Helpful Conversation Practitioner - Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service

Northpoint Wellbeing Ltd

The closing date is 10 July 2022

Job summary

Practitioners will work as part of Leeds Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service within Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service (LMWS).

The national IAPT delivery model involves identifying a mental health condition, assessing any contra-indications for IAPT treatment, and selecting the most appropriate treatment modality for the condition. Yet 30% of people never engage in their treatment offer, and around 50% of those who do undergo treatment do not recover from their symptoms. As a response to this the LMWS service would like to develop a Helpful Conversations approach, which is an ‘innovative overarching approach that involves thinking collaboratively with service users about most helpful next steps that will support their mental health’. It is derived from PCMH pilots and the Healthy Minds initiative, based on the fact that many patients approaching mental health services are: often seeking ‘help’ rather than treatment; experiencing significant social problems (housing, unemployment, disability, debt); experiencing long-standing psychological vulnerability to “problems of living”.

The project aims to support transformation of our LMWS service culture so that we think more broadly about what might be helpful for the patient, rather than focusing solely on service treatment options.

Main duties of the job

A “Helpful Conversation” is an approach which supports patients to become more motivated and confident managing their own mental health difficulties, and to make informed decisions to achieve the things that are important to them. It involves:

  • Assessing the current problem, as the patient sees it, in terms of severity, impact, risk & duration.

  • Active listening & open questioning to demonstrate an understanding & affirmation of the person’s experience.

  • Encouraging autonomy/ownership: Inviting that person to think of how they could manage/cope/deal with their struggles.

  • Thinking collaboratively about what would be most helpful to help the person move forward, which might be:

  • Watch & wait – allowing patient to manage their own health journey.

  • Signposting to relevant self-help resources.

  • IAPT treatment.

  • Signposting to non-NHS treatment options – including Third Sector services, workplace support, peer support groups, private therapists.

  • Referral to LYPFT SPA or Crisis Assessment team.

About us

Northpoint Wellbeing is a charity which provides a range of services to promote emotional wellbeing. We believe that timely access to appropriate support, particularly talking therapies, is an effective way of promoting emotional wellbeing and relieving mental distress, for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Northpoint Wellbeing is a providing partner of the Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service commissioned by Leeds CCG. This innovative service delivers an integrated service offering mental health support for people with common mental health problems. Together, our partnership will help thousands of people in Leeds to increase their resilience and live their best lives within their community.

Please note interviews will be held on Zoom on Tuesday 19th July.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Main duties:

The duties and responsibilities of the post will include:

Referrals, triage & assessment:

  • Accept referrals of patients who are thought most unlikely to engage in an IAPT treatment offer, and/or those who are deemed unlikely to achieve recover from their symptoms from the standard IAPT approach.

  • Use PCMIS patient management system (after training) to record referrals, assessments and outcomes.

  • Identify and manage cases where complexity and/or severity are present, including triaging referrals and signposting to appropriate mental health and crisis support.

  • Use therapeutic skills where appropriate to help patients to contain and manage acute emotional distress which does not pose a risk.

  • Complete a comprehensive and holistic assessment of need for those felt likely to benefit from the Helpful Conversations approach within an agreed timeframe, in order to determine the most appropriate help and support.

  • Develop an understanding of the particular issues presented, including any complicating social factors (physical health, employment, housing, substance misuse, etc), the patient’s sense of what support would be helpful and realistic, and the patient’s readiness to engage with connecting services.

  • Offer consultation, advice, and decision support to primary care colleagues as required.

Caseload management & interventions:

  • Typically, a FTE post holder would offer circa 40 (30min Triage) and 7 (60min Follow-up) appointments per week.

  • Manage a full caseload and reach agreed activity levels set within the service and ensure treatment delivery remains accessible and convenient.

  • Within Follow-up appointment use a range of techniques and interventions to support patients with mental health needs to self-manage their symptoms, and encourage behavioural and lifestyle change, while working within boundaries of professional training and competence.

  • Respond to unpredictable situations of risk and manage these in a safe, professional and holistic manner, utilising appropriate risk assessment, relapse prevention interventions and risk management plans.

  • Facilitate patients to use/develop their own resources and support networks (family/friends), provide extra support for patients to access the wide range of existing psycho-educational, peer support and wellbeing groups within Leeds.

  • Support navigation into a range of other useful social and support services, including Forward Leeds, Health Trainers and social prescribing.

  • Build knowledge of relevant local community networks and support individuals to access these, where appropriate (including but not limited to LMWS-PCMH, Secondary Care Mental Health services, social prescribing service, local voluntary sector mental health provision).

  • Encourage patients to actively manage their own mental health/wellbeing.

  • Help patients to develop skills and build confidence in their ability to regulate their emotional state and make appropriate choices which promote mental wellbeing; encourage patients to self-initiate positive behaviours and to gain problem-solving skills.

  • Educate and involve family members and others in treatment as necessary, conveying clinical formulations with sensitivity in easily understood language.

  • Keep records of all clinical activity in line with service protocols using PCMIS and any paper-based systems as appropriate.

  • Monitor patient experience using a qualitative evaluation questionnaire.

  • Work closely with the LMWS IAPT Screening HUB and other members of the LMWS team ensuring appropriate timely communication, and contribute to the ongoing development of the Helpful Conversation offer during the pilot.


  • Attend Helpful Conversation Training.

  • Attend and fulfil all mandatory trainings.

  • Use PCMIS to input and retrieve information appropriate to the care of individuals on caseload.

Professional practice:

  • Ensure the maintenance of standards of practice according to the employer and any regulating, professional and accrediting bodies (e.g. BACP, UKCP, BPS), and keep up to date on new recommendations/guidelines set by the Department of Health (e.g. NHS plan, National Service Framework, National Institute for Clinical Excellence).

  • Ensure that patient confidentiality is protected at all times, in line with Northpoint and LMWS policies.

  • Attend clinical and line management supervision on a regular basis as agreed with the Service Manager.

  • Ensure clear professional objectives are identified, discussed and reviewed with the Service Manager, on a regular basis as part of continuing professional development.

  • Keep up to date all records in relation to CPD and ensure your personal development plan maintains up-to-date specialist knowledge of latest theoretical and service delivery models/developments.

  • Attend relevant conferences/workshops in line with identified professional objectives.

  • Attend team and LMWS wide meetings as directed.

Person Specification

Training, Experience & Qualifications


  • Appropriate statutory professional body registration (RMN, OT Certificate, Professional Mental Health/Psychology qualification or a relevant qualification at NVQ Level 3 (e.g. NVQ Level 3 in Mental Health & Social Care) or equivalent (Psychology graduate), and/or significant experience in mental health support work.
  • Experience of undertaking specialist holistic mental health assessment, risk assessment and formulation and can demonstrate that these skills are maintained.
  • At least two years experience of working in a mental health setting with clients presenting with multipleandcomplex issues.
  • Experience of delivering appropriate therapeutic, risk management and relapse prevention interventions in a time-limited manner, to clients with common mental health problems, in line with professional standards and service protocols.


  • Relevant experience in Primary or Secondary Care mental health services.
  • Experience of working within the Third Sector organisation.
  • Experience of working in a service with agreed targets for outputs and clinical outcomes.
  • Experience of PCMIS/SystmOne/EMIS or similar IT system for outcome and case-management recording.
  • Experience of working with diverse communities and within a multicultural setting.

Knowledge and Understanding


  • Working understanding of safeguarding issues
  • Working understanding of confidentiality issues
  • Knowledge of common mental health conditions which may be encountered in this area of work
  • Knowledge of relevant current issues in health and social care
  • Knowledge of Standards of Conduct
  • Demonstrates awareness of limits to knowledge base
  • Basic understanding of clinical governance and quality measures


  • An understanding of the principles underlying the Stepped Care model of mental health treatment
  • Knowledge of existing services within the area

Skills and Competencies


  • Able to build and maintain relationships with others both internal and external to the organisation whilst maintaining appropriate professional boundaries
  • Ability to plan and organise workload in line with targets
  • Can demonstrate sensitivity to the needs of disadvantaged groups in the planning and delivery of interventions and services.
  • Able to work according to organisational policies and procedures
  • Actively committed to personal & professional development
  • IT skills i.e. able to use Microsoft Office packages including Word and Outlook and video conferencing such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including communicating clearly and concisely at all levels (both orally and in writing)


  • Ability to deliver support in community languages
  • Ability to employ psychological formulation

Qualities and Values


  • An understanding and sensitivity towards mental health issues
  • Evidence of a positive and proactive attitude, motivated and solution-focused
  • Demonstrate a commitment to enabling and empowering clients to become actively involved in their own wellbeing
  • Commitment to the principles of inclusivity, equality and diversity, demonstrated in practice
  • Demonstrates values consistent with those of the Northpoints

Disclosure and Barring Service Check

This post is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (Exceptions Order) 1975 and as such it will be necessary for a submission for Disclosure to be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly known as CRB) to check for any previous criminal convictions.

Employer details

Employer name

Northpoint Wellbeing Ltd


Hunslet Road


LS10 1JN

Employer's website (Opens in a new tab)

For questions about the job, contact:

Charlie Smart


Date posted

23 June 2022

Pay scheme

Agenda for change


Band 5


£25,655 to £31,534 a year



Working pattern

Full-time, Part-time

Reference number


Job locations

Hunslet Road


LS10 1JN

Supporting documents

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