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  • 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 […]

  • 19 Oct / 16
    Features

    Film: “Think Ahead is something exciting and innovative to be involved with”

    Steph Wilkinson was studying Criminology and Social Policy at Loughborough University when she decided to apply for the Think Ahead programme. She is one of the 96 participants who completed our 2016 Summer Institute, and is now learning on-the-job in a community mental health team in the Midlands. In this video, Steph talks about why […]

  • 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 […]

  • 10 Oct / 16
    Features

    World Mental Health Day: Social work and mental health first aid

    It’s World Mental Health Day, and this year’s theme includes Psychological and Mental Health First Aid, bringing to light the importance of supporting people through mental health crises. For thousands of people who experience a mental health crisis each year, their lifeline isn’t a paramedic or a psychiatrist – it’s their social worker who answers […]

  • 10 Oct / 16
    Features

    The role of social work in supporting people through crisis

    Every year, thousands of people experience a mental health crisis. Jacqui Bell, an experienced social worker working with Think Ahead, describes the unique role that social workers play in supporting people through these situations. Crisis can affect anyone Anyone can experience a mental health crisis. They affect people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds, whether […]

  • 20 Sep / 16
    Features

    “It can be a tough profession” – a mental health social worker reflects

    Peb Johal, a mental health social worker from Coventry, shares her reflections on the rewards and challenges of her job.  My passion for working with communities led me to work for a charity for 13 years as an Advice Worker, Manager, and Local Authority Community Economic Regeneration Officer. Unfortunately, I felt I didn’t really have […]

  • 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 […]