OPPORTUNITY: Mental Health Practitioner

 Opportunity: Mental Health Practitioner at SICK! Festival

SICK! Productions is seeking an experienced and efficient Mental Health Practitioner to support its Creative Team to deliver two of our Creative projects across 2023.

A Community Mental Health Arts Programme (SMASH Women and Girls) as part of our creative engagement with Moston and Hapurhey and our Mental Health gaming project for young men in Manchester and Finland (MINDGAMES).


Manchester City Council and The Pilgrim Trust have invested in SICK! to develop, deliver and evaluate a Social Perscribing Mental Health Arts Programme over the course of 2023 – 2026.

Individuals accessing Mental Health services in the communty are referred to SICK! to access our programme of creative enagagement made up of cultural visits, artists talks and creative workshops.


Supported by the Finnish Institute, Mindgames is in its second phase of the programme that explores mental health through game design. In phase one they created a prototype called Never Forever Always, a computer game that reflected the mental health experiences of the group.

Working together with professional game designers, a group of 4 young men from North Manchester and 4 from Finland will continue to develop their skills and finish Never Forever Always to be available on general release. Through a series of online workshops, participants will learn about visual design, creating stories, music and sound design, coding and all the other skills required to make a game from scratch.

SICK! are looking for a qualified Mental Health Practitioner to offer on hand support to participants engaging in SMASH and MINDGAMES during the delivery of sessions.  The role will offer a place for participants and staff to talk about mental health and self-care to ensure the particpants get the most of the experience being offered. 

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Provide safe and effective support for participants accessing the programme who require support around their mental health, discuss any issues raised and ensure the correct professional support is put in place in a timely manner.
  • Provide advice, consultation and support for staff and artists delivering the programme
  • Advise on safeguarding measures required during programme sessions
  • Ensure that the elements of the programme are delivered in a safe and supportive environment and that appropriate action (where needed) is undertaken.
  • Preview the content of programme elements and raise any points of concerns regarding participant’s involvement
  • Ensure that participants are informed about the format and content of programme elements at the start of each session, and ensure that they are aware of the safeguarding processes that are in place to support them.
  • Undertake a short de-brief session with participants following each session to allow concerns to be shared with lead artists and SICK! Productions staff
  • Ensure that concerns raised are addressed with SICK! Productions staff and inform further delivery of the programme
  • Provide on-site one-to-one support in professional capacity to allow participants to share issues and devise an appropriate action plan
  • In instances requiring immediate intervention, the MHP will be responsible for contacting and communicating with emergency support for mental health and stay with the young person until appropriate support is in place
  • The MHP will be responsible for following up on referrals to mental health services ensuring that action has been taken and that the client is fully aware of, and accessing the relevant services.

Mental Health Practitioner – Person Specification

Training, Qualifications & Experience

  • Recognised counselling qualification meeting the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) criteria for membership. A minimum Level 4 (where it is an accredited qualification) and/or BACP Certificate of Proficiency; qualification including 450 taught hours and 100 supervised client hours.
  • Completed a BABCP (British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies) accredited course or have met the BABCP criteria for accreditation via KSA (Knowledge, skills, and attitudes).
  • A minimum of 3 years professional experience in providing effective psycho-social support to individuals experiencing difficulties with their emotional well-being and mental health
  • Experience of working with artists and creative practitioners within a mental health context
  • A working understanding of risk management including safeguarding, confidentiality, information governance, escalation and de-escalation of referrals, disclosure continuity and data protection.
  • Experience of working with individuals on a one-one basis and in a group setting
  • Experience of working with vulnerable individuals from a diversity of backgrounds and ages with complex lives and/or with mental health difficulties
  • Experience in working closely with a variety of professionals working across sectors and disciplines
  • An understanding of the personal, social, and cultural factors that can impact on individual’s experience of mental health difficulties.
  • Knowledge of the broad issues surrounding emotional well-being / mental health and resilience for individuals across Greater Manchester.
  • Experience and understanding of working with NHS Mental Health Services
  • Recognition of the need to be accountable for work through supervision, performance management and other relevant processes

About the role

Reports to: Creative Producer (Community)
Contract: Freelance contract
Salary: £165 per session
Duration: June 2023 – November 2023
Hours: Based on 3 hours per session

SMASH Women and Girls
6.30 – 8.30 (in person)

 – June – 14th, 21st and 28th
 – July – 12th, 19th, 26th

4pm – 6pm (online)

 – July 17th
 – September 14th
 – November 30th

Application process

To apply please send a covering letter and CV to Danielle Porter: danielle@sickfestival.com

The deadline for applications is 1st of June 2023.

Interviews will take place in the week commencing 5th June 2023.