Mental Health and Wellbeing Award at SCQF levels 4 and 5

Mental Health and Wellbeing Award at SCQF levels 4 and 5

The Awards in Mental Health and Wellbeing at SCQF levels 4 and 5 aim to:

  • reduce stigma surrounding mental health
  • arm young people with healthy coping strategies
  • promote knowledge of the impact of mental health on behaviour
  • dispel myths surrounding mental health
  • promote understanding of positive and negative impacts on mental health
  • help individuals to make the right choices
  • promote understanding of the potential uses and impact of social media and the internet
  • create resilience

The qualification is available through schools, colleges and training providers.

Why deliver this qualification

Half of mental health problems in adulthood begin before the age of 14, and by the time they are 16 roughly three children in every class will experience a mental health problem. When it comes to finding help for mental health only a quarter of young people know where to go.

In addition, the stigma attached to mental health frequently can stop individuals from seeking help because they feel embarrassed or are fearful of being judged.

These qualifications therefore aim to address gaps in knowledge and to improve understanding of mental health questions.

These Awards in Mental Health and Wellbeing support the Scottish Government’s Mental Health Strategy 2017–2027. Its guiding ambition for mental health is simple but, if realised, will change and save lives:

'We must prevent and treat mental health problems with the same commitment, passion and drive as we do with physical health problems.'


These Awards can be offered in the following modes:

  • full-time
  • part-time (eg day-release)
  • open and distance learning
  • infill into existing classes
  • evening provision

Who does this qualification suit

The Awards are suitable for:

  • learners who are at school or who may have just left school
  • mature candidates who may have been out of education for a long period of time
  • individuals who are currently in employment and wish to obtain a formal qualification
  • learners who want to study at a pace and style that they determine
  • employees who want to improve their knowledge and understanding of mental health and wellbeing
  • individuals who are seeking national recognition of their achievements
  • employers who wish their employees to take part in short, continuing professional development courses


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.


The level 5 award could provide progression to:

  • SCQF/QCF level 6 qualifications
  • an NC in Health and Social Care
  • an SVQ 2/Modern Apprenticeship in Social Services and Healthcare
  • employment in the care sector

These Awards provide opportunities to develop:

  • Core Skills (which underpin all National Certificates)
  • transferable skills


Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Guide to Approval.

The delivery of the award is at the individual centre’s discretion.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification content and delivery tools will be available in due course.

Ushare open learning resources


The Awards comprise of three units. These are:

  • Understanding Mental Health Issues
  • Influences on Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Coping Strategies and Building Resilience

Unit specifications will be available in June 2018.

A brief summary of each is as follows:

Understanding Mental Health Issues

This unit is designed to help learners identify and understand what is meant by the term mental health and wellbeing, by identifying a range of mental health issues and behaviours associated with this, and how it is portrayed in the media. The unit also looks at legislation in relation to mental health. It identifies the role of the brain in relation to mental health and wellbeing.

Influences on Mental Health and Wellbeing

This unit is designed to introduce learners to factors which may cause individuals to experience mental health and wellbeing issues. The unit will also consider how technology and social media can influence mental health and wellbeing.

Coping Strategies and Building Resilience

This unit is designed to provide learners with the opportunity to define and identify mental wellbeing and ways to support positive mental health. Learners will have the opportunity to consider what the terms ‘resilience’ and ‘coping strategies’ mean. They will use personal knowledge and reflection to apply knowledge and theory which informs mental health and wellbeing. Learners will research different coping strategies. They will also learn about the theories which underpin our understanding of wellbeing, and explore formal and informal support networks which we can access in times of need or to maintain our mental health.