- Provide treatment and support to people with mental health problems
- You'll need communication and listening skills, the ability to put people at ease, time management skills and emotional resilience
- You could progress to lead a team or develop new mental health services
As a mental health worker, you'll assess individuals with specific mental health needs and design treatment plans for them.
- Design and run group therapy sessions
- Promote good mental health in the community
- Signpost people to relevant services
- Keep accurate and up-to-date patient care records
- Support and train other healthcare professionals
- Develop and set up new mental health support services
- You may specialise in certain therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
You'll work in local health clinics, GP surgeries and patients' homes. The work can be emotionally demanding as you'll be working with clients who can be distressed and upset.
To be a mental health worker, you'll need knowledge of psychology, counselling skills, flexibility and openness to change, sensitivity and understanding, the ability to work well with others, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, and customer service skills.
You could do a degree in a relevant subject, like psychology, or health and social care, then apply for a place on a postgraduate training course. After your degree, you'll be employed in the health service and complete Improving Access to Psychological Therapy training, approved by the British Psychological Society.
Paid or voluntary experience of working with people with mental health issues or people with disabilities is usually required before applying for this role.
Direct application is possible if you have a background in a related area, like nursing, occupational therapy, social work, arts therapy, or other psychological therapy; or experience and training in CBT.
You'll also need to pass enhanced background checks, and have a driving licence for some jobs.
With experience, you could train as a high intensity therapist, working with people with complex mental health needs. You could also lead a team or develop new mental health services.