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  • 12 Dec / 18
    News

    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 […]

  • 20 Jul / 18
    News

    “Lift your head up and see how you can make wider changes” – New participants embark on their journey

    This week marked the beginning of an exciting time for Think Ahead and the 103 participants in our third intake as they embarked on their two-year journey to become mental health social workers. Participants are today completing the first week of the Summer Institute, a six-week residential learning experience which gives them a grounding in […]

  • 30 Oct / 17
    News

    FILM: “It feels like a movement more than just an organisation” – graduates tell us why they joined Think Ahead

    One of the benefits of gaining a place on the Think Ahead programme is that you join a diverse group of graduates and career-changers with a wide range of different ideas, but who are all motivated by a unifying goal: to see a society where everyone with mental health problems can flourish. Each year we […]

  • 1 Sep / 16
    Features

    “It’s really given me confidence”: A participant’s reflections on the Summer Institute

    This Monday Think Ahead participants will join community mental health teams across the country to begin their on-the-job training as social workers. Here, Jenni Wingrove, a participant who will start training in Luton, shares her reflections on how she’s feeling ahead of starting the role, and the best bits of the six-week Summer Institute. Why […]

  • 30 Aug / 16
    Features

    “Sharing our experiences in order to do something positive” – Summer Institute 2016 comes to an end

    Today Think Ahead’s inaugural Summer Institute ends. Our first cohort of participants are readying themselves to move into community mental health teams for 12 months of on-the-job learning starting in September, and this week’s teaching has included a focus on preparing for entering the workplace. My favourite thing about the Summer Institute has been bringing […]

  • 19 Aug / 16
    Features

    Ensuring social work perspectives are valued: week five at the Summer Institute

    It’s the penultimate week at the Summer Institute, and communication has played a big part in this week’s learning. Communication skills are hugely important for social workers in many elements of their job. Of course, being able to build relationships with service users is crucial – as Frances Turner, an experienced mental health social worker […]

  • 16 Aug / 16
    In the media

    “There’s a real opportunity for change here” – Community Care visits the Summer Institute

    Community Care’s Rachel Carter spent 48 hours at Devonshire Hall in Leeds at the start of our Summer Institute. During her time she heard speeches from key figures in social work including Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults, and Ruth Allen, Chief Executive of British Association of Social Workers. Martin Webber, Think Ahead’s Academic […]

  • 12 Aug / 16
    Features

    Eco-maps and safety assessments: inside week four at Think Ahead’s Summer Institute

    This week at the Summer Institute risk assessments – or rather ‘safety assessments’ – took centre stage. Participants spent a day exploring how to assess the level of protection from harm that a person with mental health problems might require, through a mixture of teaching sessions and group work. These sessions included looking at some […]

  • 5 Aug / 16
    Features

    Developing leadership skills at the Summer Institute

    We’re half way through our 2016 Summer Institute, and this week our participants have been learning about leadership. Leadership is an important part of the Think Ahead curriculum, because mental health social workers need the ability to make difficult judgement calls and influence others. During this week’s teaching, participants took the Myers Briggs Personality Indicator […]

  • 29 Jul / 16
    Features

    “Human rights are often deep at the heart of important social work decisions”

    Our 96 participants have now completed the second week of their Summer Institute. This week they learnt about some of the legal and ethical aspects of social work, including a strong focus on human rights and liberty. These issues have a real impact on social work practice day-to-day, because social workers have to make tough […]

  • 22 Jul / 16
    Features

    Week one at the Summer Institute

    Today marks the end of week one of Think Ahead’s Summer Institute – the six-week residential where our participants receive an intensive grounding in mental health social work, before they start training on-the-job in community mental health teams in September. Throughout this first week, participants have had an introduction to social work and mental health […]

  • 19 Jul / 16
    News

    “You’re bringing a great passion into social work” – Chief Social Worker

    Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults, gave her support for Think Ahead at the Opening Ceremony for our Summer Institute last night, telling our participants and supporters: “You’re bringing a great passion into social work.” Don’t underestimate the impact you can have as a mental health social worker. John Short, Chief Executive of Birmingham and Solihull […]