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What Makes a Good CAMHS Primary Mental Health Worker?



Background:  The role of primary mental health worker (PMHW) in CAMHS was established in 1995 although comparatively little research has explored the attributes required to successfully undertake this role.

Method:  Qualitative interviews with PMHWs and staff working in primary care were conducted and thematic analysis was performed.

Results:  In addition to clinical skills and mental health knowledge all respondents consistently emphasised the importance of inter-personal attributes such as general accessibility, flexibility, and self-motivation.

Conclusions:  Both professional competencies and inter-personal skills are perceived as important characteristics for PMHWs. It therefore seems appropriate for these to be made more explicit in competency frameworks.

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