It’s reported that one in four people will experience a mental health-related problem each year in England. There’s a clear need for quality support and care services for individuals suffering from mental health illness, and one avenue of support available is with a mental health practitioner.

According to the NHS, mental health practitioners contribute to the NHS Long Term Plan to develop new methods of primary and community mental health care to support persons with mental health challenges. 

Often, individuals suffering from mental health-related illness can struggle to receive the support they need at the time they require it. For example, if individuals suffering from acute mental health illness find themselves going between their GP, talking therapy services, and community mental health services and are unable to receive the correct support they need, then a mental health practitioner will be able to offer guidance and help even the most complex cases.

Keep reading below as we explain what a mental health practitioner is, the different types of mental health practitioners, and how Secure24 works alongside them to support individuals. 

What is a Mental Health Practitioner?

Mental health practitioners are trained professionals who specialise in supporting individuals who are dealing with a range of emotional, behavioural, and psychological challenges.

Mental health practitioners are trained to offer a safe space for individuals to talk about their feelings and provide guidance and support for them. Plus, they have the ability to provide wider access to registered mental health professionals or NHS and private mental health services should the person need it.

They often work out of local GP surgeries, so they are based within local communities, ensuring individuals, regardless of their location, are able to receive the support they need.

In addition, mental health practitioners are sometimes able to offer longer appointments than a GP can, which helps them better understand the individual, their needs, and how to support their health and recovery.

They help to relieve the workload and pressure on GPs and other individuals who are not best placed to offer mental health support and build stronger relationships with mental health services.

What are the Different Types of Mental Health Practitioners?

A mental health practitioner provides services aimed at improving mental health and the overall wellbeing of individuals. This broad category includes a range of professionals, all with various levels of education, training, and expertise, including:

  • Psychologists: Psychologists are professionals with doctoral degrees in psychology. They are trained in assessing, diagnosing, and treating mental health conditions primarily through psychotherapy. Psychologists often work in various settings, including hospitals and private offices, and, in more recent cases, through online therapy services.
  • Counsellors and Therapists: These professionals tend to hold master’s degrees in a mental-health-related field to offer specialised advice to individuals. As opposed to psychologists, who tend to diagnose disorders, counsellors and therapists concentrate on addressing particular challenges and providing practical solutions to manage them. 
  • Social Workers: Social workers are dedicated to helping individuals and communities through mental health-related challenges. They often work in various settings, including hospitals, schools or universities, and private practices. Because social workers can help with a wide range of issues, not just mental health-related ones, not all are specifically trained to offer mental health advice.
  • A Local GP: Talking to a local GP can sometimes be the starting point for many people seeking advice for mental health issues. A GP can talk an individual through their problems, prescribe medication where necessary, and refer them to a specialist, counsellor, or psychiatrist. Head to the NHS website if you’d like to find your nearest GP.
  • Mental Health Nurses: Mental health nurses are registered nurses trained to provide mental health support to individuals. They can discuss challenges an individual may be experiencing and ways to cope, provide long-term support, and prescribe medication where necessary. Plus, mental health nurses can choose to specialise in providing support for a specific group of people, including older individuals or children.

How Does Secure24 Work Alongside Mental Health Practitioners?

Secure24 works alongside mental health practitioners by offering a selection of services to the NHS and private hospitals, including secure ambulance and mental health transport and ward-assisted care.

Our fleet of secure ambulances can be used for a range of services, including transporting individuals of all ages with mental illnesses, learning disabilities, and challenging behaviours to facilities where they can receive the appropriate support and care.

We’re committed to being a trusted and dependable partner with NHS trusts, ICBs, healthcare providers, and other organisations looking for safe, supportive mental health transportation. 

A report from 2024 found that ambulance crews in England spend 1.8 million hours a year on mental health callouts, the equivalent of 75,000 days. Secure24 is on hand to reduce the time that ambulance staff and mental health practitioners spend attending to mental health-related calls, thus allowing them to return to responding to critical emergencies.

In addition, our ward assist and secure care services are available to ease the workload that mental health staff face in looking after and caring for hospitalised patients.

When sectioned patients are admitted to a hospital for treatment, there are instances when it’s essential to provide constant supervision to prevent self-harm, escape attempts, or any distress they may cause to themselves or others.

Our staff are professionally trained to deliver effective, compassionate, and secure care services. However, during staff shortages, some patients may need more care and support to help them through difficult circumstances. Our trained team puts the wellbeing of individuals and those around them before anything else, ensuring they receive the care they need at the time they need it and reducing the strain on healthcare professionals.

If you need to contact us, you can do so by calling 0330 320 1159 or emailing us at info@secure24.org.uk.