A support, time and recovery (STR) worker helps adults and young people with mental health problems or a learning disability. By offering practical support and advice, they are improving people's lives across the local community.
Training and qualifications required
There are no set entry requirements to become a support, time and recovery worker. However, employers ask for a qualification in healthcare and/or relevant experience - and may ask specifically for experience of mental health services. Employers also expect good literacy and numeracy. They may ask for GCSEs or equivalent. As an STR worker, you will go through an induction programme. You will have ongoing training to keep your skills and knowledge up to date. You may work towards a qualification in mental health at level 2 or 3.
Expected working hours and salary range
Support, time and recovery workers working in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. You would typically start on AfC band 3. With further training and experience, you could apply for more senior positions at bands 4 and above. STR workers work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. They often work shifts, which could involve nights, early starts, evenings and weekends. Terms and conditions will usually be different for STR workers working outside of the NHS.
Desirable skills and values
STR workers need to be willing to work with people with challenging behaviour, able to motivate people to make changes in their lives, accepting of other peoples lifestyles, understanding of people with mental health issues, flexible and adaptable to deal with unpredictable situations, resilient and able to remain calm in stressful situations. They also need very good communication skills (including listening), accurate report-writing skills, practical skills for everyday living and problem-solving skills.
You could apply to train as an assistant practitioner or with necessary qualifications, as a mental health nurse or for a career in the psychological therapies.