Mental Health Adviser
Main purpose of the job:
The purpose of Wellbeing is to support student retention, achievement and satisfaction by providing a range of services to support student wellbeing. Student Development and Support Services support students who are experiencing life and wellbeing challenges and enables those students to develop skills that will enable them to manage those challenges and allow them to participate fully in academic life and meet their full potential.
Wellbeing encompasses student advice and support services, counselling and mental health intervention.
Led by the Head of Wellbeing, staff with a range of professional specialisms work in collaboration with student services, academic staff, the Students’ Union, and external providers to support students to overcome emotional, psychological or practical difficulties. The Service enables students to develop skills to manage these challenges, and to participate fully in student life.
The Mental Health Adviser is responsible for responding to staff and student enquiries and for the coordination and management of mental health related student cases, liaising with academic and professional service colleagues and external service providers, conducting and advising on risk assessments and providing guidance and support to staff and students.
The Mental Health Adviser is responsible for:
Providing one to one and group support to enable student retention, satisfaction and success by assisting students in successfully overcoming emotional, psychological or practical difficulties.
Working with Disability Services to fulfil legal obligations under Equality Act 2010.
Working in partnership with academic and professional service departments to coordinate the management of complex cases and share information appropriately.
Ensuring the presentation of Wellbeing as high quality, professional and innovative service with a student-centred approach, both within and outside the University.
Contributing to the Wellbeing team, liaising with staff and volunteer counsellors and with the wider Student Development and Support department, including contributing to Risk Management Review meetings
Leading on campaigns and mental-health related initiatives in addition to providing training for staff and students
Leading on intervention and support for students with eating disorders.
All members of Student Development and Support are expected to take every opportunity to foster cross team projects, collaborative working and a positive and success focussed culture.
Main duties and responsibilities:
- Assess the needs of students experiencing mental health difficulties and provide advice, intervention and referral. This will involve offering crisis intervention during office hours, carrying out risk assessments and contributing to the work of the response team after an initial emergency has been dealt with.
- Work with senior staff in the Department to ensure appropriate management of complex and cause for concern cases; and manage a personal caseload of students with complex needs, coordinating their support within and outside the University and maintaining a support plan and an overview of progress for each case.
- Assist the Head of Wellbeing in ensuring that appropriate records and data are kept to enable effective case and clinical management, compliance with all relevant legislation and the monitoring and evaluation of the Wellbeing Service.
- Provide expert advice and opinion in support of the student Fitness to Study procedures, and to support and administer the fitness to study process.
- Advise and guide staff across the University about supporting students with complex needs, including mental health issues. Raise awareness and understanding of the difficulties experienced by students.
- Advise on and contribute to the development of University policies, procedures and practices in relevant areas.
- Develop strategies to encourage students to declare a mental health difficulty, and to engage with support, and work in collaboration with the Disability Services to ensure that students with disclosed mental illnesses enjoy full inclusion in University life.
- To contribute to good levels of Service awareness and attractiveness to all students, especially those in greatest need and cohorts who traditionally do not access support services. Within this, to contribute to an appropriate online presence for the Service and availability of online resources.
- Contribute to University recruitment and orientation activities and take an active part in campaigns, projects and initiatives which support student wellbeing. Lead on awareness-raising campaigns
- Take an active role in developing the Service to be proactive in addressing the support needs of students. Work with external statutory and voluntary services in providing support, awareness and proactive projects to our students.
- Take an active part in the collection, maintenance and analysis of appropriate Service data and management information to monitor, evaluate and continuously enhance the Service.
- Develop and maintain productive relationships with external mental health and psychiatric agencies to ensure joined up approaches to service delivery and enhance the wellbeing of students. Attend and contribute to relevant internal and external meetings.
- Keep up to date with research and developing practice in health and wellbeing services and contribute to the professional development of University staff to ensue best practice in supporting students with mental health difficulties.
- Liaise with Disability Services to ensure Student Development and Support take strategic and holistic approach to supporting students with mental health conditions.
- Undertaking any other appropriate duties as required.
The Person Specification focuses on the knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications required to undertake the role effectively. Please ensure that your application demonstrates how you meet the essential criteria. You will be assessed by your completed application form (A), at interview (I) and in some instances through an exercise (E).
- Education and Qualifications
- Degree (or equivalent).
- Professional qualification such as Registered Mental Health Nurse, Mental Health Social Worker, or Registered General Nurse with significant mental health experience, and relevant work experience with young adults.
- Knowledge and skills
- Substantial knowledge of mental health conditions and their clinical treatment and management.
- Specialist expertise in the assessment of risk and mental health needs, and experience in developing and delivering timely, robust and effective support plans which integrate support provided within and externally to the University.
- Knowledge of the range of mental health services provided within the statutory and voluntary sectors.
- A good understanding of the support needs of HE students, and of the expectations of their programmes of study.
- An understanding of how technology can be utilised to underpin and enhance the delivery of wellbeing services.
- An understanding of the structures, funding, systems and processes that support learning and teaching in HE.
- Work experience
- Experience of working in support, advisory or welfare contexts or in a similar role.
- Experience of working and/or studying within the FE or HE sector
- Communication skills
- Very good oral and written communication and inter-personal skills.
- Team player with a proven ability to work effectively and collaboratively within a multi professional team.
- The ability to quickly and effectively develop rapport and to communicate effectively with a diverse range of people.
- The ability to present confidently and in an engaging manner.
- Other requirements
- A demonstrable understanding of equality and diversity, and professional conduct and their practical application within a student support environment.
- Highly self-organised and demonstrable ability to sustain professional practice under pressure.
- Positive, resilient and determined attitude.
- Demonstrable commitment to own professional development and willingness to cover a wide range of activities within the role as it develops.
- Qualification or specific work experience in social work, mental health, disability or counselling.
- A relevant professional or therapeutic qualification.
Salary range: £35,135 to £38,051 pro-rata p.a. including London Allowance. The appointment is usually made at the bottom of the range
The appointment is offered on a 1FTE basis, subject to confirmation with an immediate start date. Appointment is subject to references
The annual leave entitlement is 30 days p.a., additionally there are 3 – 4 days when the University closes for Christmas
The normal hours of work will be between 35 and 40 hours per week, plus a lunch break of one hour each day, with a full professional commitment expected entailing working flexibly beyond core hours as required. You will be expected to work occasional evenings and weekends to meet the needs of students or to cover such hours for team members.