Specialist Mentor:Mental Health (MH) – Ref: SMHM002


Specialist  Mentor: Mental Health

Job reference: SMHM002

Location: Nationwide

Optimum Student Support provides highly specialised, individually tailored academic and mental health support services to students who are in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). We are passionate in supporting our students to address any barriers they may face towards their learning.

At Optimum Student Support, we pride ourselves on employing only the best mentors to contribute to supporting students to succeed academically and prepare them for a seamless transition into the professional world. Due to the expansion of our specialist service, we are looking to expand our team of dedicated and experienced Specialist Mentor:Mental Health

About the role

The purpose of the Specialist Mentor (SM:MH) role is to support students in accessing their higher education (HE) studies by:

  • Supporting students in understanding what is required of them academically in higher education.
  • Identifying barriers to the student’s learning.
  • Helping students to develop effective organisation and time management skills and strategies to manage their workload and deadlines in the presence of their mental health condition.
  • Helping students with prioritisation and realistic goal setting, including producing plans of work and targets.
  • Developing a support programme to facilitate the growth of the student’s independence, reducing the need for support in the longer term.

The SM:MH must not offer any subject-specific support or tutoring, or any counselling or therapeutic support relating to the student’s mental health condition. These are outside the remit of the SM:MH role.

It is expected that SM:MHs should have an understanding of different mental health conditions and the impact they may have on the student accessing their studies. This can include, for example, personality disorders, eating disorders, phobias, depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, psychosis (including schizophrenia), addiction, obsessive compulsive disorder, and identity issues. SM:MHs should also have an understanding and awareness of students with more complex presentations of multiple disabilities such as specific learning difficulties, long-term health conditions, or autism alongside a mental health condition.

SM:MHs should be alert to and follow up on concerns relating to the students they support. For example:

  • The student is showing signs of disengagement or growing vulnerability (e.g. lack of attendance, late submission or non-submission of work, disciplinary issues, etc.).
  • The student is showing warning signs such as: suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and threats of involvement in terrorism.

SM:MHs should be aware of the support offered by the HEP and by external organisations such as the NMH provider and make the appropriate onward referrals in a crisis.

SM:MHs should be able to understand and manage professional boundaries, establishing and maintaining productive working relationships with students while understanding the importance of professional record-keeping and confidentiality.

SM:MHs must work with students in a sensitive and empathetic manner and respond positively and calmly to students in distress. Professional listening, observation and communication skills are essential.

Furthermore, you will be required to:

  • deliver mentoring sessions according to Optimum Student Support guidelines and Code of Conduct
  • manage paperwork effectively, i.e. completing time sheets and Individual Learning Plans (ILPs).
  • represent Optimum Student Support in a professional manner, this includes adhering to our policies regarding confidentiality and safeguarding.
  • engage in compulsory monthly supervision with Optimum


Qualifications, Skills & Experience required:

What we can offer you:

  • Competitive rates
  • Holiday Pay
  • Flexible hours
  • A dedicated team who you can contact at any time to provide you with support
  • Discount on Optimum Elearning courses


Additional Information:

The working hours vary according to the needs of the student and the number of students you will be allocated. All Optimum Student Support employees must be able to receive emails and phone calls when on location. All support workers are required to have internet access

Optimum Student Support Ltd is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce. Optimum Student Support Ltd is a Disability Committed employer and promotes diversity in employment and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.


I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to receive specialist mentoring because of the wonderful personalised support that has helped me get through university
Some days I’ve been feeling down, but after my session I leave feeling infinitely better because it’s an outlet for whatever’s on my mind and my mentor’s warmth and enthusiasm is really uplifting.
Cansu T, Zoology Student
I have massively benefitted from the help that my mentor has offered
and she has really helped me be the best I can be during a crazy four years of uni!
Laura D - BA French & Spanish
Laura D
With the help of my mentor I have done things I didn't think I'd be able to
like present a poster at a conference, and now, I am a PhD student and the happiest I've ever been.
Oliver B - Phd Student
I can’t stress enough how much Specialist Mentoring had a positive impact on my university experience
Mentoring taught me so much: how to manage my time better, how to revise efficiently, and most importantly, how to cope with my anxiety on a day-to-day basis. Specialist Mentoring made my university experience a positive one, and I don’t think I would be the person I am today without it.
Sara G - MA Sports Journalism
Sarah G
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