Mental Health Support Worker
What is a mental health support worker in social care?
Darren works as a mental health support worker in a residential care home. The care home looks after seven people with mental health conditions, and Darren supports two of these people. His responsibilities include:
- Managing and administering medication
- Overseeing their budgets and finances
- Supporting them with their housing choices and benefits
- Helping them to attend hospital appointments.
He particularly enjoys organising events and activities for the people in the care home. For example he recently organised an event in celebration of Black History Month.
Darren is proud that he can make a difference to people’s lives.
How did he get here?
Darren started working in the social care sector as a befriender. In this role he visited people with mental health conditions in their own homes and provided companionship and friendship.
He felt that social care was his ‘calling’ and wanted to gain more hands-on experience in the sector. Darren then applied for a position as a domiciliary carer.
This involved providing care and support in people’s own homes, including personal care, social activities and domestic tasks.
Darren has always had an interest in working in mental health and so applied for the role of mental health support worker. He has completed a Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care and a range of short courses, such as adult safeguarding, to support his progression.
Where can it take him?
Darren takes advantage of all the training his organisation offers and sees every day as part of the learning process.
He’s interested in training to be a social worker, and his long term ambition is a career in forensic mental health.
What would he say to others interested in a career in care?
Darren would recommend a career in social care because you can make such a big difference to the people you’re helping.
He says “often you’re the only person they can rely on and sometimes the only person they may see that week, so your role is extremely important.”
He advises that anyone thinking about working in social care needs to have the right values and personality – it would be difficult to do a care job if you’re not the right type of person.
You can make such a big difference to the people you’re supporting
Find out more about working in social care