Policy & Public Affairs Officer

The Mental Health Foundation is recruiting for a Policy & Public Affairs Officer (full-time, 12-month contract) to support our Evidence & Impact team in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Starting salary £30,000 rising to £33,857

The Mental Health Foundation is the UK’s leading charity for everyone’s mental health.  We are home to Mental Health Awareness Week and, with prevention at the heart of what we do, we aim to find and address the sources of mental health problems so that people and communities can thrive.

Our focus is on three key areas:

1. Impact

We systematically consider how to scale ideas informed by evidence.  We build partnerships and alliances that increase the impact and reach of our work.

2. Influence

We harness evidence and the voice of lived experience to advocate for preventive approaches and create campaigns which tackle the root causes of poor mental health. 

3. Integrity

We continue to build a strong organisation that lives its values - that is open, kind, outward-looking and sustainable.

We have pioneered change for 70 years and we are not afraid to challenge the status quo. Come join us!

This exciting Policy & Public Affairs role will support the development and delivery of the Foundation’s policy and public affairs programme in Scotland and Northern Ireland through day-to-day management and delivery of a portfolio of policy and public affairs work including projects, campaigns and engagement with external stakeholders to pursue the organisation’s policy objectives and help to achieve policy changes at a national and local level.

What does the role involve?

  • Maintaining up to date knowledge of policy and legislative developments affecting public mental health;
  • Supporting the Foundation’s parliamentary work at Holyrood and increasingly in Stormont, including engagement activities on the Foundation’s manifesto for the Scottish Parliament Election;
  • Responding to Government consultations and providing briefings for politicians and other external stakeholders;
  • Working with the Senior Policy & Public Affairs Manager on the initiation, implementation and delivery of high-impact, evidence-based campaigns

What skills, knowledge and experience are we looking for?

  • Someone with a track record in either public policy, campaigns or public affairs;
  • Excellent communication and inter-personal skills;
  • Knowledge of policy issues relevant to the Foundation’s Strategic Plan; and
  • In-depth knowledge of Scotland’s political and policy landscapes.

Other required and/or desirable skills, knowledge and experience are shown in the person specification for the role.

Why should you join the Mental Health Foundation?

  • 25 days annual leave plus bank holidays, rising to 27 after 5 years’ service
  • 3 closure days between Christmas and New Year
  • Up to 3 wellbeing days per annum
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Generous non-contributory pension scheme, 8% at 3 months service, rising to 10% at 6 months service employer contribution
  • Life Assurance Scheme at four times annual salary
  • Flexible working
  • Season Ticket Loan
  • Cycle to work scheme

Please note that for safeguarding purposes, all our roles require a DBS/PVG check.  Also, we are unable to provide sponsorship for this post, you must be able to demonstrate your eligibility to work in the UK. 

How to apply

If you think your skills match and you’d like to be part of a dynamic and growing organisation, please complete and send your application form to

[email protected] (along with a completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form).  Please note that all sections of the application form should be completed as CVs will not be accepted.  Applications will close at 5pm on Wednesday, 27th January 2021.  Interviews are planned for Thursday, 11th February 2021. 

Diversity is greatly valued at the Foundation.  Applications from all sections of the community are actively encouraged.  If you have a disability, require any additional support or have any questions regarding the role, please contact us at 

[email protected]

Due to Covid-19 and until further notice, we are operating digital recruitment (including interviews via video conferencing) and on-boarding processes.  We are blending office and homeworking until further notice.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Employment Benefits

Pension (non-contributory)

The Mental Health Foundation considers it is important to encourage staff to save for their retirement and as such provides staff with an 8% contribution as part of auto-enrolment from 3 months service. After successful completion of the probation period this contribution increases to 10% - all non-contributory.

Employee Assistance Service

At times staff members may face and need help with a variety of issues throughout their lives and as part of the commitment to staff members the Foundation provides an independent and confidential counselling and information telephone service. Support is available on a range of issues including legal, financial, emotional, health issues and work related concerns. Free to contact, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0800 030 5182.

Wellbeing Days

Staff may take up to 3 days per annum for their personal mental health needs.

Annual leave

Staff receive 25 days annual leave plus bank holidays, pro rata when part-time, rising to 27 days after 5 years’ service.

Christmas leave

Staff receive an additional 3 days leave at Christmas when the office closes between Christmas Day and re-opens after New Year’s Day. This is in addition to the annual leave entitlement.

Life Assurance Scheme

Staff receive death in service life cover at four times their annual salary.

Flexible working

The right to request flexible working is available to all staff. There are a number of different flexible working arrangements available throughout the organisation, which can be arranged by mutual consent.

Season ticket loan

Interest free loans are available to purchase season tickets for the journey between home and work.

After successful completion of the probation period.

Cycle to Work Scheme

The Cycle to Work scheme is a UK Government tax exemption initiative introduced to promote healthier journeys to work and to reduce environmental pollution. Staff will be able to purchase a bike of a value of up to £1,111 tax free. After successful completion of the probation period.