Colin’s pioneering a new mental health worker role despite leaving school without any qualifications

A Doncaster man who left school with no qualifications and later studied to become a university lecturer is proving that age is just a number as he sets his sights on a new mental health role with a local NHS trust.

Thursday, 14th July 2022, 3:45 pm
Updated Monday, 25th July 2022, 12:48 pm

At the age of tender age of 47, Colin Derbyshire is training to be a mental health wellbeing practitioner (MHWP) - a pioneering new NHS post helping people suffering from problems like anxiety and mood disorders and specialist mental health problems such as psychosis and personality disorder.

Colin is one of 11 trainees on their way to becoming new-style MHWPs with Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), through a one-year course at the University of Hull, funded by Health Education England.

Colin, from Bessacarr, said: “I initially joined the NHS as an occupational therapy assistant with the mental team in North Lincolnshire but jumped at the chance to train for this new role. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Colin Derbyshire is training to be a mental health wellbeing practitioner

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Joining Colin to work with RDaSH in Doncaster are fellow trainees including Lauren Rose and Ryan Scott. A further four trainees have been allocated to RDaSH’s Rotherham services and three to North Lincolnshire.

Sal Lawton, who is leading the project for the Trust, said: “These new posts are the first of their kind and will help the Trust to see people who need our help much quicker. They are recovery focussed, providing psychologically led interventions to help patients work towards their goals in a timely way.

“The practitioners are being trained by lecturers from mental health nursing and psychological therapy. The course has two levels of study and is equivalent to a graduate, or post-graduate, certificate with a job guaranteed at our Trust after graduation.

“We plan to recruit a further 11 MHWB trainees next year. We particularly welcome applications from nursing assistants as well as people who have lived experience of mental health issues, either personally or as a carer.”

Gavin Lawton, from the University of Hull, said: “The role has been developed by Health Education England as part of the NHS Long Term Plan which aims to increase the workforce delivering psychological therapy for serious mental health problems.”

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