Mental health and wellbeing practitioner

Mental health and wellbeing practitioners (MHWPs) provide evidence-based interventions and co-ordinate care plans for adults with severe mental health problems.

Based in the community, you’ll have an important role in supporting adults of all ages to live fulfilling lives. You do not provide psychological therapy but deliver effective wellbeing interventions to help people recover and improve their lives. 

Mental health practitioner with client

Life as a mental health and wellbeing practitioner

You’ll spend much of your time seeing adult patients who have been referred by GPs and other local services and deciding on the best support for them.  

This will include providing psychological interventions around:  

  • behavioural activation and graded exposure using the ‘GOALS’ programme 
  • problem solving 
  • improving sleep 
  • recognising and managing emotions 
  • guided self-help for bulimia and binge-eating 
  • confidence building 
  • managing medicines
You’ll work as part of a wider multidisciplinary team to promote good mental health and recovery from severe mental health problems.  

How much can I earn? 

If you’re employed by the NHS, you’ll be on a national pay and conditions system called Agenda for Change (AfC). 
There are nine pay bands and you’ll usually be paid at band 4 while you train. After completing your training you’ll be paid at band 5 with the opportunity to progress with experience.  
Terms and conditions can vary if you are employed outside the NHS.

How about the benefits? 

As an MHWP you can:
  • make a difference
  • work flexible and part-time hours

If you’re employed by the NHS you’ll also have good holiday entitlement and access to:

  • fully funded training plus a salary while you train and a job in the service when you qualify
  • an excellent pension scheme
  • NHS discounts in shops and restaurants

Must-have skills

You’ll need:  
  • excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to build trusting and productive relationships with a range of people 
  • the ability to work well within a multidisciplinary team 
  • a good understanding of mental health issues 
  • strong written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to tailor them to a variety of audiences 
  • the ability to work independently and think quickly in often challenging situations 
  • the creativity to solve problems and tackle obstacles in new ways
  • effective time management skills to juggle competing demands in a busy and sometimes pressured work environment
You'll also need to be able to demonstrate the values of the NHS Constitution.

Entry requirements 

The MHWP training programme is open to people who can display an aptitude for working collaboratively and willingness to learn about working in a mental health team. 

Most importantly, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate a willingness to work in a hopeful and productive way with adults with severe mental health problems.  

You can train for a postgraduate or graduate certificate, depending on whether or not you already have a degree qualification. You don’t need previous experience of working in mental health, but you will need to demonstrate your ability to study at degree level or above.  

To get started you’ll need to apply for a position as a trainee mental health and wellbeing practitioner. To apply, you will need: 

  • the values and interpersonal and communication skills needed to provide hopeful, person-centred care 
  • a commitment to working with people with complex mental health needs 
  • a demonstrable ability to study at degree level or above 
  • the motivation and commitment to undertake and complete the course  

How to become a mental health and wellbeing practitioner

Opportunities to apply for mental health and wellbeing practitioner roles are advertised on the NHS Jobs website. Set up an alert for ‘Mental health and wellbeing practitioner' to find training opportunities near you. You can also see some current vacancies below. 


During the one-year training programme, you’ll spend one day a week studying at university and the remaining three to four days working on specific training tasks in a community mental health service. You will have regular meetings with your supervisor to support you in your work to help you engage in self-reflection, seek and respond to feedback, and develop your professional knowledge and skills. 

Once qualified, you’ll spend at least 20 hours a week seeing patients, either in a clinic, their own homes or via video link or telephone. You will also build relationships across the adult mental health care system, establishing a detailed understanding of related services so that you can help co-ordinate care. 

Where a career as a mental health and wellbeing practitioner can take you

Once qualified, your employer will provide you with ongoing training to keep your skills and knowledge up to date. To support your practice and your wellbeing as a practitioner, you will be provided with regular supervision. 

MHWP is a new role and progression opportunities are still being developed. 

It’s important to note that a two-year psychological professions funding rule policy was implemented on 1 April 2022. This means that if you start NHS-funded psychological professions training from April 2022, you won’t be eligible for NHS funding for further psychological profession training for two years from the expected completion date of your first training, where it would lead to a change in your job role.  

Visit the funding for psychological professions training programmes web page for more information about NHS funding.  
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