Role of Mental Health Workers

The Roles Of Different Mental Health Workers

Care Co-ordinator

This is a qualified member of staff who has responsibility for a caseload of clients. They will work with each client to co-ordinate their care plan, which has been devised, in full consultation with the client and other team members, using the Care Programme Approach – CPA. They also have responsibility to support carers.

Approved Social Worker

All Social Workers have a professional qualification to work with people and families who are experiencing difficulties and distress. Social workers working in Mental Health can go on to do further training in Mental Illness to qualify as an Approved Social Worker. They are obliged to do regular refresher training to maintain this status. It is their role to work with the GP and psychiatrist to arrange a compulsory admission to hospital for people who are considered at risk without medical intervention. This means they are trained and qualified along with other Mental Health professionals to 'section' people. That is they are legally qualified to have someone admitted to a psychiatric unit under the Mental Health Act.

CPN – Community Psychiatric Nurse/Mental Health Practitioner

These are Mental Health trained nurses with further training in treating mental illness in the community.

OT – Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapists are qualified members of staff who offer a wide range of activities that aim to improve the quality of life and day-to-day functioning of people with mental health problems.

STR Workers – Support Time Recovery Workers

These are unqualified members of staff who work under the direction of the Care Co-ordinator. They work closely with the client to enable their recovery and promote their independence.

CSW/CPW – Carers' Support Worker/Carers' Practice Worker

These are unqualified members of staff who work under the direction of the Care Co-ordinator. They work with carers to provide information, guidance, advocacy and emotional support.


A doctor who has had further training in Mental Health. They are the only professional who can prescribe medication and make diagnoses.

RMO – Responsible Medical Officer

The psychiatrist in charge of a case and carries the ultimate responsibility for that case.

Clinical Psychologist

These professionals are trained in more complex talking treatments, assessment of functioning and mental health issues.