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December 2017

“Exciting, a little bit scary” – participants catch up with Radio 4 about their Think Ahead journey

A year ago BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind began a series of interviews with two members of Think Ahead’s 2016 intake – Charlotte Seymour and Alec Tooms.

At that point Charlotte and Alec were at the beginning of their journey into mental health social work; a year on they are over half way through the Think Ahead programme, having successfully qualified as social workers. Alec, who was previously working with people with personality disorder, is now working with people who have a diagnosis of a dementia. Charlotte was working in an adult recovery team and is now working in an early intervention service for people experiencing their first episode of psychosis.

All in the Mind presenter Claudia Hammond recently caught up with Alec and Charlotte to ask them about their new roles and responsibilities, and how it felt moving on from the mental health service users they had previously been working with.

To hear the full programme, you can visit the BBC website. Or you can listen to Alec and Charlotte’s segment here:

Alec described his new role as “exciting, a little bit scary” but said that “this has been what we’ve been working towards, in charge of our own cases, and taking the lead in different situations”.

“One of the great things about us qualifying as a social worker […] is that we can branch out and explore different areas.” he added.

Charlotte said that the experience had been “quite a journey” and pointed to the positive relationships she’d built with some of her service users. She said: “They don’t necessarily want to work with you at the start. What was quite sweet was that I being reminded at the end: “I remember how I was with you, and I was resisting,” then they were reflecting that we had developed that relationship and that they appreciated my support”.

You can also go back and listen to when All in the Mind first met Al and Charlotte in 2016, and to when they shadowed both participants on the job for a day – Charlotte in May and Al in June.