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Head start for careers in mental health social work

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Mental health, Workforce

Efforts to improve the quality and range of mental health services – and those providing them – are being made on multiple fronts, not just the purely clinical. It is gratifying therefore to see a new fast track route into mental health careers opening up for promising students and graduates.

think ahead logoApplications for the new fast-track scheme Think Ahead opened 1 September and up to 100 places are available across England for this intensive on-the-job programme. The University of York will teach trainees and award master’s degrees.

In its first year, Think Ahead will recruit 80 to 100 “remarkable people” to undergo an intensive programme, learning on the job from the outset.

Think ahead screen croppedOne in four people now live with mental illness, placing strain on the NHS and public services. Think Ahead aims to create leaders who can improve and shape the future of mental health services.

Find out more on the Think Ahead website.


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  1. Comment by Wiseacre posted on

    This is good news. However, given that social work education/training more widely has been criticised in reports what confidence can we place on this course being fit for purpose in the real world? Who devised the course and how was it "tested"/appraised? And in the process how were the clients involved? "Learning on the job" suggests that a number of lessons have been learned in devising the course but doubts and scepticism remains.

  2. Comment by termite posted on

    You cannot teach folk to be compassionate, text book teaching is nothing like the real world.
    No two patients are the same and doing what a text book tells you is right is often far removed from the needs of the patient.

    I find social workers the most dictatorial, we must do what the book tells us is right, one cover fits all approach.
    Mental illness is very very distressing and without genuine compassion, these so called qualified workers have no role in out life.

    • Replies to termite>

      Comment by aka posted on

      I've been trying to get employment in caring for over two years now and although having applied for many, many vacancies, have not received even one interview as yet. I have been training up (in my own time) all throughout this period, level two care work, diploma's etc., and now studying for my degree in psychology,. maybe if I were to achieve a PhD. I would be qualified enough!! meanwhile I still see and deal with many in the care 'industry' that seem to hardly 'care' at all.