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  • 19 Oct / 21

    “The Think Ahead programme was life-changing”

    This month, we marked the end of the two-year Think Ahead programme for the 2019 cohort of mental health social workers. We celebrated the milestone with an online event, reflecting on their achievements and celebrating their successes. Unlike previous years, the event was virtual. Over the last two years, the cohort have had to adapt […]

  • 7 Oct / 21
    Features

    My name is Matthew and I’m bipolar

    My name is Matthew and I have bipolar type 2. That probably only means slightly less to you than it does to me. I don’t really like labels. They suggest there’s something concrete and tangible about my mental health that can be easily understood. I find my mental health really hard to understand so I can’t […]

  • 17 Aug / 21
    News

    “Human rights and community-based care – that’s where you are experts” – 2021 intake completes the Summer Institute

    Our 2021 Cohort have passed the first milestone on their journey to becoming mental health social workers, having completed the Summer Institute. For the past four weeks, the 160 new trainees – our biggest intake to date – have been immersed in lectures, practical workshops and keynote talks with respected experts across the sector. Led […]

  • 26 Jul / 21
    Features

    This is life with schizophrenia

    Guy (pictured) trained to be a mental health social worker with Think Ahead. He shares this rare insight into living with schizophrenia with thanks to the people he’s worked with who were able to contribute. I am a social worker in a community mental health team supporting people with a chronic and enduring diagnosis of […]

  • 18 Jun / 21
    News

    Two new trustees join Think Ahead’s Board

    We have been delighted to welcome two new additions to our Board of Trustees, Levi Chambers-Cook and Professor Kamaldeep Bhui. Levi completed the Think Ahead programme in 2018 and is the first member of our alumni network to sit on the Board of Trustees. Her frontline experience will bring an important perspective to the position, […]

  • 27 Apr / 21
    News

    Think Ahead trainees meet Minister for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety

    The Minister of State for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety, Nadine Dorries MP, today joined us for a virtual meeting to learn about the invaluable contribution social work makes to mental health services. It was a pleasure to welcome the Minister of State today and show her the unique support mental health social […]

  • 26 Mar / 21
    News

    Think Ahead’s first conference – Mental health social work in 2021

    We were delighted to be joined by over 350 delegates this week at our first ever conference, Think Ahead presents: Mental health social work in 2021.  The event offered a rare opportunity to focus on the vital role frontline mental health social workers play in driving and responding to change. Our broad range of speakers brought a wealth of knowledge […]

  • 15 Mar / 21
    In the media

    “The pandemic has shone a light on the importance of mental health” – Think Ahead featured in the Financial Times

    Think Ahead participant Iqra and our Strategy Director Matthew Brown have been featured in a Financial Times article exploring how the coronavirus pandemic has caused rising interest in public sector careers around the world. The article looks at mental health social work as an example of a public sector career which attracts many young people […]

  • 9 Mar / 21
    Features

    What is Social Work?

    It is Social Work Week in England. A chance to celebrate the invaluable contribution social workers are making to people’s lives every day. But what does “social work” actually mean? There is no short answer. Or perhaps there is; it is about life and levelling the playing field of life. Enabling people to push past their […]

  • 9 Mar / 21
    In the media

    “I get to tell my story in my own words” – Member of Think Ahead’s Service User and Carer Reference Group writes for PosAbility magazine

    Caroline Butterwick, a writer and member of Think Ahead’s Service User and Carer Reference Group (SUCRG), has written an article for PosAbility magazine about how she uses her lived experience of mental ill-health and visual impairment to make a positive difference in the world – and how others can do the same. As Caroline says, […]

  • 22 Feb / 21
    Features

    “I saw that there was a demand for me to work in mental health” – Why we need more men in mental health social work

    According to recent figures from Health Education England and a previous NHS Benchmarking Network/ADASS study, only 24% of mental health social workers in NHS Mental Health Trusts and 28% of those in Local Authorities are male. Meanwhile, 43% of respondents to the Care Quality Commission’s most recent survey of people using community mental health services […]

  • 8 Feb / 21
    Features

    “Actively challenge stigma and empower people” – a personal piece for LGBT+ History Month

    Alec started his journey to transition at 18 and, having completed our graduate programme in 2018, now works with young people as a mental health social worker. Here he reflects on the unique perspective his life experiences bring to his work.  We’re not often told anything positive about trans people in our day to day […]