psychological wellbeing practitioner careers

Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner Jobs

Psychological wellbeing practitioner jobs… did you know?

Mental health is very important, just like physical health. People need all kinds of mental health support. That’s where you come in.

As a psychological wellbeing practitioner, you are trained to support people with some of the most common mental health problems, like depression and anxiety disorder. Working sensitively with the patient, you help them to manage their recovery.

Mental health matters – and you know it!

Health and Science Careers

Psychological wellbeing practitioner job trends

How much money can you make as a psychological wellbeing practitioner?

£19,000 – £35,000 (UK average)

Recent labour market information says you can earn on average between £19,000 and £35,000 a year as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner in the UK. Trainee PWPs start at around £19,217. After qualification, they start on around £22,000 and progress to around £28,500. Senior PWPs with extra management roles can earn over £35,000.

Your starting salary can vary because of factors like level of experience, training, or location. Your salary will increase over time as you build skills, knowledge and experience.

What entry qualifications and training do you need?

School, college and training

You need special PWP training to get into this role. However, you don’t always need a degree.

PWP training places are open to:

  • Graduates
  • People who can meet the academic requirements of the post graduate level qualification
  • People from the local community, with a wide range of life experience, who will be trained to a graduate level

You will need to have experience of working with people with mental health problems to become a psychological wellbeing practitioner.

How does PWP training work?

For PWP training, trainees are employed in a trainee PWP role for the duration of their training. This training is commissioned by the NHS and delivered by local universities. It consists of 45 days of academic work (one day per week) and four days of supervised practice, usually spread out over two or sometimes three semesters.

PWP training is open to people from a range of educational and vocational backgrounds. Those with a degree will typically undertake a postgraduate certificate and those without a degree will normally undertake an equivalent graduate-level qualification. The training is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Training for the PWP role is set by the national Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) programme and is delivered by local universities. All PWP trainees are taught the same key techniques and processes:

  • Behavioural activation
  • exposure therapy
  • cognitive restructuring
  • medication support
  • problem solving
  • panic management
  • sleep hygiene.

PWPs who have completed an accredited course can join the BPS PWP register or apply for recognition by the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).

You need to apply for a post as a trainee PWP in order to access the training.

Apprenticeships

You can apply for all kinds of apprenticeships in healthcare. The training standard for a specific PWP apprenticeship is still being drafted up, but is well underway – so it could be hitting online job boards near you very soon.

You can complete either an apprenticeship or advanced apprenticeship in healthcare. This gives you the opportunity to earn a salary working in healthcare while getting structured learning that leads to an industry-recognised qualification.

The NHS runs traineeships, apprenticeships and cadet schemes.

NHS apprenticeships are on offer at four levels:

  • Intermediate (Level 2 – equivalent to five GCSES (9-4/A*-C)
  • Advanced (Level 3 – equivalent to two A-levels)
  • Higher (Levels 4-7 – equivalent to foundation degree or above)
  • Degree apprenticeship (Levels 6-7 – equivalent to a degree)

There are some entry requirements for NHS apprenticeships. For example, to successfully apply for an Advanced Level Apprenticeship you may need four or five GCSEs or their equivalents, sometimes in particular subjects.

To start a higher apprenticeship with the NHS you may need a Level 3 qualification or enough healthcare-related experience to show you have the skills and knowledge to apply.

Visit NHS Healthcare Careers to see the range of healthcare apprenticeships on offer.

Career progression

Once you are a qualified PWP with some practical work experience under your belt, you can apply for senior posts on a band 6 salary (in other words, a higher salary). You will also be able to take on extra management responsibilities and specialisations.

What experience do you need for psychological wellbeing practitioner jobs?

Work experience

It can help you decide if this is the right career for you if you have previously done work experience in a healthcare environment. If you are applying for a relevant healthcare degree, it could also help the university recognise that you’re not just about getting good grades – you have a real passion for medical care.

A starting job in healthcare also puts you in a good position to apply for a nursing associate apprenticeship, which can lead to a nursing degree apprenticeship.

You will need to have experience in providing mental healthcare in order to do PWP training. Any work experience where you have demonstrated your mental healthcare skills can help your application. Visit the NHS Work Experience website to find healthcare work experience opportunities in your area.

Examples of relevant work experience include:

  • Work shadowing (even if it’s just for a day)
  • Work placements in a company
  • Year-long industry placements on a sandwich degree course

Volunteering and extra-curricular activities

Volunteering is a very caring thing to do because you are choosing to give up your time to help other people. Employers may be impressed to see volunteering on your CV, and any volunteering experience related to mental healthcare is especially useful. Maybe you have volunteered to help mentally vulnerable people like the homeless?

You may have been a carer yourself for someone in the family who has experience long-term mental ill health, or helped family relatives struggling with their mental health. This life experience means you know what can be involved in caring for someone with mental health challenges.

What skills do you need for psychological wellbeing practitioner jobs?

What life and work skills do you need to make a great psychological wellbeing practitioner?

Useful skills to highlight when applying for a position include:

  • Teamworking skills – it’s important to help build good working relationships as this job can be stressful and you need each other’s support.
  • Good organisation skills because they will help you keep on top of the number of clinical sessions carried out each week, as well as the number of client contacts offered.
  • Good problem solving skills – you’ll need to decide how best to apply your knowledge of low-intensity therapeutic interventions to clinical problems
  • Writing and spoken communication skills – you need to be persuasive and have great listening skills. You also need to know how to be self-reflective – in other words, communicate honestly with yourself about how you are doing, so you are in a good place to help others. You also need to network well with all kinds of organisations, as well as members of the public.
  • Keeping a cool head under pressure will help you adapt to any situation and not take stress home with you.
  • Can you drive? A driving licence will really help, as your training often involves local travel.

Vocational qualifications and work experience will help you build these skills over time.

You can start to build these skills right now when you sign up with Youth Employment UK to get free Young Professional training.

What does a psychological wellbeing practitioner do?

Your top responsibilities include:

  • Helping people with mental health problems benefit from clinical improvement and social inclusion
  • Helping people return to meaningful activities, like occupational activities or returning to work
  • Helping people undertake safe physical exercise and take prescribed medication regularly
  • Carry out interviews with patients
  • Discover important areas where someone wants to change how they feel
  • Assess how much risk a client may pose to themselves (and, far more rarely, others)
  • Offer assisted self-help, make contact with other agencies and offer information about services which can help.

Your first steps into psychological wellbeing practitioner jobs

PWP jobs are advertised under different job titles. When you’re looking on job boards, look for the following types of job:

  • Trainee psychological wellbeing practitioner
  • Psychological support assistant
  • Assistant psychological wellbeing practitioner
  • Psychological wellbeing practitioner for children and young people (you can specialise).

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