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  • 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.  We’re not often told anything positive about trans people in our day to day […]

  • 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 […]

  • 13 Feb / 19
    Features

    “There’s nothing like seeing the participants change lives under your guidance”

    A Think Ahead Consultant Social Worker (an experienced social worker supervising four of our participants) has shared a week’s diary with Community Care, the leading social care news website. The Consultant Social Worker – who chose to remain anonymous in order to protect the identity of service users – describes her working week supervising four […]

  • 7 Feb / 19
    Features

    “Sometimes you have to do a bit of paperwork to give someone freedom” – Think Ahead participant writes for Community Care

    A Think Ahead participant has written a piece for Community Care, the leading social care news website, explaining why his attitude to paperwork changed drastically after seeing the difference it can make to a person’s life. The participant – who chose not to be identified to protect service users’ anonymity – is in his first […]

  • 10 Oct / 18
    Features

    “Benji has encouraged me to focus on my future and my goals. He’s re-ignited the fire I had” – Benji and Richard’s story

    This World Mental Health Day, we want to highlight the vital role that social workers play in supporting people with mental health problems. Social issues such as problems with relationships, living arrangements and employment have profound effects on mental wellbeing, and social workers are uniquely able to help people to address the social factors in […]

  • 6 Jun / 18
    Features

    “Think Ahead participants bring innovative research to our meetings and have so much energy and enthusiasm – it’s inspiring!”

    Kirsty Shires is a Consultant Social Worker on the Think Ahead programme. In her role, she supervises a unit of four Think Ahead participants who are placed within a community mental health team. She and the unit members manage a shared caseload together. Here, Kirsty explains how being a Consultant Social Worker has reignited her […]

  • 20 Mar / 18
    Features

    “I love the feeling I get when I know I’ve helped someone” – a Think Ahead participant describes a typical week in the life of a mental health social worker

    Sonya Chee, a participant in the second year of the Think Ahead programme, has been included in a promotional feature in the Metro newspaper, describing her typical working week. Sonya is a qualified social worker and is based in an Early Intervention in Psychosis team in East London NHS Foundation Trust. In the feature, she […]