The Department and role purpose
The Counselling Service is a multi-disciplinary central specialist service for student and staff mental health and wellbeing provision in the University. It sits within the Student Support and Wellbeing Directorate. The Counselling Service provides support for the institution by providing individual and group interventions, consultancy and support for College and Departmental Staff, and the development, delivery or support for proactive initiatives around mental health and wellbeing. The Service exists to enable students to make the most of the academic and social opportunities that the University affords, and to enable staff to fulfil their potential in the workplace. The Service is responsive to the changing needs of Durham University and operates within clear ethical and professional guidelines.
The Disability Support Service offers academic-related support to students across the University who have a recognised disability, specific learning difference, medical or mental health condition that impacts their ability to participate fully in university life.
Mental Health Advisors play a key role in the context of the increasing incidence of mental health issues amongst students, the increasing numbers of students pre-disclosing mental health disabilities and the complexity of managing mental health risk across the University. Mental Health Advisors are members of the Counselling Service team but work closely with colleagues in Disability Support and our Colleges.
The primary purpose of the role is to ensure the efficient and effective assessment and support of student mental health needs and risk, linking University and community-based health support. The post holder will provide guidance and advice to students to ensure that they obtain the appropriate treatment, support and, where applicable, the necessary reasonable adjustments. The role requires participation in multidisciplinary Support Meetings. The post holder will undertake assessment of students fitness to study where there is a concern regarding their mental wellbeing, which may include fitness to participate in field trips, year abroad programmes and professional training (teaching and social work).
Mental Health Advisors offer consultative services and training to all members of University staff.
At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work. We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.
Professional qualification as a Registered Mental Health Nurse, Social Worker or equivalent, with significant relevant mental health experience with young adults.
Implement changes to the design and development of service processes, techniques and deliverables for one or more service strands or project streams.
Provide specialist expertise and support, conducting mental health assessments, offering short-term psychological support and consulting with University colleagues and external mental health services, to mitigate risk to the individual student, their peers, staff members and the University.
Contribute to development of operational service activities to ensure excellence in the stakeholder experience.
Collect and analyse stakeholder feedback to help define needs and requirements and the design and planning of services.
Internal and external relationship development and partnership working, networking and participation to engage and influence future services and the University reputation.
Identify and design activities to meet learning objectives and outcomes.
Deliver training, teaching and/or development delivery for stakeholders.
Maintain an awareness of current policy for University business goals such as widening participation and access, and provision of advice using specialist knowledge.
Contribute to and lead Support Meetings under the Mental Health Policy, working groups and sub-committees at departmental and operational service levels.
Provide case support and short-term interventions to students with mental health difficulties;
Manage a caseload of students referred from multiple internal and external sources, prioritising as appropriate; engage with case management supervision with the Senior Mental Health Advisor;
Support students with referral into and discharge from NHS services;
Maintain accurate and timely records of support and ongoing actions on the University record system, currently Target Connect, ensuring that all records comply with data protection legislation;
Assist in the coordination of a University-wide response to a crisis situation;
Consult with colleagues in Disability Support with respect to identifying reasonable adjustments consistent with disability legislation.
Conduct all work within relevant legislation, professional codes of conduct, and University and Counselling Service policies and procedures.
Manage and monitor service performance and provide metrics and reports to Service Heads, making recommendations as appropriate to identify successful delivery and areas for future improvement.
Participate in communities of practice and partnership working internally and externally, including:
o The development of links with GPs and NHS mental health services;
o Attendance at conferences and CPD activities;
o Engagement in management and clinical supervision;
o Maintenance of professional registration
Network and engage with external and internal stakeholders to gather feedback and identify future service needs to ensure excellence in service provision, to improve the care pathways for students with mental health needs.
Contribute to the development of operational and strategic plans and service level agreements.
Plan, implement and monitor continuous service improvements to enhance the delivery of stakeholder services, including the development of self-help materials, online modules and information on the Specialist Students Support provision.
Communicate with internal and external stakeholders using appropriate media and methods.
Provide training and/or instruction of stakeholders.
Contribute to the delivery of activities that generate external income.
Develop, modify and optimise service protocols and methodologies.
Any other reasonable duties.
Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required
Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop excellent working relationships both internally and externally.
Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
Five GCSEs at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent experience).
Professional qualification and registration as a Mental Health Nurse, Social Worker or equivalent, with significant relevant mental health experience with young adults.
Professional practitioner with expertise and experience in assessment of mental health and risks, and autonomous case-management/care coordination of individuals at mental health risk.
Experience of case-management or care coordination, managing a caseload, and keeping good-quality records.
Experience of implementing policy and procedures and involvement with future changes for a service area.
Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines, and knowledge of current relevant legislation and its implications in the higher education sector.
Experience of working with difference, including individuals with characteristics protected under the Equality Act 2020.
Experience of working collaboratively and flexibly as part of a service that offers a range of different therapeutic approaches.
Knowledge of NHS structures, referral mechanisms and practices with respect to mental health, and the work of other support agencies.
Experience of crisis-management work.
Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.
Experience of being able to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships.
Ability to contribute to planning at operational level.
Experience of and enthusiasm for delivering psycho-educational training.
Experience of mental health work with young adults in a higher education context and the ability to demonstrate how this context affects mental health
How to apply
We prefer to receive applications online.
Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.
What you are required to submit
1. A CV;
2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;
3. Examples of how you satisfy the person specification, including all essential and desirable criteria in a table format
Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage.
For further information please contact: Kate Augarde on firstname.lastname@example.org
We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails
All applicants must be based in the UK and confirm that they are able to prove their eligibility to work in the UK.