Mental Health Community Link Worker
1 post based in Chester
1 post based in Cheshire East (location tbc)
Summary of role:
Link Workers help support and empower individuals to take control of their health and wellbeing by giving clients time to focus on “what matters to me”. Link Workers use a holistic approach in supporting and connecting patients to groups and activities within their local community to improve and manage their wellbeing, tackle social isolation and meet their non-medical needs. We are looking for a dynamic individual with a background in Mental Health that can use a social prescribing and community assets approach to supporting mental health and wellbeing for individuals who present requiring urgent support. They will also support existing groups to be accessible and sustainable and help build new community groups, whilst working collaboratively with local organisations.
The Mental Health Community Link Worker will work as a key part of a multi-agency mental health service in Cheshire West & Chester and Cheshire East. They will work alongside counsellors, the Chester Crisis Cafe, Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Trust, social prescribers and wider community groups and organisations.
We are looking to employ one Mental Health Community Link Worker in each area (Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East) to improve patient’s mental health and wellbeing by reducing health inequalities and supporting patients to have more control over their lives through providing support and access to community groups and activities.
Principle Duties and Responsibilities
- Working closely with the Crisis Cafe (Cheshire West and Chester), CWP and local GP practices to proactively identify patients who would benefit from interventions and community groups and activities to improve their mental health, rather than clinical appointments.
- Building positive and constructive relationships with the CWP Mental Health team, patients accessing the service, local community organisations and other relevant service providers.
- Working closely with referred patients and assessing their non-medical requirements, supporting their needs and finding suitable community-based activities and services that will help them improve their health and wellbeing.
- Supporting and understanding existing community groups, activities and services available for residents in and around Chester and Cheshire West & Chester area and building good relationships with relevant community organisations and stakeholders.
- Understanding and identifying the gaps in community groups and activities within the area and help bridge the gap by creating new groups and encourage them to become sustainable.
- Meeting local people and organisations and promoting local community activities.
- Meet referred people on a one-to-one basis, giving people time and focusing on a ‘what matters to me’ person-centred approach for clients. Build trust and respect with the person, providing non-judgemental and non-discriminatory support, respecting diversity and lifestyle choices. Work from a strength-based approach focusing on a person’s assets.
- Monitoring and recording the progress and outcomes of referred patients.
- Supporting patients to identify and manage their own outcomes and priorities to improve their own mental health and wellbeing.
- Helping patients identify the wider issues that impact on their mental health and wellbeing, such as debt, poor housing, being unemployed, loneliness and caring responsibilities.
- Being aware of the services and activities available to address these potential issues.
- Work with individuals to co-produce simple goals to address the person’s mental health and wellbeing needs – based on the person’s priorities, interests, values, cultural and religious/faith needs and motivations.
- Where appropriate accompany and introduce people to appropriate community groups, activities and statutory services, ensuring they are comfortable, feel valued and respected (post COVID-19 restrictions). Follow up to ensure they are happy, able to engage, included and receiving good support.
- Seek local groups for signposting or referrals for advice and support for issues such as abuse, domestic violence and support with mental health), referring the patient back to the GP or other suitable health professional if required.
- Forge strong links with a wide range of local VCSE organisations, community and neighbourhood level groups, utilising their networks and building on what’s already available to create a menu of diverse community groups and assets, who promote diversity and inclusion.
- Encourage people who have been connected to community support through social prescribing to volunteer and give their time freely to others, building their skills and confidence and strengthening community resilience (5-ways to wellbeing).
- Work sensitively with local providers, CWP, patients, their families and carers to capture key information, measuring the impact and outcomes on the patient’s health and wellbeing.
- Provide appropriate feedback to referral agencies about the patients they referred and understanding when a patient needs to be referred back to their GP.
- Work with your line manager to undertake continual personal and professional development.
- In the course of seeking treatment and support, clients entrust us with, or allow us to gather, sensitive information in relation to their health and other matters. They do so in confidence and have the right to expect that all staff will respect their privacy and act appropriately.
- In the performance of the duties outlined in this job description, the post-holder may have access to confidential information relating to clients and their carers and other healthcare workers. All such information from any source is to be regarded as strictly confidential.
- Information relating to patients, carers, colleagues and other health/social care workers may only be divulged to authorised persons in accordance with the practices policies and procedures relating to confidentiality and the protection of personal and sensitive data.
Equality and diversity:
The post-holder will support the equality, diversity and rights of patients, carers and colleagues, to include:
- Acting in a way that recognises the importance of people’s rights, interpreting them in a way that is consistent with procedures and policies, and current legislation.
- Respecting the privacy, dignity, needs and beliefs of patients, carers and colleagues.
- Behaving in a manner that is welcoming to and of the individual, is non-judgmental and respects their circumstances, feelings priorities and rights.
The post-holder will strive to maintain quality within the practice, and will:
- Alert other team members to issues of quality and risk.
- Assess own performance and take accountability for own actions, either directly or under supervision.
- Work effectively with individuals in other agencies to meet patients’ needs.
- Effectively manage their own time, workload and resources.
The post-holder should recognise the importance of effective communication within the team and will strive to:
- Communicate effectively with other team members.
- Communicate effectively with patients and carers.
- Recognise people’s needs for alternative methods of communication and respond accordingly.
Social Prescribing Link Worker Person Specification
Essential Knowledge and Skills:
- Mental health qualification or relevant experience working with mental health
- The ability to build relations with key internal and external stakeholders
- Well-developed interpersonal skills
- Excellent time management skills
- Excellent literacy and numeracy skills
- Good written and verbal communication skills
- The ability to solve problems and implement action plans
- Knowledge of IT systems, including ability to use word processing skills, emails and the internet to create simple plans and reports.
Experience of data collection and providing monitoring information to assess the impact of services
Desired knowledge & Skills:
- Counselling degree/qualification
- Understanding of the wider determinants of health, including social, economic and environmental factors and their impact on communities
- Local knowledge of the area including community organisations
- Building positive relationships with healthcare professionals and patients.
- Experience working with vulnerable populations
- Experience working in mental health support
- Experience in managing own workload
- Experience working as a community Navigator/ Link Worker/ Social Prescriber
- Experience working in a healthcare environment or in the voluntary and community sector
- You have experience in delivering training and/or capacity building to user groups and/or staff teams
- Ability to listen, empathise with people and provide person-centred support in a non-judgemental way
- Able to support people in a way that inspires trust and confidence, motivating others to reach their potential
- Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, with people, their families, carers, community groups, partner
agencies and stakeholders
- Ability to work without direct supervision
- Ability to work well in an integrated multi-skilled team
- Able to apply confidentiality, tact and diplomacy in conducting the duties required of this role
- Ability to identify risk and assess/manage risk when working with individuals
- Ability to demonstrate initiative, resourcefulness and common sense
- Ability to organise, plan and prioritise on own workload, including when under pressure and meeting deadlines
- Willingness to work towards professional and performance objectives
- Ability to demonstrate personal accountability, emotional resilience and works well under pressure
- Flexible approach to undertaking a wide variety of tasks
- Flexible with regard to changing priorities
- Willingness to work flexible hours when required to meet work demands
- Access to own transport and ability to travel across the locality on a regular basis, including to visit people in their own homes if required
- An Enhanced DBS check is essential for this role
Application deadline: 07/08/2020
Job Types: Full-time, Permanent
Salary: £24,500.00 per year
These post will require being based within the community, when safe to do so. As we are working remotely until further notice a good knowledge of the local area and support services/community organisations would be advantageous.
- Mental health related employment or voluntary work: 1 year (Preferred)
- GCSE or equivalent (Preferred)
- Temporarily due to COVID-19