FILM: “It’s everything I want to do in my future career” – Participants share their learnings from the Think Ahead Summer Institute
Each year our new intake of around 100 aspiring mental health social workers start their journey at a six-week residential – the Think Ahead Summer Institute. It’s a great opportunity for them to get to know each other and learn the basics of mental health social work in an exciting and supportive environment, before taking up their on-the-job training in community mental health services.
We caught up with the 2018 participants at this year’s Summer Institute, and asked them to tell us about their motivations, experience of the Summer Institute and plans for the future – as well as sharing some advice and reflections with future applicants.
When asked why they decided to join the programme, Conor and Madi said they had not considered mental health social work as a career option before coming across Think Ahead. “When I found Think Ahead, I saw more about what mental health social work was and I realised that it’s everything I want to do in my future career,” Madi said.
Each of the participants had ambitious plans for how they would use their learnings from the Think Ahead programme in the future. “I know there’s a big issue [with mental health] within the BME community and that’s something I’m very passionate about,” Doreen said.
Lauren encouraged others to consider applying for the programme: “If you’re passionate about mental health and helping people, then apply.”
“We need mental health social workers from all backgrounds,” Simeon said. “We’re working with people from all over the country, [from] all different levels of society,” Rhiannon added. “Just go for it!”