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Mental Health Adviser (Casework) - Scotland

Unit :  Academic Services
Salary :  £34,304 to £40,927
Location :  Edinburgh
Please quote reference :  VRF 18973
Full Time, Fixed term contract for 2 years to until July 2023
Closing Date :  1 November, 2021 - 12:00

Change your career, change lives

The Open University is the UK’s largest university, a world leader in flexible part-time education combining a mission to widen access to higher education with research excellence, transforming lives through education.

We value diversity in employment and are committed to recruitment from underrepresented groups, we welcome applications from all sections of the community.

About The Open University in Scotland

The Open University in Scotland is an integral part of the Scottish higher education community and actively involved in the development of higher education policy alongside the other 18 higher education institutions in Scotland.  Since April 2000, the teaching of OU students resident in Scotland has been funded by the Scottish Funding Council.

With over 21,000 students, Open University students can be found in virtually every postcode district and community in Scotland.  Social justice and equality of opportunity are at the heart of everything the OU does and widening access to higher education is the ambition on which it was founded. The Open University is committed to extending opportunities for educational success to all who wish to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.  The OU’s open access policy, flexible part-time delivery, its bridging programme with schools, college articulation agreements and geographical reach position us well as Scotland’s national widening access university.  More than 20% of our undergraduate students have qualifications below standard university entrance level when they joined the OU, 24% have a declared disability and almost 19% are resident in the most deprived areas of Scotland (based on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation).

With over 70% of our students in work while they study with us, The Open University in Scotland occupies a unique place in terms of developing the Scottish workforce. We work closely with employers, trades unions, public sector bodies, institutes, private, third sector and community organisations, universities, colleges and schools across the whole of Scotland.

Almost 200 academic, administrative and secretarial and clerical staff work for the University in Scotland with almost 500 associate lecturers working across the country to support our students.  The OU in Scotland works in collaboration with colleagues across England, Wales and Northern Ireland and, in particular, with the Academic Services Unit in providing support to our students.

More information can be obtained from The OU in Scotland website at

The role

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join Student Support within Academic Services at The Open University, with the creation of a new Mental Health advisory support service that has been established to provide specialist interventionist support to students who are facing acute challenges with their studies due to mental health difficulties.

Working in partnership with other specialist support services, Student Recruitment, Student Support and the faculties across the University, the Mental Health Advisors supported by their Senior Manager (Mental Health) will provide tailored specialist support to students with enduring and/or complex mental health illness and disorders (such as psychosis, personality disorders, PTSD, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety etc.). This support will be designed to help students better manage their expectations and provide both the students and staff who are supporting them in their studies, with a range of solution-focussed interventions and coping strategies. The ultimate goal is to identify means by which the student can engage effectively with their studies, their fellow students and with staff, so that they can continue with their studies, have an improved study experience and maximise their potential to progress.

The Mental Health Advisors will also play an important role in supporting students who find themselves in a state of crisis (i.e. inability to cope with daily life; who find themselves in a heightened state of agitation; are at risk of self-harm; and/or are expressing suicidal ideations). Working with the student, their personal support networks and staff within the University, the Mental Health Advisor will take the lead in coordinating support and ensuring the student is directed to external clinical services or emergency support where appropriate.

Due to the Open University being a distance learning institution, the successful candidate for this role will be comfortable working within a geographically dispersed multiagency context, and be able to build strong and positive relationships with a diverse range of colleagues who may be working remotely. They will be highly student focused, possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills, be emotionally resilient and confident when working in crisis. They will also be passionate about helping others to succeed.

If you are looking for an opportunity to work in an inclusive environment that is at the heart of student support and enjoy working with a diverse range of colleagues and units, then this is the role for you.

Skills and experience

  • Do you have a qualification in mental health nursing, psychology, social work or counselling?
  • Are you emotionally resilient and confident when working with individuals in crisis?
  • Do you have demonstrable experience of supporting adults with mental health difficulties in a community, health or adult/higher education setting?
  • Can you demonstrate an understanding of the various mental health difficulties students may face in higher education and how these can impact their ability to engage, progress and succeed with their studies?
  • Do you have experience of managing a complex caseload and working within a multiagency context to deliver agreed actions within specified timescales?

This post is being advertised as a 2-year fixed-term contract until July 2023 in the first instance. There may however be an opportunity to extend this further depending on the success and impact of the Mental Health Advisory Service in line with University future priorities.

If you would like to discuss the particulars of this post before making an application, please email with Mental Health Adviser - Academic Services in your subject title so that it can be re-directed to the correct team.

Additional Information

This position is available to current OU staff as a 2-year secondment opportunity. Approval should be sought from current line manager prior to application.

The successful candidate will need to undergo an Enhanced DBS (or equivalent) check.

This role was recently advertised under the job title Mental Health Adviser (18688). Applicants from the previous advert need not apply.

What you get in return  

We have a strong commitment to providing training and development in and beyond your current role. This includes thorough induction into the organisation and regular reviews of your training and development needs. 

We also offer a great range of benefits that support our employees and their families for the long term. Benefits include an attractive pension proposition and 30/33 days holiday per annum pro rata, plus Bank Holidays and Christmas closure days. 

How to apply 

Unless otherwise stated in the advert, all applications are completed online via the OU Job’s page and following the instructions below and clicking the “APPLY NOW” link below. Applications submitted via 3rd party websites will not be considered. 

Access details for disabled applicants are available from the Resourcing Hub, telephone: 01908 655544, quoting the vacancy reference above. 

To apply for this role please submit the following; 


Personal statement, up to 1,000 words, you should set out in your statement why you’re interested in this role and provide examples of where your skills and experience meet the required competencies for this role as detailed in the job and person specification.  

The above documents will need to be submitted as one attachment during the application process, please include the personal statement followed by the CV in this document.  

To ensure your file is uploaded to our system correctly, please make sure your document is saved with the following file name as appropriate to the vacancy you are applying for: reference, surname, first initial

You will need to have your documents ready ahead of submitting the electronic application. 


Remember to attach your CV and Personal statement as ONE DOCUMENT.  

You will receive updates regarding your application from Please ensure this email address is added to your list of trusted senders. Please also keep an eye on your junk folder to ensure you do not miss any important updates regarding this role. 

You can view your application communications on the Candidate portal. 

Please note: If you have not heard from us within 2 weeks of the application closing date, please assume that on this occasion you have not been selected for interview, however we thank you for your interest in The Open University and encourage you to apply for future positions.  

Find out more about us and our mission by watching this short video (you will be taken to YouTube by clicking this link). 

Closing Date : 1 November, 2021 (Noon) 

We value diversity and we recognise that different people bring different perspectives, ideas, knowledge and culture, and that this difference brings great strength


Job related information : 

PDF icon Job Description - Mental Health Adviser (Casework).pdf97.89 KB

Posting Date :  11 October, 2021 - 09:00

Contact us

If you have any queries or questions about the recruitment process, or regarding your application, please contact:

If you have any feedback regarding the recruitment process, please contact the Senior Resourcing Account Manager who will look into the matter.

Senior Resourcing Account Manager,
Resourcing Hub,
The Open University,
Walton Hall,
Milton Keynes,