Boo_x
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So i'm not 100% sure what I want to do with my psychology degree (still) but I am pretty interested in working with young people, particualrly in mental health. But I'm finding it pretty hard to find entry level jobs in this area.

Does anyone have any ideas what I could do to get some experience? I have theoretical knowledge but not so much practical. I've looked into support worker jobs and I'm holding out for ones that are more mental health based rather than care. I'm pretty interested in eating disorders in young people but have no idea how to get experience in this. Ideas?

I am going to contact my local CAMHS in the morning, to get some kind of understanding of what they do/volunteer experience, but I'm not exactly sure what I want to ask them...Because there is a massive range or jobs in CAMHS. I want something entry level so I can get a bit of experience then work my way up to train further and become more qualified once I know what I want to do
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cberry
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Hi Boo,

It's notoriously hard to break into this kind of work. You can contact your local CAMHS and just say what you've said above really, that you are really enthusiastic and motivated and have some time to volunteer and would be happy to volunteer with them in any way possible. I'm not sure how likely it is that they will take you on without practical experience first.

Other places that I would suggest to try and volunteer would be-
-young person's centres (normally one or two in large towns)
-eating disorder/mental health support groups or charitable organisations
-unemployed families centres
-nacro
-survivor groups
-learning disability charities

You could also try looking for classroom/teaching support jobs, nursing assistant or healthcare assistant jobs but more experience may be necessary.

Try to find out if your local area has a volunteer bureau or something like that, where they have a centralised list of voluntary opportunities that you can look through.

Good luck!
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Interrobang
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Another avenue to try (altho another competitive one) would be a research assistant on a relevant and interesting to you study
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Boo_x
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(Original post by cberry)
Hi Boo,

It's notoriously hard to break into this kind of work. You can contact your local CAMHS and just say what you've said above really, that you are really enthusiastic and motivated and have some time to volunteer and would be happy to volunteer with them in any way possible. I'm not sure how likely it is that they will take you on without practical experience first.

Other places that I would suggest to try and volunteer would be-
-young person's centres (normally one or two in large towns)
-eating disorder/mental health support groups or charitable organisations
-unemployed families centres
-nacro
-survivor groups
-learning disability charities

You could also try looking for classroom/teaching support jobs, nursing assistant or healthcare assistant jobs but more experience may be necessary.

Try to find out if your local area has a volunteer bureau or something like that, where they have a centralised list of voluntary opportunities that you can look through.

Good luck!
Thanks for your suggestions. I have emailed them and asked if I could shadow some of their workers to see what kind of things they do. I'll defintelly look into the rest, I'm not sure if my city has an eating disorder service but it would be ideal if it does.

(Original post by *Interrobang*)
Another avenue to try (altho another competitive one) would be a research assistant on a relevant and interesting to you study
Thanks, I have looked into that also but think I would get far too bored with research.
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Meee123
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I work as a mental health support worker for young people in a home that specialises in autism. I've not worked their long, but it's amazing and I only got in through having previous part-time experience in care, that is, 'standard care' looking after the elderly. One you've done this for at least six months to a year and picked up an NVQ or two, it's rather easy to move around the social care sector, in different areas...(I've worked with rehab, learning disabilities, etc)...I've no degree in social care (my degree is advertising/graphics design) and came into it by choice after hating my design job. I've recently been told by work that after a year in service, I'll have the opportunity to be put through degree training in mental health/social work or occupation therapy....perhaps look at getting a regular care job just to get into the social care sector...
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Boo_x
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(Original post by Meee123)
I work as a mental health support worker for young people in a home that specialises in autism. I've not worked their long, but it's amazing and I only got in through having previous part-time experience in care, that is, 'standard care' looking after the elderly. One you've done this for at least six months to a year and picked up an NVQ or two, it's rather easy to move around the social care sector, in different areas...(I've worked with rehab, learning disabilities, etc)...I've no degree in social care (my degree is advertising/graphics design) and came into it by choice after hating my design job. I've recently been told by work that after a year in service, I'll have the opportunity to be put through degree training in mental health/social work or occupation therapy....perhaps look at getting a regular care job just to get into the social care sector...
That's exactly what i have been looking to do! Currently there are no mental health support worker jobs in my area but I'm applying for general care ones to be able to gain some experience and they put me through the care NVQ level 2. They say that they don't require any experience, though I do have a small amount as it's learning difficulties and I have picked this up coincidently in volunteer work.

Could you tell me a little bit more about your job? It sounds pretty much ideal for me to be working as a mental health support worker with young people. What kind of things do you do? If you do go ahead and go through the degree for mental health what would this qualify you for?
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~ Purple Rose ~
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Have a look at www.do-it.org.uk for voluntary work. You could also try to get a job in related areas, such as learning disability, or in hostels, day centres etc, to build up some experience.
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thunder bird
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I worked as a volunteer for befriending service visiting a person affected by Dementia.Then now I volunteer for Age Uk befriending service by phone offering emotional, social support and safeguarding advise.Also I worked in a tea bar in a Psychiatric Hospital and dealing with patients when coming for a chat or buying something from the bar.I found every experience very useful and rewarding.I wish to work in social care as support worker, outreach worker or families adviser both for elderly or young people.I have just to complete my final year of Psychology degree and I`ve also Counselling skills Certificate recognized by my actual university as part of my study plan. I wish to do a new experience as working for CAHMS but I don`t know how to apply for be a volunteer even having lots of experience in social care.
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tegsxx
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hi thunderbird, i came across this site by accident. i work in the business side in community paediatrics which low and behold involves me working on and off in the business side of camhs even though im paediatrician work. their admin is sharing my office haha. shadowing is i can reasonably guess, not going to happen. they are incredibly secretive, and even though i have my mouth effectively silented im not even allowed to see what the admin is typing or whats on the audio, even though we work together. however, i do know that we have a young girl coming to chat to everyone, paediatricians, camhs, health visitors physiotherapists etc all in my building to ask what questions she wants and to get a better idea of how it all works. the best thing to see about this would actually to ask the camhs admin/secretary if this is possible in the camhs in your area, as she/he is the eyes and ears and would know whether this is possible. our camhs has just got a new person working last week and he was an ex school nurse. that is an avenue you may want to consider. keep in mind though, to work in the nhs you get thorough screening and loads and loads of mandatory training.
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