Training for colleges and universities

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Four students sat on the grass studying

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.

Charlie Waller Mental Health Partnership

Our whole institution approach to mental health and wellbeing focuses on setting up partnerships to support mental health work already in place, and to contribute to capacity building.

Our expert trainers will work in partnership to

  • support the development of the whole college or university approach to mental health and wellbeing
  • undertake an initial meeting with senior staff, student and wellbeing leads and produce a baseline report of current provision and areas for development
  • ensure students are central to the whole institution approach
  • deliver mental health training, workshops and keynote talks to staff and students
  • provide digital and written materials tailored to the needs of colleges, their staff and students
  • offer ongoing consultative support to the college or university
    support evaluation using the Universities UK self-assessment framework
Do you offer 'ad-hoc' training sessions?


As well as our partnership work we are continuing to meet requests for one-off training sessions. 

How does the partnership work?

The particular needs of the FE institution 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, 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 HE FE 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?

Our training is for anyone in a non-specialist mental health role.

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.

Training during the current COVID-19 pandemic

During the current COVID-19 pandemic the Charlie Waller Trust is offering live training sessions via Zoom on mental health topics as an alternative to 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 University e-learning.

Download here

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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