What Is The Role Of A Mental Health Worker?

A mental health worker provides therapy, assistance, and basic care to patients that have developmental disabilities or mental illnesses. They monitor their patient’s conditions and assist them with daily activities. They are part of a nursing team and typically work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse. A mental health worker generally works in residential mental health facilities and psychiatric hospitals.

Mental health is quite a diverse area. As a mental health support worker, you could be working with people that have depression, or dementia, an addiction or drug problem. In this particular area, the support worker may sometimes be referred to as an STR worker- “Support, Time and Recovery Worker”.

Mental Health Worker- What the Job Entails

The focus is on providing support to the person, giving them your time, and aiding their recovery. Your duties as a mental health worker could include working alongside a social worker, a psychiatrist, or even a community mental health team. You might find yourself arranging peer support groups for individuals with specific issues and helping health professionals manage a caseload of people with several different mental health problems.

Your primary role will be to provide regular and practical support and promote independent living. You would have to assist the individual in gaining access to the resources they might otherwise not be aware of. This could be either through an early intervention service, a community mental health team, or a day care centre. Support workers are present in all these settings.

Skills That A Mental Health Support Worker Needs To Have

• A genuine caring nature
• Willingness to help the person overcome their problems
• The ability to prioritise your tasks
• The ability to pass information methodically between the other healthcare team members
• Patient and firm personality
• Intuitive and flexible
• Ability to maintain composure in challenging and uncertain situations
• A team player
• Excellent interpersonal skills
• Problem-solving abilities
• Strong verbal and written communication skills
• Ability to de-escalate various crisis situations
• Ability to work on flexible schedules

If you are considering a career as a mental health worker you would need to develop and hone these skills. It will help you broaden your career options. Be willing to learn new things, be accommodating yet firm when required and very importantly, be a team player. Most employers will be looking for these basic skills in the person they decide to hire.