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Free NHS approved mental health awareness training for North Wales residents


Free training is being offered to help people better support those struggling with mental health difficulties.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is encouraging people across North Wales to sign up for the iCAN Mental Health and Suicide Awareness Training developed by its mental health professionals. The health board is the first in Wales to make such training widely available, free of charge.

The half-day training course provides an overview of common mental health problems as well as best practice guidance on how to listen, give helpful advice, and look after your own mental health and wellbeing.

It is being delivered by Pwllheli based charity, Felin Fach, which is one of a number of third sector organisations commissioned by the Health Board to deliver iCAN support services, including iCAN Hubs across the region, which can be accessed on a drop in basis.

iCAN training was originally developed for North Wales barbers, as part of efforts to tackle the tragedy of male suicide, and raise awareness of men’s mental health. It has also been delivered to hundreds of staff working in the construction industry, who are three times more likely to take their own lives than the national average, according to studies.

The training is now being made more widely available to any workplaces, community groups or individuals who feel that they would benefit from it. Sessions are delivered online, and in workplaces or community venues on request.

Lisa Goodier, BCUHB lead for iCAN services, said: “We know that many people want to be able to support friends, colleagues and family members who may be struggling with mental health difficulties, but they are worried that they may say the wrong thing, or make the situation worse.

“We hope this training will empower ordinary people in communities up and down North Wales to have open, honest and informed conversations about mental health.

“We encourage anybody with an interest in receiving the training to please get in touch.”

Please book your place in advance. To discuss the possibility of having the training delivered in your workplace or local community resource, please email