Mental health and wellbeing practitioner
Mental health and wellbeing practitioners provide wellbeing-focused psychologically informed interventions and coordinate 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 help them live fulfilling lives.
Your role is not provide psychological therapy, but you will deliver effective evidence-based wellbeing interventions to help people recover and live fulfilling lives.
Life as a mental health and wellbeing practitioner
A lot of your time will be spent seeing adult patients who have been referred by GPs and other local services, and deciding on the best psychological support for them.
This will include providing the following psychological interventions:
- behavioural activation and graded exposure using the ‘GOALS’ programme
- improving sleep
- recognising and managing emotions
- guided self-help for bulimia and binge-eating
- confidence building
- support with managing medicines management
You’ll work as part of a wider multi-disciplinary team to promote good mental health and recovery from severe mental health problems.
While on the one-year training programme, you’ll spend one day a week studying at university and the remainder of the time (three to four days) working in or undertaking specific training tasks in a community mental health service. You will have regular meetings with your supervisor to support you to deliver high quality, evidence-based interventions.
Once qualified, you’ll spend at least 20 hours a week seeing patients, either in a clinic, in their own homes, or via video link or telephone. You will also develop relationships across the adult mental health care system, building up a valuable and detailed understanding of related services so that you can help co-ordinate care.
How much can I earn?
As a trainee mental health and wellbeing practitioner, you’ll be paid on the Agenda for Change (AFC) pay system at band 4. After qualifying, you’ll be paid at band 5. In the future, there may be more senior roles too.
How about the benefits?
- be part of an exciting new role established to help transform adult community mental health services
- contribute to ensuring adults with serious mental health problems have wider access to the psychological support they need
- have fully funded training and a salary while you train, and a job in the service when you qualify
- have the opportunity to progress to the next pay point annually until you reach the top of the pay band
- have access to a generous NHS pension scheme and a minimum of 27 days annual leave per year, plus approximately eight public holidays
- excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to build trusting and productive relationships with a range of people
- to be able to work well within a multidisciplinary team
- a good understanding of mental health issues
- strong written and verbal communication skills, tailored to a variety of audiences
- the ability to work independently and use initiative to think quickly on the spot in often challenging situations
- creativity to solve problems and tackle obstacles
- effective time management for managing competing demands in a busy and sometimes pressured work environment
The mental health and wellbeing practitioner training programme is open to applicants with the right aptitude to learn how to work collaboratively 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 do not need previous experience of working in mental health, but you will need to demonstrate your ability to study at degree level or above.
You can train for a postgraduate or graduate certificate, depending on whether or not you already have a degree qualification.
You will need to apply for a position as a trainee mental health and wellbeing practitioner.
To apply, you will need:
- demonstrable interpersonal skills and values consistent with providing hopeful, person-centred care
- commitment to working with people with complex mental health needs
- demonstrable ability to study at degree level or above
- good communication and interpersonal skills
- motivation and commitment to undertake and complete the course
Your training will be fully funded and you’ll earn a band 4 salary while you train.
How do I 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.
Once employed as a trainee, the NHS will offer you a package of learning and support including:
- fully funded one-year Postgraduate Certificate Qualification (if a graduate) or Graduate Certificate Qualification (if a non-graduate)
- a band 4 AfC salary
- opportunity to develop and practice evidence-based skills under supervision in an adult mental health community service
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.
Where a career as a mental health and wellbeing practitioner can take you
You could progress to:
- a supervisory role
- teach others
- undertake further training in another psychological profession (for example CBT therapist, or clinical psychologist)
If you progress to a supervisory role, you will be trained to support trainee and qualified mental health wellbeing practitioners with their work.
If you start NHS-funded training from April 2022, you will normally be unable to access further NHS-funded training for a new occupation in the psychological professions until two years after your qualifying exam board. Visit the funding for psychological professions training programmes web page for more information on NHS funding.