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  • 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 […]

  • 19 Oct / 16
    News

    Quiz: Could you be a mental health social worker?

    Want to understand more about what it takes to be a mental health social worker? We’ve created a short online quiz to help you understand more about the important and challenging decisions that mental health social workers face on a daily basis. The quiz features three scenarios which are based on the experiences of practising social […]

  • 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 […]

  • 12 Sep / 16
    News

    Film: Could you be a mental health social worker?

    Our new film, released today, invites you to step into the shoes of a mental health social worker and hear three stories – of the challenges you might face, and the impact you could achieve. The stories, which are portrayed by actors, are based on input from people who use mental health services and from […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 19 Nov / 15
    Features

    The intellectual rigour of mental health social work

    Frances Turner, a Cambridge graduate and qualified social worker who is supporting Think Ahead’s programme development, explains how top graduates can use their skills to support people living with mental health problems. After completing an undergraduate degree in French at the University of Cambridge in 2007, I found myself in an unusual position. While many peers […]