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July 2020

“The mental health workforce is going to be more important than ever” – Think Ahead’s Chief Executive writes for the Independent

Our Chief Executive Ella Joseph has written an opinion piece about how the coronavirus pandemic has been “devastating for many people’s mental health” and what needs to happen in order to expand the mental health workforce to help it respond effectively.

Writing for the Independent, Ella explained the key role that social factors play in mental health, and how the pandemic has adversely affected many people’s social structures, such as their networks, housing, and employment.

Ella warned that the social and economic after-effects of the pandemic are expected to further damage the nation’s mental health, and added: “The mental health workforce is therefore going to be more important than ever as we emerge from this pandemic. To deal with the looming mental health crisis, thousands more professionals are urgently needed, across a whole range of roles.”

She also outlined what our new research has told us about the challenges that need to be overcome if enough mental health professionals are to be recruited to support people through this difficult time. It found that, while many people may be open to considering a career in mental health, misconceptions about mental health roles and entry requirements may be putting people off. For example, almost half of those expressing an opinion believe that you can’t train to be a mental health professional if you have personally experienced severe mental health problems.

Read our report

As a result, Ella concludes that “more still needs to be done to bust the myths and highlight the positives about jobs in mental health if we are to give people the help they need” in these trying times and beyond.

Read the full article in the Independent.