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Primary care graduate mental health worker

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Primary care graduate mental health workers provide treatment and support to people with mental health problems.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £22,000 to £41,250 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37.5 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • a degree in a relevant subject, like psychology
  • paid or unpaid experience gained from working with people who have mental health issues or people with disabilities
Many employers will also expect you to work towards a related postgraduate qualification.

A background in a related area, like nursing, occupational therapy, social work, counselling or psychotherapy could also be useful.
You’ll usually need a full, clean driving licence.

Health Careers has more information about becoming a primary care graduate mental health worker.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent communication and listening skills
  • the ability to put people at ease and inspire their trust and confidence
  • excellent time management skills for managing a caseload of clients

3. What you'll do

You’ll assess individuals with specific mental health needs and design treatment plans for them.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • designing and running group therapy sessions
  • promoting good mental health in the community
  • signposting people to relevant services
  • keeping accurate and up-to-date patient care records
  • supporting and training other healthcare professionals
  • developing and setting up new mental health support services
You may specialise in certain therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

4. Salary

Starter: £22,000

Experienced: up to £28,500

Highly Experienced: £31,000 to £41,250 (high intensity therapist)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll work in local health clinics, GP surgeries and patients' homes. The work can be emotionally demanding as you’ll be working with clients who can be distressed and upset.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could train as a high intensity therapist, working with people with complex mental health needs.
You could also lead a team or develop new mental health services. 

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Last updated: 13 September 2018