Harrison, Nigel, Lyons, Christina, Baguley, C. and Fisher, D.
An educational evaluation of supervisor and mentor experiences when supporting Primary Care Graduate Mental Health Workers.
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 16
This paper reports on the findings of a postal survey used to enhance understanding into the backgrounds, experiences and support offered to supervisors and mentors of Primary Care Graduate Mental Health Workers (PCGMHWs). A postal questionnaire was sent to the total population of supervisors and mentors who had supported PCGMHW students from three universities in the Northwest of England, during the period of their introduction 2004–2006. Most supervisors and mentors had previous experience of supervision and mentorship with other types of students but not PCGMHWs. Data suggest that there were difficulties due limited understanding of the role of PCGMHWs and how it was to be operationalized. Respondents reported staff shortages, time constraints and competing commitments, which limited support available to students. The lack of organizational readiness and infrastructure to support the role was widely reported. However, the role has developed and is generally well received. The implications for future development of the PCGMHW and the preparation and support of supervisors and mentors are discussed.