August/September 2017 (vol. 14/2)

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Psychological wellbeing practitioners

An opportunity for new ways of working in occupational health


Psychological wellbeing practitioners were introduced in the NHS in 2008 as part of the government’s agenda to improve access to psychological therapies. While PWPs usually work in primary care mental health services they can also enhance the provision of mental health support by occupational health services – in any

Sickness and absence-related costs in the UK are high, estimated at £22 billion each year1, with mental health problems, including stress, depression, anxiety and serous conditions, responsible for the loss of 15.8 million working days a year or 11.5% of total lost working time (2016 data)2. This article explores how psychological wellbeing practitioners (PWPs) – who normally provide high-volume, low-intensity interventions in mental health services – can work within an occupational health (OH) service. It considers how the distinctive and skilled PWP role could be key to the development of responsive and forward-thinking OH services, both within the NHS and in other sectors


Clare Stephenson is a lecturer in mental health in the Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at the University of Manchester, and a psychological wellbeing practitioner at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Amy Blakemore is lecturer in mental health at the Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Manchester.

Author: Stephenson C, Blakemore A


Occupational Health at Work August/September 2017 (vol. 14/2) pp27-30

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