NHS Careers > Explore by career > Wider healthcare team > Careers in the wider healthcare team > Clinical support staff > Support, time and recovery worker

Support, time and recovery worker

A support, time and recovery (STR) worker is someone who works as part of a team, which provides mental health services and focuses directly on the needs of service users, working across boundaries of care, organisation and role. They will provide Support, give Time to the service user, and thus promote their Recovery.

What do they do?

STR workers play a key part in the co-ordination of care. They undertake a range of tasks to:

  • promote independent living
  • provide companionship and friendship
  • provide regular and practical support
  • provide support with daily living
  • facilitate people living ordinary lives
  • help the service user to gain access to resources
  • provide information on health promotion
  • help to identify early signs of relapse
  • support service users with involvement/participation with their treatment.

Where do they work?

STR workers may be found in a variety of service settings, including:

  • acute service care
  • community settings, such as:
    • community Mental Health Teams
    • assertive Outreach Teams
    • crisis resolution/home treatment teams
    • early intervention teams
    • day care centres
  • primary care teams
  • tertiary services such as A&E
  • services provided by the private and voluntary sectors
  • housing, employment and befriending schemes

Who do they work with?

In their work with service users, their relatives and carers, STR workers work as a part of a multi-disciplinary team that will typically include:

  • a team leader
  • service manager
  • mental health nurses
  • social workers
  • hospital department-based staff
  • staff from in-patient and community services
  • staff from statutory and voluntary services

What skills are required?

STR workers should be able to:

  • listen, communicate and talk
  • demonstrate good communication skills, including effective report and case note writing
  • write document reviews and letters
  • show empathy, compassion and patience
  • deal sensitively with distress, disturbance and unpredictability
  • be non-judgemental and versatile
  • be accessible and flexible in availability
  • think and act calmly
  • demonstrate a good understanding of mental health issues
  • show a creative and imaginative approach to problem solving
  • have the practical skills to assist daily living
  • be prepared to assist with basic practical tasks
  • promote the rights, responsibilities and recovery of service users
  • engender empowerment and well-being
  • acknowledge diversity and promote anti-discriminatory practice
  • maintain confidentiality
  • promote safe working practices
  • promote equal opportunities and ensure services users are treated with dignity and respect as part of ethical practice.

They may also need a driving licence for some posts.

What sort of background do they have?

STR workers are people who come from different backgrounds, including volunteers and existing and former service users, who have the ability to listen to people without judging them.

Education and training

STR workers go through a single, nationally agreed induction programme. They have ongoing training and supervision arrangements and work toward NVQ level 2 or 3, as appropriate.

Job vacancies

Vacancies are advertised in a number of places, including the NHS Jobs website, and you can contact your local NHS trust by visiting the NHS Choices website.