Training and consultation for colleges and universities

White curve
Group of students sitting om the grass and talking to each other

The Charlie Waller Trust has, for many years, offered mental health training for colleges and universities.

We have trainers across the UK, all of whom have many years’ clinical, academic and educational experience which they draw on to deliver high-quality, evidence-based training and advice.

Our training and consultation

At Charlie Waller we have experience of offering training to support staff as well as students. Our trainers are experienced in working face to face and online. They are able to tailor sessions to suit your chosen audience, and can make them as informative, interactive and engaging as you need. They can be shorter sessions (30-45 minutes) or full/half day programmes. Examples of the sort of training we can provide are listed below, but we are happy to create something that suits your specific needs, and the list will be updated to factor current themes and changes in awareness.

We work in partnership with you to develop a whole-institution approach to mental health in a personally-tailored programme that suits your specific needs.

We can provide a consultation service, targeted at your specific needs and requirements. We can provide advice and guidance that builds on your current mental health work and helps you create a roadmap for the future.


Interested in more general information about all of our training? Click here


Explore our mental health resources: Mental health resources

Training topics

We offer training on a wide variety of topics and can tailor content to your needs. The following are some examples of common topics. 

Raising awareness of eating disorders within the student population
This training will offer an overview of what we mean by eating disorders and the prevalence, factors to consider within the student population, what to do if you are concerned about a young person and further resources and support. It is possible for this session to be recorded by CWT and the Vimeo link shared within your organisation.

Preparing for bereavement in staff and students
Building on awareness and empathy with our students and colleagues who are adapting to personal loss.

Developing the confidence to have difficult conversations
This training will:
• Enable you to work more effectively with young people experiencing distress/mental health conditions.
• Give you more tools and resources to feel confident when having a difficult conversation.

Mental health in the workplace: a proactive approach
This session will:
• Provide an overview of mental health and mental health in the workplace.
• Give an overview of anxiety and depression.
• Explore the stress vulnerability model and stress container.
• Explore keeping well at work strategies, including digital wellbeing and practicing self-compassion.
• Offer further resources and support.
It is possible for this session to be recorded by CWT and the Vimeo link shared within your organisation.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) aware
This session identifies adverse childhood experiences and offers guidance for working successfully with students who have experienced such challenges.


Using the Wellbeing Action Plan

This session gives an overview of the different elements of a wellbeing action plan and some clear pointers for developing an effective plan, by reflecting on and understanding the triggers which may cause you stress or affect your mental wellbeing. Here you can learn practical ways to help address these triggers and help you clarify your thoughts and actions. Managers can use the Wellbeing Action Plan with staff to support their mental health and wellbeing. It is possible for this session to be recorded by CWT and the Vimeo link shared within your organisation.

Managing stress in today’s world
How to make sense of today's every-changing world from an evolutionary perspective. Covering physiological, psychological, emotional and behavioural responses to stress with a focus on the immune system. This could also be a two-part session with additional content on healthy eating, mental health and the immune system if there is interest.

Responding to student distress
In this session we learn how to recognise and respond to student distress.

Helping students build resilience
In this session we consider the nature of resilience, factors which affect a person's capacity for resilience and how to help students become more resilient.

The impact of racism on mental health
This is experiential training comprising two three-hour sessions (total six hours) inviting participants to explore their own experiences of race and racism, in order to better support young people.
Outcomes of the training include:
• Understanding the impact of racial identity development and racism on mental health.
• Gaining a better understanding of race and racism, including systemic racism.
• Acquiring an awareness of one’s own racial identity.
• Agreeing a review of actions that can be taken by the team.
The training can be personalised and modified to your organisational needs. We believe that this topic requires in-depth analysis and time, therefore we are happy to work around the logistical challenges you may face.

Safeguarding, crime and exploitation
Supporting lecturers to notice and support students at risk of falling into crime or being exploited, and the subsequent impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

Talking about suicide
Companion presentation to the Charlie Waller/AoC guide for colleges, which explores what to do if you think a student is as risk. The presentation explains the guide and offers the opportunity to ask questions. For all staff. The session can be extended to include interactive discussion.

Developing confidence to recognise and discuss substance use with students
This session is designed to define different substances and consider their impact, highlight signs to spot and offer a chance for discussion/Q&A on concerns regarding drug use. Our specialist trainer on this topic, Alex, will also identify local support services and helpline numbers. This can be delivered over one, three or six hours.

The impact of gambling and gaming on mental health
This session considers types of gambling and gaming that might become problematic for students, the potential impact on mental health, and ways staff might support and signpost students.

Supporting students experiencing domestic abuse
This session reflects on different types of abuse, how to recognise potential signs, the impact on the student/colleague and offers guidance on difficult conversations including support for mental wellbeing.

Careers guidance for anxious students
This session is designed for supporting students who are unsure about exam results and their next steps and may be feeling anxious. Uncertainty surrounding exams and results necessary for progression can lead to anxiety. It focuses on how to support and reassure concerned students, growth mindset for applications, positivity and support through rejection and feelings of helplessness.

Mindfulness: staying in the present when the future is uncertain
A variety of mindfulness sessions are possible. The basic format is a 30-minute presentation exploring how to use mindfulness in everyday situations to help improve mental health and reduce anxiety. It is an experiential session, and it is hoped that participants will join in the practices. It can be extended to include longer mindfulness practices (45 minutes) if required. It is possible for this session to be recorded by CWT and the Vimeo link shared within your organisation.

Supporting students’ mental health: when and how to intervene
This session will consider the spectrum of mental health, how to identify and engage with
students who may be experiencing difficulties and use a triage triangle to refer them to appropriate help.

Menopause awareness for managers
With a large percentage of the workforce either going through the menopause or about to go through it, it’s time that managers learnt how to feel comfortable talking about it with staff, and confident that they are able to give the right kind of support. This 90-minute training supports the GCC Managing the Menopause in the Workplace
procedure and covers:
• Looking at the effects of the menopause.
• Dispelling the myths.
• Understanding the signs and symptoms.
• Menopause, mental health and the workplace.
• How to talk about it.
• How to respond to and support women going through the menopause.

Many of us will recognise the critical voice that impacts on our wellbeing. Perhaps there is a struggle with emotional regulation, imposter syndrome, anxiety, low mood or perfectionism. Improving self-awareness and learning self-compassion can have a positive impact on many areas of mental health. This training looks at recognising when there is a problem and improving self-awareness, and how self-compassion and self acceptance can create a positive shift in many areas of mental health. Available as a presentation or interactive workshop to suit the audience, for staff or students (or both), online or face-to-face.

It’s normal to feel lonely sometimes. As parents, carers and educators, we want to be able to recognise the signs when feelings of loneliness are taking over in a young person. This presentation will help us have a better understanding of loneliness and feel more confident to offer support to our young people experiencing symptoms of loneliness, who may have barriers in trusting others. We will look at ways of starting a conversation and discuss ways to help and potential signposting for young people to know there is support available. Our goal is for us to help the young person to feel less alone and for them to feel comfortable to reach out and choose something or someone to connect with.

How do our partnerships work?

The particular needs of the college or university are discussed and a plan agreed. The Trust allocates a trainer (see below) as a dedicated link person, with whom all collaborative initiatives are planned and agreed. Such input might include, for example:

  • A train the trainer programme around mental health for key staff in the institution, led by the trainer (or co-facilitated with the institution’s mental health lead, if preferred).
  • Direct training for staff and/or students around mental health.
  • Charlie Waller training and mental health resources to support institutional initiatives.
  • Access to the trainer for ongoing consultation and support around generic (not student-specific) mental health issues and new development ideas for the institution. (This would not be supervisory input, but a general consultative space in which to discuss project identification and development.)
The benefits of our training for educators

Being a student can be an important period in life. Students today face new experiences, challenges and some unique pressures that can contribute to changes in mental health.

Higher and further education institutions care deeply about their students. Their primary purpose is to educate, to help students gain qualifications, and to progress in work and further study. However, we know that they also need to support them to gain skills to lead happy, successful lives.

Underpinning all our higher and further education programmes is a belief in a partnership approach that embeds a positive mental health culture within the ethos of the organisation.

Who is the training for?

Generally, our training is for anyone in a non-specialist role, although mental health professionals are always welcome to attend.

Mental health training is essential for everyone as it encourages people to talk more freely about mental health, reduces stigma and creates a positive culture.

When inviting attendees to a talk or training session the event organisers should ensure that the topic is relevant to all the participants and their roles so that they remain engaged and derive clear benefits from the training.

Our courses are aimed at all non-specialist mental health staff including teaching and pastoral staff, librarians, cleaners, technicians, facilities and catering staff.

Organisations should ensure there is sufficient time and support given to attend the training, have safe conversations and share questions that may arise from a session.


The cornerstone of our offer to colleges and universities is that it should be free of charge - this has been a key element of our offer since the charity began in 1997 and we fundraise to make this possible.

While we do not charge organisations for our services, we do ask you to make a donation if you can. We also like to encourage you to undertake fundraising activities for Charlie Waller, to enable our work to continue. We are always grateful for these donations and in awe of the energy and creativity organisations and individuals put into their fundraising!

As a guideline, we estimate a full day's training would cost approximately £500 per event and any donation you are able to make would be very welcome.

Online training

The Charlie Waller Trust offers live online training sessions via Zoom and Microsoft Teams as well as face-to-face training.


Learn more about our online training here

Lead time

Our trainers are usually very busy, particularly at certain points within the academic calendar. To ensure that we are able to fulfil your request for training, we ask you to try to give at least three months’ notice for bookings. 

e-learning for all college and university staff

Would you like to feel more confident to support students in distress?

Charlie Waller has developed an online learning resource for both college and university staff, providing evidence-based information and training modules on a range of key mental health issues. The aim is to help non-specialist staff feel more confident to spot and respond to signs of distress amongst students.

The sessions are designed in easy-to-follow 20-minute modules. 


Read more about our e-learning

The e-learning teaching pack

We also have a teaching pack that supports the college and university e-learning.

Download here

Training enquiry form

Enquire about our colleges and universities training and partnership work

Make an enquiry here

Online learning material

We have a variety of online learning materials produced by the Charlie Waller Trust including webinars, podcasts, interviews and interactive resources

Explore our online learning material

Training for employers

We help employers to implement practical and relevant practices in the workplace that make a tangible and sustainable difference

Read more about our training programme for employers

Teaching packs for FE tutors

PowerPoints and teaching guides for starting conversations with students on industry-specific college courses

View Further Education resources
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