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Glasgow City Council

Working as a Mental Health Officer in Glasgow

Glasgow City Council is the biggest local authority in Scotland and we have a growing team of Mental Health Officers (MHOs), with opportunities to be deployed across various care groups and locations. 

Our MHO service has a governance structure dedicated to the recruitment and retention of staff.  Along with regular development sessions for practitioners, through our MHO Forum and Learning and Development Team, we offer a variety of pathways for ongoing professional development.

MHOs in Glasgow can expect to respond to statutory requests across the city, with links to Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) and Psychiatric and Acute hospital in-patient wards. Our MHOs cover a range of statutory duties across all the relevant legislation as well as supporting tribunal hearings, Case Conferences and other meetings.  Integrated working is key to the role. 

Service Areas

MHOs are based across 3 dedicated Adult and Older Adult services:

  • Learning Disability Teams
  • Mental Health Teams / CMHTs
  • Older People and Physical Disabilities Teams

The service is organised into 3 geographical areas with associated Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) bases, CMHTs, Mental Health Assessment Units (MHAUs) and Psychiatric In-patient Wards:

  • North East - Petershill HSCP Office and Stobhill Hospital 
  • North West - Partick / Drumchapel HSCP Offices and Gartnaval Hospital 
  • South - Gorbals / Pollok / Castlemilk HSCP Offices and Leverndale Hospital
  • Eight CMHT bases across the city

Working for Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership

Once in post you will be on our MHO Duty Rota and allocated work to complete Compulsory Treatment Orders and attend linked tribunals.  You will complete work under the Adults with Incapacity (AWI) Act and attend AWI Case Conferences to support decision making.  Forensic training will be given with opportunities to carry dedicated caseloads.

You will have a role in supporting your service area; MHOs are a valued support to HSCP colleagues.  You can have a blended approach to your workload to incorporate care management in your service area.

We work to Scottish Government standards and have peer mentoring support processes in place.

Duties and Responsibilities

We are currently recruiting to Mental Health Officers (qualified Social Worker) across the Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership within Adult and Older People Services. Candidates will be qualified Social Workers with the Mental Health Officer qualification.

For our Permanent opportunities we are looking for candidates who can:

  • undertake statutory work under the Mental Health and AWI Acts 
  • provide assessment and care management
  • have practiced extensively under the relevant legislation

We Offer:

  • pathways to ongoing professional development
  • flexibility in terms of location and working hours
  • flexible working options
  • competitive salary

We have Temporary opportunities, contracts for up to 13 weeks at which point this would be reviewed.  For our Temporary opportunities we are looking for candidates who can:

  • cover short term city wide vacancies
  • MHO's will be responsible to an identified line manager to oversee their work
  • flexibility in terms of location and working hours
  • MHO's will undertake statutory work under the Mental Health and AWI Acts, though will have the option to focus exclusively on AWI reports

We have vacancies across our Adult and Older People Mental Health teams. We are seeking energetic, talented, resilient and committed people to come and work with us in Glasgow. We offer a great package of terms and conditions, including flexible working, we also have extensive development opportunities.

Career Pathway

Whilst the role of MHO is challenging and rewarding in itself, we also have a variety of options for career development.  MHO's can, after a qualifying period, become Practice Assessors and take a lead role in the development of our future MHOs. 

Being an MHO provides a valued set of skills that can also transfer to leadership roles in promoted posts as Team Leaders and in Learning & Development.  We are continuing to develop further opportunities for alternative career and learning advancement opportunities for our MHOs. 

Mental Health Officer Case Study - Charlie McLaughlin

Charlie is a Social Worker / Mental Health Officer, working in North East Older Persons Primary Care Team. Below, Charlie tells us a bit more about their role: 

"I have worked in the northeast of Glasgow as a social worker since 2017.  I was supported to apply for the Mental Health Officer (MHO) qualification in 2019 after having expressed an early interest in this role when I joined Glasgow City Council.  I was then supported and encourage by my Team leader and wider management in Glasgow to work toward being accepted on the MHO course. 

I have now been working as an MHO in the North East of Glasgow now for approximately two years.  I enjoy this role immensely - the work is varied and I am very privileged to work with people when they are at their most vulnerable under mental health legislation and adults with incapacity legislation.  The role provides an opportunity to promote people's rights when they are subject to legislation and to safeguard and make a positive difference to service users lives at difficult points in their lives.

Working in Glasgow as an MHO has helped to develop my skills as a social worker and improved my practice.  In this way, working with other MHO's, I have learned from sharing practice experiences.  In the wider management structures there is a supportive network of Team Leaders, Service Managers and Assistant Service Managers who are keen to listen to MHO views on how to improve the MHO service for both MHO's and service users in Glasgow.

I would wholeheartedly recommend joining the MHO service in Glasgow."

Mental Health Office Case Study - Laura Donnelly

Laura is currently a Team Leader / Mental Health Officer within North East Adult Services.

Laura says: "Coming from a family of mental health professionals, a career within mental health services was a natural move for me.  I began my social work career in a Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) in Glasgow as a newly qualified Social Worker. 

Sharing a room with my MHO colleagues provided me with an insight into the role, responsibilities and work they completed.  Being emersed in a busy CMHT developed my knowledge and experience of working with mental health services users and partnership agencies. This provided me with a solid foundation to enhance my professional development by undertaking the MHO course.   

I look back on my MHO training as a challenging yet enjoyable experience where I was able to undertake specialist mental health and legislative training to a higher level.  Having the support of the other candidates, my colleagues and management team was invaluable.  Since qualifying as an MHO over 12 years ago, the experiences, learning and opportunities have been invaluable.   

I have been able to work with a variety of individuals and their families across a number of care groups including children and adolescents, learning disabilities, mental health, forensic services and older people. I have also enhanced my knowledge and experience, working with a variety of agencies including doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists and legal staff.  Dealing with the most vulnerable and complex service users has significantly developed my report writing, risk assessment skills and giving evidence within a legal framework. 

Being an MHO with an enhanced skill set has provided opportunities to participate in a wide range of forums including the MHO steering group and Mental Health Tribunal Service forums as well as developing staff through practice assessing and delivering training. Working at this level of practice developed my confidence and skills, providing an excellent foundation for progressing into social work management. Despite being in the management team, the MHO role remains an extremely importance aspect of my career and I continue to access MHO work due to my enthusiasm and passion for the role and service."

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