Connect 5

The Connect 5 Mission is ….

To improve everyone’s mental well-being by engaging with people and changing the way we hold conversations about mental well-being.

There is general agreement that our mental health is getting worse but not much agreement on what we need to do to address it. Mental illness services are recognised to be over stretched and underfunded and struggling to meet demand – only about 30% of adults suffering clinical levels of mental ill health receive treatment. 

Even if everyone suffering at clinical levels of mental health problems received treatment, this would still not address all the mental health needs in our community. There are two reasons for this. 

Firstly, the dimensional nature of mental health problems. Clinically speaking, we suffer mild, moderate and severe levels of depression and anxiety which means people can – and do – suffer at sub-threshold levels. Such experiences, while not meeting clinical thresholds for treatment, can have significant impacts on a person’s life and are predictors of future mental health problems. 

Secondly whilst a clinical (illness) dimension is one aspect of mental health, the absence of illness does not equate to the presence of health. Mental health demands the presence of something positive, call it well-being. To achieve and maintain complete mental health requires all of us to take action to minimise stress and maximise wellbeing. 

In recent years, there has been a discernible shift of focus in the field of psychology from illness to well-being. 

It appears a great many factors play a role in determining an individual’s level of personal well-being, but the evidence is mounting that focusing our actions on the things we do and the way we think can have the greatest impact. 

Connect 5 asks us to widen the lens through which we see mental health.


Me the Leader, Exeter, Devon - Connect 5 - Ways to work with mental wellbeing in everyday practice

It seeks to broaden our understanding of the innate power we all have to nurture and improve our own and others’ mental health and wellbeing. It transforms solid, psychological knowledge into practical, collaborative tools that we can all use to support ourselves and those suffering mental health problems at sub-threshold levels or who have mental wellbeing needs. The models and tools empower everyone to take proactive steps to build resilience and look after themselves.  

The Aim of Module 1 Learning 

Module 1 – Brief Mental Wellbeing Support (4 hours)

The intended outcome of Module 1 is to provide you with evidence-based models and tools to use in everyday conversations so you can take action to support your own and others wellbeing. 

The purpose of this Module is to: 

  • Be able to use public mental health models to provide insight into mental wellbeing and understand what we can do to better promote and protect it. 
  • Describe and apply the skills to have a connected conversation.
  • Locate mental wellbeing services and resources in your area 

The Aim of Module 2 Learning 

Module 2 – Brief Mental Wellbeing Intervention (4 hours)

Connect 5 Module 2, moves on from the knowledge and skills for having brief conversations about mental wellbeing into the practical knowledge and applied skills needed for a brief mental wellbeing intervention. The aim of Module 2 is to use the 5 Areas ModelTM combined with a connected conversation to provide a brief structured intervention to help a person understand their feelings and what they need to do to feel better. 

The purpose of this Module is to: 

  • Be able to use the 5 Areas ModelTM within a connected conversation 
  • Know when a person needs more than self-help (including people having thoughts of suicide) 
  • Locate local mental health and wellbeing services and resources in your area 

The Aim of Module 3 Learning 

Module 3 – Extended Mental Wellbeing Intervention (4 hours)

Module 3 furthers the knowledge and skills developed in Modules 1 & 2. 

  • This module focusses on the tools and skills to motivate and support people to take action to build and maintain their mental well-being. 
  • Module 1 & 2 provide insight into what needs to change, Module 3 supports a person to find ways to make that change. 

Understanding Wellbeing 

There are two dimensions of wellbeing: feeling good and functioning well. 

Feeling Good 

Feelings of happiness, contentment, enjoyment, curiosity and engagement are characteristic of someone who has a positive experience of their life. 

Functioning Well 

Experiencing positive relationships, having some control over one’s life and having a sense of purpose are all important elements of wellbeing. 

The crossed axis model shown below captures the broader picture … the continuum of total mental health and wellbeing. We all have the ability to self-maximise wellbeing (vertical axis) and self- manage stress (horizontal axis).

Connect 5 … practising wellbeing with Photography.

Why not reward yourself and actively improve your mental health and wellbeing by extending each Connect 5 module into a full day (8 hours) by learning something new, connecting with others, getting out and about, noticing what you see and giving something to others?

Module 1, 2 and 3 of Connect 5 each last for half a day (4 hours) but you could extend each module to a full day by signing up to the additional photography workshop. This builds from the simple use of a smartphone into some more advanced skills over the 3 modules. It is fun and it is good for you! 

It’s all about putting the theory into practise. Completing the full day will improve your sense of mental wellbeing and give you some skills to become more resilient and really cement the changes you want to make in your life. It’s also a lot of fun!

Connect 5 module 1 including smartphone photography skills covers:

  • Understanding how photography can be a useful wellness tool.
  • Taking time to notice the world around us in a more focused way.
  • Learn and apply basic principles and concepts to help improve your images including basic camera techniques, perspective, balance and light amongst many others.
  • Implement the concepts learnt and evaluate as a group to understand when and why we use these principles to ensure we get better photos.

Connect 5 module 2 builds upon the skills developed in module one to include:

  • Looking at how we see vs how a cameras sees, evaluating further what makes a great photo and an introductory look at composition.
  • Taking time to notice the world around us and see it in detail.
  • Learn and apply the principles and concepts learnt to improve your images, including visual weight, contrast and how composition helps tell your visual story, amongst many others.
  • Implement the concepts learnt and evaluate as a group to understand when and why we use these principles to ensure we get better photos.

Connect 5 module 3 including smartphone photography skills provides:

  • Looking at composition in depth, evaluating further what makes a great photographic composition to enable your photography to go to the next level.
  • Taking time to appreciate the world around us and learn some further skills to help you capture better the image you see in your mind.
  • Learn and apply the principles and concepts learnt to improve your images, including more advanced composition techniques such as, rule of thirds, negative space, leading lines, framing and colour theory, amongst many others.
  • Implement the principles learnt and evaluate as a group to understand when and why we use these principles to ensure our photos use solid composition concepts for great images that convey our vision.
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We are about engaging people in conversations about their mental wellbeing.

Get in touch with us on 07736 727209 or via our online form.