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How to become an NHS 24 psychological wellbeing practitioner

To become a psychological wellbeing practitioner, you’ll need a graduate-level qualification and professional registration with a UK health or social care regulator. 

What is an NHS 24 psychological wellbeing practitioner?

NHS 24 is an integral part of the NHS in Scotland. It provides multichannel, patient-centred, safe, and effective telehealth and telecare services to support people with physical and mental health needs.

The Mental Health Hub at NHS 24 was set up in 2019. It supports people in mental health distress and seeks to improve pathways of care through:

  • carrying out clinical risk assessments
  • de-escalating patients in distress
  • using evidence-based psychological interventions
  • delivering anxiety management

Psychological wellbeing practitioners promote positive mental health to improve the wellbeing of patients. They also carry out clinical risk assessments for people who may be presenting with mental health concerns.

Working on the telephone, psychological wellbeing practitioners use a range of brief psychological interventions and behavioural techniques to:

  • De-escalate a person’s mental health crisis.
  • Empower patients, families, and carers to manage distress and crisis effectively.
  • Refer people to other services if specialist mental health support is needed.

Find out more about working at NHS 24.

NHS 24 psychological wellbeing practitioner

Starting your career as a psychological wellbeing practitioner

Choosing subjects at school

If you’re interested in a career as a psychological wellbeing practitioner, useful school subjects include:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Human Biology
  • Psychology
  • Care

Speak to your guidance teacher or careers adviser about subjects offered at your school.

Workplacements and volunteering

You may find it helpful to do a work placement to get some experience working in healthcare. There may also be opportunities to volunteer. This could help you when applying to college, university, or a new job in the NHS.

Education and training pathway

To become a psychological wellbeing practitioner, you’ll need a degree in a health or social care subject such as:

  • mental health nursing
  • occupational therapy
  • psychology
  • social work

You must be professionally registered with one of the UK health or social care regulators:

You’ll also need experience in carrying out clinical risk assessments, care planning, and applying evidence-based psychological therapies.

Training programme

When you become a psychological wellbeing practitioner in NHS 24, you must complete a 4-week in-house core training programme. 

You’ll have an induction into the organisation and learn about local and national policies and legislation in relation to mental health and wellbeing practice.

Get to know the role

As a psychological wellbeing practitioner, you’ll support people who call the NHS 24 Unscheduled Care 111 service who are experiencing mental health and wellbeing concerns. During the call, you’ll complete a clinical risk assessment to provide them with a safe and appropriate outcome.

All NHS 24 psychological wellbeing practitioners must be members of Disclosure Scotland’s Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme.

Typical tasks related to the role:

  • Provide advice and guidance on mental health and wellbeing concerns.
  • Use research-based practice and a person-centred approach to assess patients’ needs and provide treatment.
  • Deliver brief psychological interventions to patients who call NHS 24.
  • Communicate compassionately with patients, making appropriate clinical decisions from the information provided.
  • Act as an advocate for patients and their families.
  • Promote a recovery model that empowers patients, their families, and carers to be at the forefront of decision-making about treatment and care.
  • Share clinical information with other services, when required, using an agreed information sharing protocol.
  • Comply with NHS 24 policies, procedures, and guidelines, and maintain up-to-date knowledge of all relevant information.

You’ll need these skills:

  • communicating
  • empathy
  • resilience
  • critical thinking
  • collaborating
  • sense-making

You’ll work with:

  • mental health nurse practitioners
  • mental health senior charge nurse
  • psychologists
  • clinical services manager
  • call handlers
  • other psychological wellbeing practitioners

You’ll work in an NHS 24 regional centre in one of the following locations:

  • Cardonald
  • Dundee

Find out more about NHS 24 centres.

Learning and development

All NHS 24 staff must complete training regularly to comply with statutory requirements. You’ll also be encouraged to participate in continuous professional development specific to your role.

Career progression

While working at NHS 24, you’ll have access to learning and development opportunities to help you take on new roles and challenges and achieve your career goals.

You could also:

  • Mentor, support, and train other healthcare professionals.
  • Contribute to quality improvement and development of the service.
  • Help to set up new mental health and wellbeing services.

Learn more about working at NHS 24.

Professional bodies

As a psychological wellbeing practitioner, you must be registered with a UK health or social care regulator, such as:

In addition, depending on your professional background, you could also become a member of the following organisations:


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Pay and benefits

Pay and benefits

Find out about our flexible working policies, pay rates, pensions, health and wellbeing initiatives, and career development support.

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