Specialist Mentor:Mental Health (MH) – Ref: SMHM002
Specialist Mentor: Mental Health
Job reference: SMHM002
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
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.