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*Applications to join our programme are now closed but we will open for our 2023 intake this autumn. To receive updates about the programme, please sign up to our newsletter or follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and twitter.

We are facing one of the toughest mental health challenges of all time. If ever there was a time to make a difference, it’s now.

The full effects of the pandemic are yet to be seen but it is estimated that 10 million people in England will need mental health support in its aftermath over the next three to five years.

If you are a compassionate graduate or career-changer, remarkable enough to make a real difference, now could be the perfect time to become a mental health social worker with Think Ahead.

Apply to the Think Ahead programme

Applications for our 2022 training programme are now open*.  Training with Think Ahead you will:

  • Empower people living with mental health problems to truly flourish, working on life issues together like relationships, living arrangements, and employment – all of which can have profound effects on mental wellbeing.
  • Train on the job, working alongside clinical professionals in NHS Mental Health Trusts and Local Authorities.
  •  Gain two qualifications: qualify as a social worker and gain a master’s degree from Middlesex University.
  • Join one of the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.

Find out more about mental health social work and how the programme works.

Challenging inequalities

Inequalities in mental health still exist and we want to change that.

Three times as many men die by suicide as women. Around 1 in 8 men in England have a common mental health problem such as depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, but they are less likely to seek help.

Meanwhile Black, Asian and ethnically diverse people continue to be let down by mental health services. Black people for example are less likely to access treatment and four times more likely to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

The challenges and complexities go on.

It is vital that the mental health workforce represents the people it supports. We encourage applications from people from diverse backgrounds, including people from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse communities, disabled people, and those who identify as being part of the LGBTIQ+ community. We also encourage men to apply, as they are underrepresented in the workforce.

Making your application stand out

You will find a range of resources and guidance to support your application process throughout our website, particularly in the  how to apply page. There are also some virtual events being held to help people prepare for their applications with sessions specifically designed for Black, Asian and ethnically diverse people, men, career changers, and graduates.

Throughout the process, we will be assessing you against seven attributes that are crucial to becoming an excellent mental health social worker. In your application, it’s helpful to give specific examples (from any area of your life) for each attribute.

When you’re ready to apply, please visit our opportunities page.

Apply early

We advise you apply as early as possible, as we run assessment centres and offer places on a rolling basis.  Applications will be open for the next few months. Once places for each region are filled, we will close applications, so please sign up to our newsletter for deadline announcements.