Sustainable Mental Healthcare

This foundation course is specifically tailored to health and social care staff working in mental health. It offers an overview of the relationship between health, the health sector and the climate and ecological crises; explains how the health system is both vulnerable to and contributing to climate change and ecological degradation; explores what a sustainable mental health system looks like, what the wider benefits could be and how we might achieve this. The course also highlights the leadership role mental health professionals can play in providing healthcare for all within planetary boundaries.   

Please select one date:

  • Workshop: Thursday 25 April 2024 [13.00-17.00 BST]  
    • Self-study period opens: 28 March 2024

If you have booked on a course click here for access.

Pricing structure: £95 - £250 + VAT

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Course Description   

Developed in collaboration with the Royal College of Psychiatry Planetary Health and Sustainability Committee, this short 3-part foundation course brings together people from across mental health and social care to develop social, environmental and financial sustainability in mental health services.

The course is intended as an overview of the field for staff at any level who are new to sustainable mental healthcare.  The training will help you to understand why sustainability matters, then using case studies from the NHS as examples, you will gain the basic tools to implement sustainability projects in your area. The foundation courses also lay the groundwork for developing your skills further in the technical courses.

Sustainable healthcare delivers high quality care without damaging the environment, is affordable now and in the future and delivers positive social impact.

The interconnected processes of climate change and biodiversity collapse undermine mental health in a variety of ways.   They disproportionately affect vulnerable groups, including persons with pre-existing mental illness, and evoke powerful feelings and thoughts, especially for children and young people.   Mental health services based on the principles of sustainable healthcare emphasize prevention and shape acute services around a triple bottom line of high quality, low carbon and low cost, employing nature-based solutions where appropriate. This course also highlights the leadership role mental health professionals can play in providing healthcare for all within planetary boundaries.    

 This course is endorsed by 

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Learning outcomes   

 By the end of this course you will be able to:

  1. Describe the risks the global environmental crisis presents to mental health and healthcare systems.
  2. Describe the contribution of the health sector to the global environmental crisis. 
  3. Understand the basic principles of carbon literacy.
  4. Understand how sustainability can help to address existing challenges in the healthcare system.
  5. Apply the principles of sustainability to mental health services.
  6. Plan a project to improve the sustainability of healthcare in your workplace.

Course Structure

Part I.  Self-study online

Prepare for the workshop at your convenience using our interactive online self-study module, presented in bite-sized chunks. You will need about 4-6 hours to complete the self-study materials which cover all course content including background, theory and case studies, with links to further information depending on your level of interest.   Discussion points throughout the module allow you to reflect on your learning and start to get to know fellow participants and their areas of interest and work.  At the end of the module, you are invited to sketch out a plan for a sustainability project you might want to undertake, in preparation for the workshop discussions.  The self-study module opens 4 weeks before, and remains available to you for 6 months after, the workshop. You can see a table of contents for the self study materials here.

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Part II.  Live workshop online

The 4 hour virtual workshop consolidates your understanding of the course materials. Small group discussions with CSH experts and colleagues from around the world allow further exploration of topics that interest you and tips on how to translate your ideas into action.  The timetable includes pre-session technical assistance and networking, followed by a review of the self-study material with Q&A.  In breakout groups you will then share your ideas for a sustainability intervention in your setting and make plans to address it, using the range of resources, tools and methods developed by CSH and partners.

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Part III.  Mentoring

After completing the self-study materials and online workshop you are invited to attend our online Sustainable Healthcare Cafés. The 1 hour cafes occur regularly throughout the year and  offer ongoing support for you to put your learning in to practice. They are a friendly, informal setting in which to:

  • Get support for sustainability projects from peers and CSH staff
  • Make connections with others bringing sustainability projects into their workplace

You are welcome to continue attending the cafes as many times as you wish. Upcoming dates are available here and will also be emailed out to you with your certificate of completion after the workshop.

Pricing Structure

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Book a course with peace of mind: We realise that healthcare workers may have to change their plans at short notice. If you are unable to attend a workshop, we can offer you a workshop at a later date for no charge. We can also offer a refund as long as you cancel before the course opens for self-study, which is 3 weeks before the workshop. There will be an admin fee of £30 for refunds.

Courses are facilitated by experts drawn from the faculty below:

Dr Alan Kellas

Alan has recently retired from twenty years in NHS psychiatry. Over the last few years he has become interested the theory and practice of eco-psychologies and eco-therapies - how nature in its many forms can be a resource for mental health. He has explored these as part of strategies for mood regulation and managing challenging behaviour amongst other indications. Alan is currently the Green Care lead on the Royal College of Psychiatry Sustainability Committee.

Dr Jacob Krzanowski

Jacob is a specialist registrar in general adult psychiatry carrying out his training at the South London and Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust. He has an interest in the interface between mental health and green spaces having organised and implemented green-space walking groups for patients and staff. In 2018-19 he worked with CSH to establish the Green Walking Project to promote and facilitate green-space walking groups for psychiatric inpatients, in partnership with the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He continues to support this and other work through his role as CSH Associate.

hayleyDr Hayley Pinto

Hayley was a lead consultant addiction psychiatrist with nearly 30 yrs experience in the NHS and publicly funded services.  She is a medical educator, and currently senior honorary lecturer at the University of East Anglia, and has been involved in climate education, outreach, and activism for several years. Hayley also has a degree in psychology and completed general practice training before pursuing a career in psychiatry. 

 Nuala Hampson, Lead Facilitator for Education

Nuala Hampson is a pharmacist with a background in education, general practice and, more recently, sustainable healthcare. Nuala has worked as a clinical pharmacist in general practice for over 20 years and postgraduate pharmacy education for 15 years. Nuala is passionate about sustainability and enabling others through positive action. She is the sustainability champion at the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education, focusing on encouraging individual and organisational change, and is a member of Pharmacy Declares, a group of climate conscious pharmacy professionals based in the UK. Nuala is currently the Lead Facilitator for Education at the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare


  stuartDr Stuart d’Arch Smith

Dr Stuart d’Arch Smith is a specialist registrar in psychiatry with South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and was the CSH Education Fellow for Sustainable Quality Improvement in 2019-20.


kathereneDr Katherine Kennet

Katherine is a psychiatrist and Social Prescribing Lead at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. She has an interest in health policy with a focus on environment and sustainability as social determinants of health, social justice and equality.  She has authored several book chapters and Royal College of Psychiatrists position statements on this subject and presents regularly on sustainability and mental health.