Are you looking to become a mental health support worker? This guide will outline what the job role of a Band 2 Mental Health Support Worker, the experience and skills you’ll need and how to apply for support worker jobs. We’ll also talk about the training and certifications you can get as a Mental Health Support Worker, and how much a Band 2 Mental Health Support Worker can expect to earn. Alternatively, find out more about other nursing career pathways.
What is a Band 2 Mental Health Support Worker?
A Band 2 Mental Health Support Worker is responsible for providing support and care of patients with mental and physical health needs. Mental Health Support Workers should also provide support to the patient’s carers within a multidisciplinary setting. A registered Mental Health Nurse will assign tasks and supervise as they are completed by the support worker. Some of these jobs include assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating the current nursing strategy for the specific patient.
Due to the sensitivities of the job role, Mental Health Support Workers are trained to handle issues of diversity, rights and equality in line with good practice and in accordance to legislation. Mental Health Support Workers must promote positivity and be responsive to any issues or concerns raised, resolving them in the best way possible.
It is also a Mental Health Support Worker’s responsibility to provide patients with personal care, and demonstrate empathy, dignity, respect and compassion at all times. Becoming a Mental Health Support Worker is one way to become a Mental Health Nurse. A career as a Mental Health Support Worker will be very challenging, but truly rewarding.
Mental Health Support Worker Job Description
The role of a Band 2 Mental Health Support Worker is to assist Mental Health Nurses in the care of patients with mental health issues. Alongside this, they will assist with their treatment during their time with the NHS (or privately), and help relatives and carers to do so. In the role of a Mental Health Support Worker, you’ll work under the guidance and training of a qualified healthcare professional. Note Mental Health Support Workers are also known as Mental Healthcare Assistants.
Mental Health Support Workers are critical to the running of the NHS, as they have the ability to work on any ward and perform a range of tasks according to their training and experience. Mental Health Support Workers will be tasked with anything from ensuring the patient is up to date with medication to ensuring that the patient is feeling comfortable and safe. Responsibilities include:
- Observing and monitoring patients’ mental health conditions
- Recording patients’ temperatures, pulse, respirations and weight
- Sensitive communication with patients, their relatives and carers
- Assisting with clinical duties
- Maintaining patient personal care including infection prevention and control, food, and personal hygiene
- Ensuring patient comfort, safety and dignity
- Promoting positive mental health with patients
CV Writing and Interviews for Mental Health Support Worker
Many Mental Health Support Worker adverts will ask you to complete an application form. However, it is still useful to have a full CV – this will allow you to refer to it when completing online applications, as well as usually being requested by nursing recruitment agencies.
The key points to remember when writing your CV is to keep everything succinct; your CV should be logical, well organised, clear, and relevant to the job you’re applying for. Your CV shouldn’t contain any silly mistakes (like spelling errors), as it will suggest you lack common sense and do not pay attention to detail.
Mental Health Support Workers need a minimum of six months experience, and can get experience from paid or voluntary work, or in the form of apprenticeships. For CVs, you should emphasise the relevant healthcare and mental health care experience you have. When outlining your mental healthcare experience, focus on the key skills that you have learnt, such as interacting with patients, building a rapport and finding the right solutions to help patients feel safe and stable. For more information, the Royal College of Nursing offer some really useful additional resources for CV writing.
In a Mental Health Support Worker interview, you’ll need to be able to explain what qualifies you for the position advertised – highlight how your experiences meet the key duties outlined in the job description. For first time roles, you’ll need to be able to explain why you want a career as a Mental Health Support Worker and where you plan to go in the future. It is also important for you to the most important skills required to become a Mental Health Support Worker, and how you manage your time and workload in high pressure environments. For more experienced roles, you’ll need to give clear examples of when you have gone the extra mile to care for patients, as well as how you keep up with the latest nursing developments.
Remember to take any additional documentation – such as your NMC registration or additional training certificates – as well as your CV.
Mental Health Support Training & Certifications
To become a Mental Health Support Worker you will need to have a minimum of six months experience of working with those with mental health problems. This includes those in homeless shelters and rehabilitation centres. Employers also prefer applicants with GCSEs (or equivalent) in English and Maths. In some cases, they will require specialist mental health qualifications, such as BTEC or NVQs.
When you begin your training as a Mental Health Support Worker, it will include basic nursing skills and you’ll work towards the Care Certificate, developed by Skills for Care, Skills for Mental Health and Health Education England and launched in 2015.
How Much Does a Mental Health Support Worker Earn?
Annual salaries for Band 2 Mental Health Support Workers range between £16,622 and £20,536, dependent upon experience.
Ready to take the next step in your nursing career? Find out more about the variety of band 5 health care assistant roles available from Mimosa Staffing.