Education Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP)

About the Programme

In line with the government’s priority to increase access and availability of mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people, the Education Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) role is an exciting opportunity to deliver brief evidence-based early interventions for children and young people. EMHPs work in educational settings as part of NHS led Mental Health Support Teams. This training programme is part of the national Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (CYP IAPT) initiative.

This is a training course that you are only able to enrol in when you are successfully appointed to a post as a trainee EMHP with an employing NHS Trust. EMHP training is offered as either a Graduate or Postgraduate Diploma. Both Diplomas entitle successful trainees to join the BPS or BABCP register, and then work as a qualified EMHP after training. Candidates without an undergraduate degree are eligible to join the Level 6 Graduate Diploma, while those who already hold an undergraduate degree will be eligible for enrolment in the Level 7 Postgraduate Diploma.

We have offered the Postgraduate Diploma for several years now and are currently seeking validation for the Level 6 Graduate Diploma so we can widen access to EMHP Training beyond graduates. As for most of the Training programmes we deliver at the PTTC, the EMHP Training course is validated as part of our Collaborative Partnership agreement with the School of Health Sciences within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, at The University of Manchester.

There is a recently launched accreditation system for providers of EMHP training, operated by the British Psychological Society. We are applying for accreditation now that this is available and Trainees undertaking the programme from 2022 onwards will be able to say they attended an accredited EMHP training course.

The actual training programme for EMHPs is 12 months in duration and consists of academic and supervised practice learning across mental health services and educational settings, such as primary and secondary schools, and further education colleges. 

Delivery of the programme will be provided through a combination of taught days provided by the Psychological Therapies Training Centre, independent self-guided study days and experience gained in education wellbeing and mainstream mental health services. There are approximately 70 days of teaching on the course, and we intend to provide half of these online and half through face-to-face teaching in Prestwich North Manchester. Teaching typically takes place on Thursdays and Fridays during term Time.

During training, the post-holder will work under the supervision of their employing NHS Trust to gain experience in providing one to one brief evidence-based interventions for children and young people experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems in educational settings (principally anxiety and depression). Trainee EMHPs are also trained in providing support to educational settings with Whole School Approaches, designed to improve emotional well-being and mental health more broadly in the school.

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Programme Aims

The overall aim of the programme is to provide an introduction to the theory and practice of brief evidence-based interventions, specifically low intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and parenting approaches drawing on Social Learning Theory (SLT).  The programme will aim to provide an equal balance between theoretical knowledge of CBT and SLT and opportunities to apply theory to clinical practice.

Specific programme aims are:

To familiarise students with the core principles of the CYP IAPT service transformation and apply these to their work with CYP.

To familiarise students with the context of educational systems, develop skills of recognizing mental health issues within educational settings and support CYP and educational professionals with supporting and promoting mental health in an evidence-based way.

To provide students with a thorough grounding in the Department of Health curriculum for EMHP.

To develop student’s understanding and clinical competency in engaging, assessing and delivering the low intensity clinical method and enable them to adapt their practice to work effectively with children and young people (CYP), with common mental health difficulties and their parents/carers and professionals.

To provide students with the foundations to establish a commitment to continuing professional development and becoming an evidence-based practitioner.

To provide students with a high quality and stimulating learning experience in a supportive environment that is enriched by an internationally recognised research environment, nationally recognised innovative clinical teaching approaches and current clinical practice.

To develop student’s understanding of the legislative and policy frameworks, how schools / colleges are organised and challenges working with mental health issues in an educational setting.

To develop student’s understanding of common problems and experiences (including common areas of adversity and disadvantage) and support education of staff through training, implementing peer mentoring approaches and supporting classroom management in education settings.

To develop student’s understanding and clinical competency in consultation skills: the course will provide a framework for the EMHP to offer consultation to staff in relation to specific groups of children or young people, or in relation to individual children.

Who Can Apply

Applicants are accepted onto this training programme when they are successfully appointed to the post of Trainee EMHP with a partnered employing NHS Trust. All applicants must demonstrate in their ability to work at degree level (Level 6 or Level 7) and also have a sufficient level of relevant experience working with children and young people. An understanding of the educational system in England is highly desirable. You do not have to have a degree to train as an EMHP.  Non-graduates are asked to submit a short essay prior to the course to demonstrate that they can work at the required academic level.

Successful candidates will be offered a full-time educational programme specifically for the role, funded at NHS Agenda for Change (AfC) Band 4 level, gaining credits towards either a graduate or Post Graduate diploma (depending on level of previous academic study). Trainees who successfully complete the training will gain employment in their NHS Trust with a starting salary of NHS AfC Band 5 scale.

Because we are training Practitioners to work within culturally diverse areas of the Northwest and because our trainee cohort is not always as diverse as the population it serves, we are very keen for this to change and therefore particularly welcome applications from Black Asian & other Minority Ethnic candidates as well as applicants with a disability and men. People from these groups are currently under-represented among EMHPS.

The training course start in September each year, and applicants must be available to start then.

Please be aware that this is not a training programme that you can apply for within your existing job role, to undertake this training you will need to successfully apply for a post as a trainee EMHP with one of our partnered NHS Trusts.

Training Component

The training component is in the form of lectures, workshops and skills practice.  There are approximately 70 days of teaching. Following the initial induction, attendance will mainly be two days a week on a Thursday & Friday over three academic terms.

How to Apply

The Trainee EMHP posts will be advertised on NHS Jobs by the employing NHS Trusts any time between April to August *. 

* Please note this is an approximate timescale as these trainee posts are advertised by the recruiting services themselves and at the training centre, we have no control over this.

To get an alert when this trainee post is advertised, you need to be registered with NHS Jobs. There you can create a search for this role in My Searches and be automatically notified when any Trainee EMHP Posts are advertised.

Contact Us

If you have any queries regarding this course not covered in the information detailed in any of the sections above or in the FAQ section of this website, please email: PTTCenquiries@gmmh.nhs.uk.  In the Subject Line please ensure you put the full title of the course to enable us to forward it to the appropriate programme team.  We will not be able to forward or respond to any emails received without this.

We are happy to answer questions related to the course itself, but unfortunately are unable to provide any general career advice.