A mental health education specialist (EMHP) works across the Education mental health practitioner to provide mental health services to students at schools and colleges.
For those with persistent mild to moderate depression, you will provide low-intensity interventions such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and group-based CBT. Moreover, you will support initiatives that prevent mental health problems at schools and colleges.
Your working life
Children and young people with common mental health difficulties, such as anxiety, depression, and behavior difficulties, will be trained to assess and provide support. By providing early, brief evidence-based interventions, you will address children and young people’s emergent mental health needs, and you will work with schools and colleges to improve students’ mental wellbeing. Supporting the Government’s priority of increasing access to and availability of mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people is essential to the role.
In the course of your work, you may:
- Provide advice on sleep hygiene, problem-solving, and panic attacks
- As well as information on managing anxiety and depression
- And ways to improve emotional health and wellbeing
- Providing Education mental health practitioner staff with additional information to ensure children and young people receive the right support
Providing one-on-one support to children and young people is what you will do. Additionally, you will learn how to support schools and colleges with a whole-organization approach to mental health and wellbeing.
Your work in primary schools, or in social, emotional, and mental health or learning disability settings, will also involve interacting with parents and carers.
Which company will I work for?
As part of your training, you will take 12 months of university courses that include:
- Delivered by a university in your region, providing academic and theory elements
- for independent study
- Placements in schools, colleges, special schools, or pupil referral units, for instance
When you are qualified, you will be employed by a healthcare organization, but you will also work in Education mental health practitioner settings such as schools, colleges, special schools, or pupil referral units. There is also the possibility of working in healthcare facilities.
With whom will I work?
As a mental health support team member, you will help meet the mental health needs of children and young people, ages five to 18. You will work in primary, secondary, and further education mental health practitioner settings, and your team will consist of:
- A group of EMHPs (usually four)
- Several therapists and senior staff members will undergo specific training to be EMHP supervisors
- The service lead or team manager, who may oversee more than one MHST across a region
- provides administrative assistance
Throughout your training year and beyond, you will be supervised. Your EMHP supervisor will be a highly experienced member of staff who has completed EMHP supervision training.
Requirements for entry
Graduate or postgraduate diploma programs are required for certification as an Education mental health practitioner. Participants in the programme are welcome from a range of backgrounds including mental health and working with children and adolescents in schools.
There is no requirement for previous degree qualifications to apply for this training programme. To be eligible for this position, you will need to demonstrate your ability to work at a degree level, as well as experience in working with children and young people to support their Education mental health practitioner.
Throughout the year, training programs are offered and you can search for opportunities on the NHS jobs website. Find training opportunities near you by setting up an alert for ‘Trainee education mental health practitioner’.
An average course consists of 60 days of university work spread out over a year.
Students will receive training at a level equivalent to Agenda for Change Band 4, and they will earn an academic qualification at the graduate or postgraduate level. After completing the course, you’ll be qualified to work in a school or college as part of a mental health support team.
Qualifications and personal characteristics needed
Those who practice Education mental health practitioner should:
- Interpersonal skills that are excellent
- Include the ability to establish close, trusting, and productive relationships with people
- As well as the ability to work well in a multidisciplinary team
- While having a good understanding of the mental health problem
- Communication skills that can be tailored to a variety of audiences
- Working independently and using initiative to think quickly on the spot – often in challenging situations
- Situations, using creativity to overcome obstacles
- And managing competing demands using effective time management
Additionally, it is desirable to have:
- Skills in presenting
- In multiple languages
- Understanding of the educational system