This document sets out a dissemination strategy for the Rural Mental Health (RMH) project, a 3-year Erasmus+ project, Key Action 2 Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices (Project Number 2019-1-FR01-KA204-063060) funded with the financial support of the European Commission.

This training material is a practical guide, that has been developed to support learning and training of the actors such as – community leaders, church leaders, educators and others who come into contact with the rural target group – particularly teenagers and marginalized workers. The modules have been designed to facilitate the learning, understanding, and developing of skills regarding the topics covered.

This Curriculum is divided into four Modules:

  • Module 1: Getting to know the Individual
  • Module 2: Self-awareness and understanding personal needs
  • Module 3: Five Ways to wellbeing
  • Module 4: Co-producing rural mental health services
Each module provides a reflection on different topics, and it has been designed to offer a series of activities to help people to reflect on their needs, their circle of support and the community. It is aimed to correlate and compliment the IO2 of the Rural Mental Health project “Theoretical Learning Modules’.
Getting to know the individual
Aims · To build a report a trusted relationship between the community and community members · To understand what is important for the individual · To develop building skills: empathy, active listening and communication
Learning outcomes · Understanding the needs and expectations of the individual · Developing active listening
Activities 1. Labelling Exercise

2. Active listening exercise

3. Circle of Support

4. Person centered plan

5. One- page profile
Aims: The labelling exercise is an activity that enables educators to understand how the participant see him/herself. The exercise enables participants to identify all the labels they have been given by society or give themselves and how they view these labels. The exercise aims to reflect on those labels and to engage participant on how they can act to change or overcome negative labels in order to prevent the damaging effect on their mental health, and how when negative labels are given to us via the community they affect not only how other people see us but also how we see ourselves.

Method: Participants are required to write down on different sticky notes labels that they give themselves or which have been given to them by society. These could be as simple as son, daughter to those labels that have a judgement attached to them for example disabled, schizophrenic, offender, young person. Then, the facilitator will ask the participants to classify those labels into 3 categories: positive, neutral and negative, as they see them personally. Once they have done this the facilitator asks participants to reflect on the categories they have put the labels in and asks the question do you think the community and people who love and care for you would agree with how you have classified each of the labels Finally the facilitator asks each participant to identify the three labels which are most important to their identity and which have defined the life story so far.

Material: Pen, sticky notes and sheets.


1. Ask participants to list labels of themselves.

2. Ask participants to classify the labels into the following 3 categories:


All labels

that that 
talents or


All labels

that that
are not
positive or


All labels

that that
attitudes or

3. The facilitator asks: Do you think the community would classify the labels differently to how you have? And facilitates the group discussion about this question

4. Facilitator asks participants to pick 3 of the labels that identify their identity and have defined their life story so far.

5. Thinking about the negative labels, ask to the participant: “What do you need to change this perception”? “How will you do it”?

Reflection: The labeling exercise requires the facilitator to have the ability tohear and listen to what is expressed as objectively as possible. It is important to maintain a non-judgmental attitude as the facilitator because some of the participants may choose to put what we see as negative labels in the neutral or positive category. The first stage is to get to know the individual, in order to understanding the needs and expectations of the individual. At the same time, the facilitator will build a trusted relationship with the person through use of active listening.
Aims: The aim of this exercise is for participants to understand the importance of active listening when working with people in the community, and how verbal and non-verbal communication can either have a positive or negative effect on the person you are supporting.

Materials: Cards with instructions for person who is meant to be listening which will include:
  • Avoid eye contact
  • Change the subject
  • Get up and walk around
  • Fidget
  • Be dismissive/laugh
  • Sit with arms folded looking around the room.
And also:
  • Maintain good eye contact and friendly open facial expressions
  • Check understanding of what is being said,
  • Lean forward
  • Make positive responses to what is being said.
  • Use open body language
  • Mirror the body language of the person talking
Method: Facilitator asks participants to get into groups of 3 and explains that for this exercise each participant will adopt the role of listener, person talking about an issue, and observer. The facilitator explains that in each of people selected to be person doing the talking that they will choose a subject/issue, and their aim is to keep talking for the duration of the 5 minutes. This should be a hobby, interest, or subject that they can talk freely, passionately and for long enough about. At this point it is important to remind the whole group of the need for confidentiality and ground rules within the group. The facilitator then speaks to the participants who is the listener and explains that their role is to follow the instructions on the cards given to them by the facilitator. This will be either to display negative verbal and not verbal communication or positive communication. The facilitator will change the cards half way through the exercise.

Finally, the facilitator discusses the observer role with the remaining participant, they are asked to make observations as to what is positive and negative communication and what effect the behaviour of the listener has on the person talking and how when the behaviour of the listener changes what the change is in the talker.

At the end of the exercise the facilitator leads a whole group discussion which establishes how the people doing the listening felt during the various parts of the exercise.

    1. Ask participants to get into groups of 3 where possible, each group decides who will be the listener, talker and observer

    2. Inform listener of their role and explain about the action cards

    3. Inform talker about their role and remind them about confidentiality and ground rules

    4. Inform observer of their role and what they are specifically looking out for.

    5. Facilitate whole group discussion about how it felt to do the different roles.

Aims: The circle of support exercise aims to help individuals imagine himself/herself in the centre of the circles (see Annex 1). The exercise enables the adult educator to understand who the key actors are in the support of the individual. It is important to explain to the person filling in the circle there are no right or wrong answer. It can also be used to understand how someone with mental health issues can be very socially isolated and may end have more professionals than friends and family. This may lead the adult educator to understand that part of their role will be to include the individual in activities within the community which they of interested in and with likeminded community members.

Materials: Pen and Sheet (provided as annex)

Method: Using the template in Annex 1 the facilitator gives a case study of a person who does not have many (if any family and friends, some acquaintances and lots of professionals. Participants are asked to then complete the template for themselves. identifying all the people in their life, the closest circle to them representing the people who love them for example parents, partners, maybe brothers and sisters (these should be only people who the person can completely rely upon). The second circle represents people they see on a regular basis who they really appreciate being in their life and that who would be a significant loss to them if they weren’t there for example close friends. The third circle represents friends who people who they get on with these might be people who they share a hobby with or work as peers with. The fourth circle represents people who are in the persons life because they are paid to be. Once this is done participants are asked to reflect on the difference and similarities between the 2 circles of support.

Instructions: Use the tools provided into Annex 1.

1. Facilitator explains the circles of support diagram using a constructed case study that they have developed based on their practice where possible.

2. Ask to the participant to think about their life and write down in the first circle the most important things in his/her life. This could be people like family or friends.
3. For the second circle, the participant will add things that are slightly less important to him/her but still play a supportive role in his/her life. Carry this on for the remainder of the circles ensuring the fourth circle is only for services and professionals who are paid to be in their life.
4. Ask the participant “how do each of the people on your diagram provide him/her with support? What do different types of support look like?
5. Also ask participants to reflect on what their circles of support look in comparison to the case study and how this knowledge would influence their work with the individual from the case study
6. Using the case study circles of support diagram, draw or write the support out outside the fourth circle that he/she may benefit from, but do not have yet. Support does not just mean formal support. It might be friendship, art, learning. This is their future circle. Is there a way you can support them to access the things in the future circle.


Aims: Person centred planning is an ongoing individual planning process that is designed to capture dreams and desires of individuals and translate them into a plan of action. Person centred planning is a way to listen and take direction from the individual’s expectations. It focuses on an individual’s preferences, strengths and talents rather than limitations. Person centred planning organizes and uses natural supports like family, friends and acquaintances and formal community supports and services to help individuals achieve the things that are important to them.
Materials: Person Centered plan sheet (Annex); pen.
Instructions: The facilitator will complete the “Person Centered plan sheet” by using a series of questions to gather information about the person including their background story, dreams and nightmares, their strengths and weaknesses and what they need in terms of support.
Step 1 – History
    The facilitator asks the person to briefly describe his/her personal history. It should include highlights in the person’s life that have helped shape his/her life. If needed, the facilitator uses questions to prompt the group for answers:
    • When and where were you born?
    • Do you have any brothers or sisters?
    • Tell me about special places you visited or things you’ve done.

Step 2 – Dreams

This part is all about dreaming about the future. The facilitator asks the person to think about short and long term dreams and possibilities for the future. This could be kept open ended, or can be focused on the 5 pathways to an independent future:
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Relationships
  • Leisure Opportunities
  • Employment
  • Independent Living

Not all dreams are realistic or can be realised, but dreams give a direction and a possible route for further exploration for action planning – why is this dream important to the person? What aspects can we act on?

Step 3 – Fears/Nightmare

What are the person’s fears especially those that may be barriers to realising dreams? What future do we need to avoid? Fears can be specific, like ‘getting burned by the kitchen stove’, or more general like ‘being misunderstood’.

Step 4 – About me, who is…

What are their gifts? Describe the person in as many ways as possible. Thefacilitator can use varous questions as:
  • What are your favourite activities?
  • Favourite food/books/hobbies?
  • What are your skills and abilities?
  • What are your strengths/gifts?

Step 5 -Needs

In the final step, the facilitator and the person now reviews and prioritises the information they’ve gathered so far.
  • Identify key ideas and themes from the four previous steps.
  • What is the direction the person now needs to take?
  • Consider the person’s hopes, strengths and interests and list activities, opportunities and the support they need now and in the future.
From this, write a list of actions that need to be taken to meet these needs.

Reflection: Closing the exercise the facilitator can ask the following questions: “How are you feeling now at the end of the exercise?”

In the following table the facilitator can find some tips to successfully lead the exercise.


  • Write exactly what people say;
  • Create an informal atmosphere
  • Leave with an action plan
  • Be a sensitive guide
  • Value everyone’s contribution
  • Be positive
  • Make this an ongoing process


  • Interrupt participation
  • Make leading commands
  • Criticize people’s comments judgement of what people say
  • Hurry the process
  • Forget to follow on each comment
  • View the process as a one time event
  • .