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  • 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 […]

  • 2 Sep / 16
    In the media

    Think Ahead featured on BBC Radio 4

    Think Ahead has been featured on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme. Reporter Andrew Bomford visited our Summer Institute, to interview some of our participants and record them practising their skills as they prepare to begin their on-the-job training next week. Participant Ben Roderick told the BBC: “I was looking at what people might see as more conventional career paths […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 17 Aug / 16
    In the media

    “When I shadowed social workers, I saw how they fight for people”

    A Think Ahead participant has shared their reflections on a day they spent shadowing a mental health social worker before they joined the programme. In an anonymous piece published on Guardian Social Care, the participant follows a social worker on visits to two service users. Although some of the interactions witnessed were challenging, the participant reflects: “Often […]

  • 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 […]

  • 15 Feb / 16
    In the media

    Think Ahead participant’s diary featured in the Guardian

    A Think Ahead participant, who is due to start the programme this summer, has shared a week-long diary with the Guardian detailing their volunteering with young carers. The piece, which is part of the Guardian’s series of “secret diaries” from people working in health, shares the author’s work as a mentor to young people who […]