Connect 5

Connect 5 has been developed to give frontline staff the confidence to have more effective conversations with the public about their mental health and wellbeing

What is Connect 5?

Connect 5 is focused on training staff to enable them to support their patients or clients to live well mentally, to better manage their mental health, increase their resilience and ultimately improve wellbeing.

The techniques used by Connect 5 are underpinned by the Five Ways to Wellbeing and a cognitive behavioural model for understanding stress, distress and learning tools for self-management.

Connect 5 training is tailored to the needs of your staff – and can take place for between a half-day and two and a half days depending on who it is for and how much support they can provide.

Why has it been developed?

With mental health emerging as a pressing priority, and services struggling to cope with the burden, promoting self-management is at the heart of current health and social care policy.

There are currently many obstacles preventing people from accessing the help they need with mental health issues. Stigma associated with mental health means that those not working in mental health often don’t feel skilled or confident enough to speak about mental health issues.

Connect 5 has been developed to help address these problems by releasing some of the core knowledge and skills held by specialist mental health services into the wider health and care workforce, enabling people to feel confident having conversations around health and wellbeing, and make more effective referrals in to mental health services.

Connect 5 trainer network

The national roll out of Connect 5 led by RSPH has come to an end and going forward any further Connect 5 training opportunities are determined by the local needs in each area. Please contact your local Health Education England for more details.

Fewer than

1 in 3 people

suffering clinical levels of mental distress access mental health services

9 out of 10 people

with mental ill health experience stigma or discrimination

Mixed anxiety and depression cause

one fifth

of lost UK work days

How does Connect 5 fit with national health and care priorities?

Connect 5 plays a fundamental part in supporting and achieving these objectives and will help you develop your workforce in line with policy priorities.

  • Builds capacity and capability to support prevention and reduce demand, supporting the Five Year Forward View (FYFV) and specifically the FYFV for Mental Health workforce strategy.
  • Delivers brief interventions for mental wellbeing as part of Making Every Contact Count (MECC), as agreed in the MECC national consensus statement.
  • Promotes a self-care and self-management approach and increases mental health literacy.
  • Champions the public’s health, wellbeing, independence and control, supporting the Care Act and Public Health priorities.
  • Develops the role of the ‘wider workforce’ to embed prevention and public health across a broader system, in line with the Fit for the Future Public Health strategy and the Public
  • Mental Health Leadership and Workforce Development Framework



We would like to acknowledge the following partners and stakeholders who have collaborated in the development of Connect 5:

  • Stockport Together (Stockport council)
  • Buzz Manchester Health and Wellbeing Service
  • Bolton Council Public Mental Health Team 
  • The North West Psychological Professions Network
  • Elysabeth Williams National Connect 5 lead & Public Mental Health advisor
  • Jackie Kilbane Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester
  • Clare Baguley Mental Health Lead Health Education England - North
  • Martin Powell Principle Educational Psychologist Stockport Council
  • National Connect 5 network of trainers