Student Support & Wellbeing Directorate

Grade 7: – £34,304 – £40,927 per annum

Open-Ended/Permanent – Full Time

Contracted Hours per Week: 35

Closing Date: 22-Apr-2022, 6:59:00 AM

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.

The Department and role purpose:

The Counselling & Mental Health 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 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. It 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 condition or mental health problem 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 & Mental Health Service but work closely with colleagues in Disability Support.

The primary purpose of the role is to ensure the efficient and effective assessmentcoordination and support of student mental health needs, 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 and support needs where there is a concern regarding their mental wellbeing, including fitness to participate in offsite activity such as field trips 

Mental Health Advisors offer guidance to all members of University staff on the management of complex mental health need and risks.

Core responsibilities:

  • Professional qualification as a Registered Mental Health Nurse, Social Worker or equivalent, with significant relevant mental health experience with young adults.
  • Provide case management to ensure a consistent, coordinated and professional approach to high-risk, chronic and complex student mental health difficulty.
  • 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.
  • Internal and external relationship development and partnership working, networking and participation to engage and influence future services and the University reputation.
  • Contribute to development of operational service activities to ensure excellence in the stakeholder experience.
  • Maintain an awareness of current policy for University business goals such as widening participation and access, and provision of advice using specialist knowledge.
  • Implement changes to the design and development of service processes.
  • Contribute to and lead Support Meetings under the Mental Health Policy, working groups and sub-committees at departmental and operational service levels.
  • Collect and analyse stakeholder feedback to help define needs and requirements and the design and planning of services.
  • Identify and design activities to meet learning objectives and outcomes.

Role responsibilities:

  • Provide case support and short-term interventions to students with mental health difficulties;
  • Provide advice, guidance and oversight of complex student cases, for University staff;
  • Manage a caseload of students referred from multiple internal and external sources, prioritising as appropriate and engaging with case management supervision;
  • Support students with referral into and discharge from NHS services;
  • Assist in the coordination of a University-wide response to a crisis situation;
  • Maintain accurate and timely records of support and ongoing actions on the University record system, ensuring that all records comply with data protection legislation;
  • Contribute to the development of operational and strategic plans and service level agreements.
  • 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 & Mental Health 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 GPs and NHS mental health services.        
  • Attend CPD activities, engage in professional supervision, and maintain 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.
  • Plan, implement and monitor continuous service improvements to enhance the delivery of stakeholder services.
  • Communicate with internal and external stakeholders using appropriate media and methods.
  • Contribute to the delivery of activities that generate external income.
  • Develop, modify and optimise service protocols and methodologies.
  • Any other reasonable duties.

Specific role requirements

The normal working hours of the Mental Health Advice Team are 8.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday throughout the academic year.

The maximum working day is seven hours with a one hour break.

Working Arrangements

At Durham we recognise that our staff and students are our greatest asset and we want to support the health and wellbeing of all. Hybrid working supports this ethos and provides many benefits to our colleagues, including empowering people, where their role allows, to work in a manner which is more suitable for them, whilst encouraging our commitment to environmental sustainability.

Depending on the needs of the business and the job role, Durham University is piloting hybrid working for all Professional Services colleagues in the academic year 2021/2022, which may include the opportunity to work both on and off campus and to flex working hours. If appointed to the post, your line-manager will discuss the specific arrangements with you. Any hybrid arrangements are non-contractual and may change within the pilot and when the pilot ends.

Reward and Benefits

To support the delivery of the University’s People Strategy to attract, retain and reward the very best, we offer a fantastic range of rewards and benefits to our staff, including:

  • 30 days annual leave, plus 4 customary days and 8 bank holidays (pro-rata for part time) and the option to purchase additional leave;
  • Automatic enrolment into a pension scheme;
  • Corporate and local discounts;
  • Wellbeing resources and discounted health benefits;
  • Health discounts on sports and activities at Maiden Castle Health and Activity Centre;
  • Reward and Recognition Schemes;
  • Personal and career development;
  • And SO much more, with further information available here

Recruiting to this post

In order to be considered for interview, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification. In some cases, the recruiting panel may also consider the desirable criteria, so we recommend you evidence all criteria in your application.

Please note that some criteria will only be considered at interview stage.

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 which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

Information if you have a disability

The University welcomes applications from disabled people. We are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, adjustments will be made to support people within their role.

If you are unable to complete your application via our recruitment system, please get in touch with us on [email protected].

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 in the essential and desirable criteria;
  3. A Word document, with examples of how you satisfy the person specification. Please ensure you give detailed examples of how you meet these criteria if requested.

Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage.

Contact details

For further information regarding this post, please contact:

Kate Augarde, Senior MHA & Joint Acting Head of Service: [email protected]

Contact information for technical difficulties when submitting your application

If you encounter technical difficulties when using the online application form, we prefer you send enquiries by email. Please send your name along with a brief description of the problem you’re experiencing to [email protected]

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.

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.

As a University we foster a collegiate community of extraordinary people aligned to the University’s values. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do. At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive, and in doing so, recruit the world’s best candidates from all backgrounds and identities. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.

Person specification – skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria

  1. Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop excellent working relationships both internally and externally.                                   
  2. Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  3. Five GCSE’s at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent experience).                               
  4. Professional qualification and registration as a Mental Health Nurse, Social Worker or equivalent, with significant relevant mental health experience with young adults.
  5. 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.
  6. Substantial experience of case-management or care coordination, managing a caseload, and keeping good-quality records.
  7. Experience of crisis management work.
  8. Experience of implementing policy and procedures and ability to contribute to planning at an operational level.
  9. 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.
  10. Experience of working with difference, including individuals with a range of different cultures, disabilities, sexual orientations and age.
  11. Knowledge of NHS structures, referral mechanisms and practices with respect to mental health, and the work of other support agencies.
  12. Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.
  13. Experience of being able to network effectively and work collaboratively within a multidisciplinary service.

Desirable Criteria

  1. Experience of mental health work with young adults in a higher education context and the ability to demonstrate how this context affects mental health

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world’s top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Business, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people’s lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University:

  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role.

Family key attributes

Roles in this family provide an excellent stakeholder experience for our diverse and supportive community.

Overall family purpose

  • Provide excellent student support services, development and extra-curricular activities.
  • Align and deliver programmes and activities to meet operational and strategic objectives to enhance the stakeholder experience.
  • Respond to stakeholders at the point of service delivery, either in situ or remotely.
  • Facilitate the development of excellent colleague and academic engagement.
  • Provide a stakeholder focussed service designed to increase widening participation and diversity.
  • Promote the Durham reputation by establishing and broadening national and international community links to enhance the cultural and economic viability of the City and region.
  • Enhance the Durham wider student experience by developing extra-curricular activities.
  • Contribute to and enhance active, inclusive and supportive communities of stakeholders.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.
  • Engage with suppliers, consultants and specialist professionals to deliver programmes and activities to enhance the stakeholder experience.
  • Engage and encourage outreach and participation with external professionals, schools, alumni and donors.
  • Engage and network with both internal and external stakeholders to facilitate knowledge exchange and impact through local, national and international communities.

Link to key strategic plan

  • An economically and environmentally sustainable approach to delivering stakeholder focussed services across the University;
  • A world-class student, alumni and donor experience;
  • Focussed on the needs of all users working together to deliver front-line services as part of the Wider Student Experience;
  • Learn from and match best practice in the Wider Student Experience around the world;
  • Opening up our world-class sporting facilities to local clubs and athletes;
  • Support and facilitate activities as part of the Widening Student Experience at Durham;
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.
  • Learn from and match best practice in the Wider Student Experience around the world;
  • Opening up our world-class sporting facilities to local clubs and athletes;
  • Support and facilitate activities as part of the Widening Student Experience at Durham;
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.

DBS Requirement: Please note that the succesful applicant will require DBS disclosure.


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