PWP Programme - Training course

Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) Training Course – PWP

Mind HK is pleased to announce the launch of its Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) training programme. The programme is a continuation of Mind HK’s existing youth wellbeing practitioner programme, with the aim to extend early mental health support to adults. The programme is a comprehensive, 11-month training course, and PWPs will be trained to provide mental health support to individuals aged 18 and above, who are facing mild to moderate common mental problems, including depression and anxiety, in Hong Kong.

We will be training a new cohort of practitioners and we are now accepting applications.

If you are interested in becoming one of our host organisations, please refer to this page.

Key information 

Tentative Programme Dates: 

1. Training block and assessments: 

  • 18th – 23rd May & 8th – 13th June 2023*  
  • Approximately 120 hours

2.  Placement dates: 

  • July 2023 – March 2024
  • 9 month placement (up to 3 placement days per week)

*Exact dates may be subject to change

Application Dates:

Online Information Session (Dec 14, 7pm): bit.ly/2223PWPbriefsession

All applicants:

Application start: Monday 07 November 2022

Application close: Friday 06 January 2023

Interviews: Interviews will take place in February 2023 for shortlisted applicants, and interview invitations will be sent out by the end of January or early February 2023 for those shortlisted.

Tuition Fees (2022/2023):

All tuition fees for 2022/2023 have been kindly covered by our programme sponsors, The Kadoorie Charitable Foundation and the Hemera Foundation. However, an upfront deposit of HKD 6,000 is required when trainees accept their place on the programme. The deposit will only be returned to trainees in full, upon completion of the training block AND the placement period

Terms and Conditions:

  1. Mind HK’s Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) Programme is a pioneering programme that involves both training and service delivery. Trainees of this programme are required to provide free mental health support to service users during the course of the placement.
  2. The personal data provided by you will be used by Mind HK for the purpose of application. The provision of personal data and deposit to Mind HK is voluntary. Apart from exemptions provided under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, you have a right to request in writing access to and correction of personal data held on you except where the data have been erased after fulfilling the purpose of collection.
  3. Applicants who accept a place on this programme to become a trainee will need to provide an upfront deposit. The full deposit will only be returned when trainees have successfully completed the training and placement. Withdrawing from the programme at any point after signing the PWP agreement, without reasonable cause, may result in the loss of deposit.

Training Venue:

To be announced at a later date.

*Contingent on COVID-19 restrictions in place. 

Apply:

Please review all details and our FAQs before applying.
To apply, please complete this form.

Enrollment prerequisite: 

Basic requirements
Ability to work in Hong Kong Hong Kong permanent resident or valid working visa for the duration of the programme
Education Undergraduate degree (from any discipline), 2nd class honours or above
Language ability Fluency in oral and written English (Fluency in Cantonese or another language is desired)
Value Caring, compassionate, person-centered
Attitude Reflective, willing to learn, open-minded, responsible, non-judgemental
Skills and knowledge • Excellent communication skills

•Ability to engage people experiencing mental health problems and build strong therapeutic relationships

•Basic knowledge of common mental health problems (e.g. depression, anxiety)

•Strong community awareness and wish to challenge stigma around mental health

•Ability to apply training to practice in clinical settings

•Ability to work independently, under indirect supervision

Commitment Ability to commit 2-3 weekdays per week between July 2023 and March 2024 for the placement
Experience A minimum of 2 years of post-graduation work experience (work experience in physical or mental health settings is desirable, but not essential)
Training fee deposit The training is free to 28 successful applicants. However, an upfront deposit of HKD 6,000 is required. The deposit will only be returned to trainees, in full, upon completion of the training block and the placement period.

 

 

Course Introduction: 

The Kadoorie Charitable Foundation and the Hemera Foundation have funded Mind HK to launch this Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) pilot programme. Using a training and service model similar to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) in the United Kingdom, the course will train a new cohort of well-being practitioners to work with adults (aged 18 and above) experiencing mild to moderate psychological distress using a low-intensity, manualised intervention based on the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). This training and the related research will be conducted in collaboration with local organisation(s) to assess the efficacy and feasibility of this intervention.

Course Format and Assessment:

Trainees will undergo an intensive teaching block across May and June 2023, which will mostly be in-person teaching, followed by a 9-month placement starting in July 2023. 

Teaching:

Modules covered include:

  1. Introduction to mental health/mental health in Hong Kong
  2. Counselling skills
  3. Clinical risk assessment and management 
  4. Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) 
  5. Implementation of ACT-based manualised intervention
  6. Troubleshooting

The teaching block will involve a combination of lectures, group exercises, role-plays and practical assessments. Trainees will need to undergo a practical assessment at the end of the teaching block. Trainees must pass the assessment in order to proceed to the placement. 

Placement:

After the training block is completed, each trainee will commence a placement at either universities, clinics, community organisations, or workplaces. During the 9-month placement, trainees will work up to 3 days per week (either weekdays or weekends, depending on host organisation and client needs), to deliver intervention to clients. Trainees will see on average 3 clients per day.

Both supervision and placements will be arranged by Mind HK, however, should trainees wish to arrange their own placements then this can be discussed with Mind HK as all host organisations will need to be reviewed by Mind HK to determine suitability.

Supervisors will be responsible for monitoring the trainees’ learning and development, and ensure that trainees conduct safe, effective practice in their role, adhering to the manualised intervention.

Course Benefits
  • Learn from experts in the field from local and international institutions of excellence 
  • Receive supervision from an experienced practitioner
  • Gain on-site, practical experience via the placement, so that you can apply the learned intervention methods in a real-world clinical environment
  • Can support individuals who are currently experiencing mental health problems or emotional distress
  • Training, individual supervision and placement arrangements are all free of charge
Funding The training course fees have been fully funded by the programme’s sponsors: the Kadoorie Charitable Foundation and Hemera Foundation. The training is free to 28 successful applicants. However, an upfront deposit of HKD 6,000 is required at the time of accepting a place on the course. The deposit will be returned to trainees, in full, upon completion of the training block and the placement period. 
Career Pathway This training will equip trainees with the necessary skills to provide low-intensity interventions based on principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to adults in Hong Kong. 

Upon completion of placement, and subject to meeting agreed standards via an assessment, trainees may be eligible to move into the mental health service field through the following pathway:

  1. Eligible host organisations may continue to employ practitioners to provide intervention at their organisations. 
  2. Trainees who successfully complete the placement and pass all the necessary assessments may also choose to offer their services in private settings. The rates for this will be capped to ensure the service remains affordable, in line with the aim of this programme – to make psychological therapies more accessible to those in need.

To continue in this role, individuals will be subject to annual evaluation and will have their status renewed and confirmed by Mind HK.

Evaluation This training course is in its pilot phase. A pre- & post- intervention study design will be conducted to measure the effectiveness of the training, intervention, comparing the mental wellbeing of adults before and after the intervention.

 

FAQs: 

For further information on this programme, please visit our FAQ section of this page.

Enquiries: 

Please email [email protected] and use the subject line “Mind HK PWP Application”

FAQs

What is the Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) Programme?

The training course aims to provide trainees with a solid understanding of low intensity psychological interventions for adults with mild to moderate depression and anxiety. It hopes to increase access to mental health care and support for adults (aged 18 or above) in Hong Kong, through training individuals to deliver low-intensity, manualised and guided self-help interventions based upon Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

This training is based on a model similar to the UK’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), a stepped care model designed to target individuals experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems, to help them manage their emotions.

The pilot training course will train the first cohort of well-being practitioners to deliver interventions to adults experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues.

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of psychological therapy derived from the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness. It focuses on promoting the acceptance of painful thoughts and feelings in service of living a meaningful life, through working on important goals and activities in their lives. Also, there is now increasing evidence for the effectiveness of ACT in managing a wide range of psychological difficulties.

What is manualised intervention?

Manualised interventions clearly list out steps in the intervention, allowing practitioners to easily follow them to provide therapy. Standardised interventions are particularly important for providing effective, low intensity interventions.

Practitioners work through a standardised, step-by-step treatment procedure with each client, and depending on the clients needs, they will guide them through different concepts and exercises in the modules.

Although the intervention procedure is mostly standardised, practitioners will work flexibly with clients to address individual presenting problems and unique characteristics.

What is Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)?

IAPT is a programme in the United Kingdom, started by the National Health Service (NHS) in 2008, to increase access to evidence-based therapies for anxiety and depression. The programme trained new practitioners in delivering low intensity interventions, to increase the available resource for individuals experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems.

The aim of the intervention is to provide early intervention before mental health problems worsen, in turn, helping to reduce the burden on the existing mental health services.

Where are the placements conducted?

Trainees will undergo the 9-month placement in community settings that are working with adults, for example: corporates, universities, community organisations, or clinics.

Will PWP Trainees from NGO backgrounds be able to conduct their placement at their existing organisation?

Yes. PWP Trainees will be able to conduct their placements at their employment organisations providing their organisations are participating in the programme and are supportive of this initiative. Please discuss this with team members from Mind HK to confirm this arrangement.

Independent PWP Trainees without association to any organisations will be assigned to host organisations by Mind HK.

Who is eligible to join this course?

Refer to enrollment prerequisite above.

How will trainees be assessed?

Trainees will undergo an assessment at the end of the initial teaching block. They will lead a practice session with a trainer to assess their skills and knowledge. The session will be recorded and reviewed by two assessors to verify that they have reached the required standard to commence their placements.

Supervisors will monitor trainees’ development throughout the placement to ensure that they are meeting the required level of competency to pass the training course at the end of the placement.

Who will the trainees be providing the service to?

Adults aged 18+ experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems and emotional distress.

Can you give me an example of the sort of person I would be working with as a trainee?

Trainees will work with adults experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems and emotional distress including, but not limited to, depression, generalised anxiety and low self esteem.

Due to there not being any current data available on the effectiveness of this intervention for individuals with more severe or complex mental health problems, this programme is therefore not recommended for individuals with schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder.

Why was the programme developed?

Hong Kong’s existing mental health service is experiencing a lot of strain with long waiting times and being under-resourced, resulting in individuals with mild to moderate mental health problems unable to receive support sooner. The programme was developed with the aim of training additional therapists to deliver early, evidence-based intervention, to prevent mental health problems from worsening.

Can I work full-time while undergoing this programme?

The programme would not be compatible with full-time working commitments. Successful applicants will be required to undertake a 9-month placement (3 days per week), which may allow for part-time work or study to be undertaken simultaneously.

What is the training time commitment for this programme?

All successful applicants are required to meet 100% attendance at the training sessions to proceed onto their placement. They are required to attend two 6 day teaching blocks in May and June 2023.

Do I need a counselling or mental health degree to apply for this course?

You are not required to have a counselling or related background to apply for the programme. It would be desirable for you to have basic knowledge on mental health, and for you to share this in your application.