Mental Health Core Capabilities Framework Consultation


By Skills for Health | 10 October 2023

The Mental Health Core Capabilities Framework, which supports mental health skills training and service development, is now available for public consultation. The launch coincides with World Mental Health Day which advocates for education and awareness of mental health and wellbeing.

The existing Mental Health Core Skills Education and Training Framework originally developed in 2016, “is in need of a review in light of growing emphasis on mental health in England since the Covid pandemic” say Skills for Health – the not-for-profit organisation leading on the consultation.

The original framework was very health focussed and didn’t fully reflect the core capabilities required today by a range of people and services across different organisations.

Faced with growing demand for mental health services, it is timely to begin to put a framework for skills development in place to enable health, social care, and many other partners to respond effectively.

Dawn Probert, Senior Consultant, Skills for Health

The consultation seeks representations from individuals and organisations across health, social care and wider to identify the most pressing mental health skills and training needs.

The resulting framework will lay the foundations for improving care and support for individuals with mental health needs across a range of sectors.

“We would urge everyone with an interest in mental health to take part. There is a pressing need to build the knowledge, skills and capabilities for the care and support of individuals with mental health needs more effectively,” Dawn continues.

“Individuals that present with poor mental health can often come into contact with staff and services across any service or sector which do not specialise in mental health as well as those services which have some regular contact with or specialise in providing care, support or treatment to individuals with a mental health need.

“Against this background, the new framework represents a good first step toward addressing this issue by identifying the capabilities to develop more holistic and person-centred approaches to supporting mental health needs.”

The consultation, which closes on 11 November, was spurred by a training needs analysis conducted by Hampshire and Isle of Wight (HIOW) Integrated Care System that found a mismatch between existing training opportunities and service demands. HIOW originally commissioned Skills for Health to carry out the work.

Liz Skeats, Head of Workforce Transformation for Southern Health, leading on behalf of HIOW ICS comments:

We have received consistent feedback from colleagues across a wide range of agencies and services that mental health skills and training have not kept pace with the transformation and change in demand.

Liz Skeats, Head of Workforce Transformation, Southern Health

“HIOW ICS is responsible for the health and care needs of 1.9 million people, but we realise that the issues we are experiencing stretch far and wide,” Liz continues.

“We are therefore proud to be spearheading this work – along with Skills for Health and NHS England – to enable skills development and care improvements across the country.”

The Mental Health Core Capabilities Framework consultation is open to individuals and organisations in health, social care, the VCSE sector and more widely. Ultimately the Framework will support the development of the mental health knowledge, skills and capabilities of those who provide care and support to individuals with mental health needs, offering consistency, and the ability to develop shared standards. 


Tam Whipp joins Skills for Health as a Technical Consultant 

Why the NHS Needs Workforce Planning More Than Ever 

Laura Schell appointed as Skills for Health Client Director 

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