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  • 18 January 2012
  • 7 min read

The various different mental health jobs in social care

  • Matt Farrah Co-Founder

We take a look at the range of career opportunities available within mental health care and how you can work in mental health either as a qualified mental health nurse or as a support worker.

A career in mental health care can be extremely rewarding, and one that might be more accessible that you initially thought. You don’t necessarily have to be a qualified RMN mental health nurse in order to work in mental health care.

Mental health jobs are varied and vacancies are available across all parts of the healthcare sector. Public sector employers are often jointly leading the field with the private sector, in terms of the number of vacancies offered, but there are also charitable organisations and faith-orientated support groups that offer mental health jobs.

If you’re not already a qualified RMN, there are a wide range of vacancies and career paths available to you. You can start your career in mental health in a support worker job or care assistant job and work your way up from there.

In this article we take a look at some of the typical vacancies available, whether you are a qualified RMN or not.

Mental health jobs for qualified RMN Mental Health Nurses

Mental health nurses in social care have a wide range of career opportunities. There are plenty of nursing home jobs for RMNs working with the elderly and those with dementia, however there are also community-based jobs working with people of all age ranges and from all backgrounds.

Being an RMN in a nursing home usually involves working with people with dementia to ensure their quality of life is maintained and their dementia is managed is the best way possible.

This includes delivering care according to their individual care pathway, as well as helping the individual to enjoy the memories they do have in order to achieve a good quality of life.

Community nursing jobs for mental health nurses can be very specialised, you could be working in a team with a particular focus throughout the community, or in more wide ranging job based from a GP practice or health centre.

Community mental health teams are there to support a particular group of people with a specific set of needs, such as recovery from substance abuse or adolescent mental health.

While nursing home jobs for RMNs are available in the public sector, private sector, and charitable or not-for-profit organisations, community mental health nurses are usually employed the the local primary care trust only.

There are some private sector organisations that deliver mental health care in the community, but those vacancies are not necessarily available nationwide.

Current types of vacancies for Mental Health Nurses

Here is a selection of the some of the jobs for mental health nurses that are currently advertised on You can often find these types of vacancies advertised, simply click here to start your job search in your area.

RMN Nurse - Dementia Care Home Job

Salary: Typically £22 - £28K depending on experience

Location: Throughout the UK

Responsibilities: To work within a multi-disciplinary team to provide the best possible standard of care for residents suffering with dementia. To ensure all care is carried out to according to the care pathway, while ensuring client dignity and quality of life is maintained.

Substance Misuse / Rehabilitation Mental Health Nurse

Salary: Typically £22 - £28K depending on experience

Location: UK wide

Responsibilities: Work within a team, but also under your own initiative to manage a caseload of patients who each require a different, yet flexible approach to their treatment. You will need excellent communication skills and a non-judgmental approach to working with individuals who have substance addiction problems.

Community Psychiatric Nurse

Salary: Dependent on experience and level of responsibility

Location: UK wide

Responsibilities: To work as part of the CPN team to provide mental health services for a group of people within the community.

You will need to liaise with other health professionals in both the mental health and primary care sectors. It’s usually requested that you also have a driving licence for this role.

Jobs in Mental Health for those not a Qualified Mental Health Nurse

If you’re not a qualified mental health nurse, there are still plenty of job opportunities in mental health care that can lead to a very successful career.

Support Worker is a common job title to go for, and you don’t necessarily need a specific qualification in order to be eligible. There are mental health support worker jobs in areas such as education, residential care, community care, substance abuse and rehabilitation, and custodial environments.

In order to become a mental health support worker you will need a CRB check, and sometimes an NVQ 2 / 3 or equivalent in health and social care.

You may find that some employers will offer you a job on the basis that they will support you to achieve those qualifications while you work. As a mental health support worker, your key skills are your ability to communicate well with all different kinds of people, to empathise with their needs and to genuinely offer your time to listen and care about their issues.

You will form close relationships with the people or person you’re supporting, and you will get to know how their illness affects their behaviour and quality of life.

Current types of Mental Health Support Worker vacancies

The role of a mental health support worker is largely similar throughout all organisations, however there can be a specific target group of people you’re focussing on within your job.

For example:

Mental Health Support Worker - Secure

Salary: £15 - £16.5K / year

Responsibilities: To work within the multidisciplinary team in a secure mental health service. The service caters for anyone aged 18-65 with a mental health illness to assist recovery and / or ongoing management so the individual can lead as independent a lifestyle as possible.

Hospital based Mental Health Support Worker

Salary: £8 - £11.20 / hr

Requirements: Level 4 physical intervention training, management of violence and aggression control and restraint, plus 6 months hospital experience.

Responsibilities: You will undertake personal care duties for patients in the hospital. You will assist with bathing, washing, shaving and oral hygiene. You will assist with toileting and continence management as well as eating and drinking.

Support Worker - Learning Disabilities

Salary: £6.50 - £9 / hr depending on experience

Responsibilities: To provide specialist support services for adults with a primary diagnosis of a learning disability, but also with mental health issues as well.

You will assist with patient delivered in accordance with the appropriate care pathway through facilitating activities, supporting patients on trips and contributing to a consistent living environment. Ideally you will need an NVQ level 2 in Health and Social Care for this role, but some employers may be able to support your training as you work.

Follow to this link to get started on your job search in mental health care job search.

About the author

  • Matt Farrah Co-Founder

I'm fascinated by the career choices we all make. It speaks about who we are. People choose to become a nurse for a number of reasons. In our articles I like to explore these career choices. But they always share a common theme, which is that Nurses want to put other people first and they find a deep satisfaction in that.

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  • Matt Farrah Co-Founder

About the author

  • Matt Farrah Co-Founder

I'm fascinated by the career choices we all make. It speaks about who we are. People choose to become a nurse for a number of reasons. In our articles I like to explore these career choices. But they always share a common theme, which is that Nurses want to put other people first and they find a deep satisfaction in that.