Featured job: Mental Health Specialist Support Workers

…plus Specialist Deputy and Team Managers. Employer: One Housing.

Marta Banet, Head of Psychological Services at One Housing, commented on this flexible range of roles. ‘Open-mindedness and curiosity around working with psychosis are more important than any particular level of qualification. Similarly, experience of client work, rather than of working with any particular client group is important for the support roles.’

One Housing is a not-for-profit housing association which owns and manages over 17,000 homes, develops affordable homes, and provides care for the vulnerable. It runs two homeless hostels in Camden and Bedford and over 20 mental health services across London. Marta describes how the organisation came to provide these specialist support services. ‘For the past ten years austerity policies have caused support services to close and have stretched the third sector and NHS. This is why, a few years ago, we started recruiting people with a therapeutic background who could offer psychoeducation and work with our customers on developing therapeutic skills and coping strategies. The roles have developed since then: we’re looking for support workers as well as their managers.’

‘The specialist support worker role suits people with different therapeutic backgrounds – counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, people trained in CBT among others; it particularly fits those who want to try out working with the adult mental health client group. What’s essential is experience of working with clients on therapeutic assessment, intervention planning and delivery. These workers experience a less acute and safer team environment than the hospital settings where many of them will have worked before.
Our specialist managers come from a variety of backgrounds; psychologists, and psychotherapists as well as counsellors thrive in the role.’

Clients mostly live in supported housing, ‘though we do offer floating support services supporting clients in their own homes. Our NHS partnerships in Wandsworth and Camden involve our specialist workers  in multidisciplinary teams.’

The organisation’s activities are largely based in London and the roles are full-time. ‘The client-facing specialists often work on a rota basis since our services need to be available 24/7. The managers work a more conventional working week.’

There is regular clinical supervision and ‘the programme for our own academy includes courses in management and leadership, among others.’

‘There are opportunities to work organisation-wide to develop wider training, as well as to work in innovative ways and to create genuine long-term therapeutic relationships with clients. We are a diverse organisation so every day is a learning opportunity for someone who is open-minded and curious. We want to hear from people who think this sounds an interesting opportunity. Do get in contact and we’ll talk.’

- Find the vacancy at https://www.jobsinpsychology.co.uk

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