It is not intended for mental health professionals or those who have already had in-depth training in this area.



Delegate fee:

 £130 + VAT = £156

*Team of 3 (3rd person attends for half price) £325 + VAT = £390

*Team of 5 (5th person attends for free) £520 + VAT = £624

ring 0115 916 3104 for details.


Included in the delegate package:

  • Delegate pack
  • Lunch
  • Refreshments available throughout the day


Booking Terms and Conditions

Cancellations received up to and including 11 Feb 2020 will be refunded in full less an administration fee of 25%. Cancellations received after this date will be liable for payment in full.

*Team bookings are non-cancellable but substitute delegates will always be accepted.

The full invoice amount will remain payable if you fail to attend the event, however, substitute delegates will be accepted up until, and including, the day of the event.



Confirmation of booking:

Your booking will be confirmed by email where possible (and by fax or post otherwise), and you will be provided with directions to the venue and details on nearby hotel accommodation. If you do not receive such acknowledgement, please contact Central Conference Consultants Ltd on 0115 916 3104.



Felicity Reed is an Adult Psychotherapist and UKCP accredited Supervisor with a background in understanding and supporting people who experience mental distress in complex circumstances, such as in homelessness, substance abusing, criminal justice and emergency service contexts. She has worked for almost twenty years as a practitioner, leader and service designer, creating new ways to meet the needs of those who do not fit easily into traditional support and who, as a consequence, may present with challenging, distressing or offending behaviours. Felicity currently works for PAUSE in Southwark, supporting women with complex needs, many of whom have had multiple children taken into care.

The training will take place in Birmingham City Centre:

Conference Aston Meeting Suites

Aston University,

The Aston Triangle,


B4 7ET

Venue telephone – 0121 204 4300

New Street, Snow Hill and Moor Street train stations are all within 20 minutes walk of the venue or a 5 minute taxi journey.

Car parking and direction information

Follow this link for a downloadable map, directions and car park information:

There are pay and display car parks on-site but spaces must be booked in advance – follow the link above to do this.


 There is a hotel on-site in the Aston Business School

Follow this link for costs, details of rooms and booking information: