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  • 19 Mar / 18
    Features

    “It is rewarding when you help someone recover” – participants share what they enjoy about training to be mental health social workers

    Three of our participants – Suzanne, Arnold and Jan – have been included in a promotional feature in the Evening Standard, talking about what drew them to the Think Ahead programme, and how they’re finding their roles. Suzanne Suzanne, 29, studied Law at the University of Cambridge, and embarked on a legal career – but […]

  • 6 Dec / 17
    Features

    “Thank you to my social worker”

    An adult with mental health problems writes about the difference a trainee social worker on the Think Ahead programme has made to her. I’m in my mid-50s and have had mental health issues most of my life. I have been supported by a number of mental health professionals over the years – some good, some […]

  • 23 Nov / 17
    Features

    “It’s how mental health social work should be” – why Durham chose to partner with Think Ahead

    Each year Think Ahead partners with NHS Trusts and Local Authorities across England to deliver high-quality social work training for our participants, and to support local services to realise the impact that social interventions can have on people with mental health problems. One of these partners is Durham County Council, which has hosted units of […]

  • 15 Nov / 17
    Features

    A week in the life of a mental health social worker

    We asked experienced mental health social workers what a typical week in the role looks like. Here’s what they told us… Monday Spent morning preparing for meeting with Aleisha – a new referral from a GP – checking notes and establishing objectives. Then met her – some challenges establishing rapport, but ultimately it went well. […]

  • 10 Oct / 17
    Features

    “Lauren helped me go back to work” – Rosalind talks about her social worker’s impact

    Rosalind’s story Rosalind is 58 years-old, has emotionally unstable personality disorder and depression, and is profoundly deaf. Rosalind started working with Think Ahead participant Lauren in December 2016. My adoptive mother died six years ago, she was 101 years old. I got very poorly, I was up and down for years. When I was feeling […]

  • 20 Sep / 17
    Features

    The impact of mental health social work – Matthew and Thea’s story

    Matthew’s story Matthew is a 42 year old man from Stevenage. He has a diagnosis of depression and anxiety disorder. Here he tells us about his work with Thea, a trainee social worker with Think Ahead. Last year I separated from my wife for the second time. I was OK for a little while, but […]

  • 4 Sep / 17
    Features

    “I really enjoy getting up in the morning and going to work” – watch Think Ahead participant Maisie discuss her work

    Last July our first intake of talented graduates and career-changers began training as mental health social workers on the Think Ahead programme. One of these was Maisie Satchwell-Hirst, an Oxford graduate, who joined a community mental health service in Cambridgeshire. In the film below Maisie talks about her experiences in her unit, led by experienced […]

  • 23 Nov / 16
    Features

    Film: “I wanted to get into social work to try and improve things”

    John Thompson was looking for a career working with vulnerable adults when he came across Think Ahead. After graduating from the University of York in 2010 with a degree in Archaeology, John had been working in an office job, but wanted a job where he could help people. In this video, John says: “One in four […]

  • 11 Nov / 16
    Features

    Film: “I really enjoy learning about people’s stories”

    Deborah Waller was working in science communication when she heard about the Think Ahead programme. She graduated from UCL in 2011 with a degree in Human Science, but last year decided to look into changing career. Deborah said: “My focus was brought to mental health whenever it came up so I thought, this is something […]

  • 1 Nov / 16
    Features

    Film: “I wanted to do something that helped others”

    Al Tooms was studying English Literature at the University of Lancaster when he came across Think Ahead. Al was looking for a graduate programme that would lead him into a rewarding career, having previously done some volunteering with young people with mental health problems. After finding out more about what mental health social workers do, […]

  • 25 Oct / 16
    Features

    “This is the place to come if you want to change the world”

    We spoke to Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, about the challenges in mental health and the value of social workers. What made you want to work in mental health? I started to see the importance of mental health at a personal level when I was young – a member of my family had mental health […]

  • 11 Oct / 16
    Features

    “Social work is therapeutic input at its best”

    Alivia Bray, a Think Ahead participant, has written about her experiences in her first few weeks of on-the-job training to be a mental health social worker. In a piece written for the Guardian, Alivia has reflected on her first few weeks working in a community mental health team, which she joined in September. She writes: “I […]