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  • 10 Jun / 22
    Features

    “As a social worker I can help amplify the voices of the marginalised.”

    Irteza Masood joined the Think Ahead programme in 2021. For Pride Month, he discusses his intersectional identity as a queer south Asian man, taking back his voice, and how training as a social worker has helped him empower others to find theirs. Talking about sexuality within the south Asian community is a taboo, and being […]

  • 9 May / 22
    Features

    How can loneliness impact mental health? We asked our Practice Specialists

    The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is loneliness. The Think Ahead Practice Specialists, our in-house senior social workers with years of experience working across social work and mental health services, shared their thoughts on the real life impacts of isolation on mental health, and how we can better support people to connect […]

  • 2 Mar / 22
    Features

    Living with an eating disorder

    I qualified as a Social Worker in 2013, after training for two years in London. Having moved from the countryside, studying, and living in London was such an exciting and eye-opening experience. I remember during one of our very early teaching sessions we were tasked with drawing a trauma timeline of our own life experiences; […]

  • 20 Dec / 21
    Features

    Public commitment to becoming an anti-racist organisation

    Background In December 2020, we made a public commitment to become an anti-racist organisation. We outlined how we would make progress in achieving this and pledged to update on our commitments annually. In 2020, we committed to the following: Recruiting more people from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse communities into our graduate programme. Ensuring our […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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. This piece was first shared as part of LGBT History Month in 2021.  We’re […]

  • 16 Dec / 20
    Features

    Building an anti-racist Think Ahead – our progress and our future plans

    Think Ahead’s CEO, Ella Joseph, provides an update on how we are embedding anti-racism in our work. At Think Ahead, we strive to promote Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) throughout all of our work – because we believe in social justice, and that all lives are equally precious, and we know that diversity of thought […]

  • 26 Nov / 19
    Features

    “It’s reminded her that she is valuable and able to give back to society” – The impact of Zoe’s work with Rafsa

    Zoe (pictured above) is a Think Ahead participant who has been training and working with the London Borough of Wandsworth since 2018. For around a year, she was working with Rafsa*, who has lived experience of mental health problems. Here we’re sharing Rafsa’s story and the impact that working with Zoe has had on her […]

  • 10 Oct / 19
    Features

    “I believe social workers have a huge and beneficial impact on the lives of people with mental health problems”

    Think Ahead is marking this year’s World Mental Health Day by sharing the stories of two budding social workers, who joined the Think Ahead programme this year, and are passionate about addressing the UK’s mental health challenge. Mo Rahman and Hannah Morris have already joined hundreds of their fellow Think Ahead participants out in the […]