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Join us to make a difference in mental health services

The University of York are recruiting three staff to join the Department of Social Policy and Social Work to help deliver the Think Ahead programme. Think Ahead is a new graduate route into social work with a particular focus on mental health social work.

We are looking for a Senior Lecturer who will take a leading role on the day to day running of the academic programme. S/he will be supported by a Lecturer and Associate Lecturer. All three staff will work with colleagues from the University of Central Lancashire to deliver a new form of practice education.

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In the first year of the programme Think Ahead participants will undertake a practice placement to achieve a Post Graduate Diploma and social work qualification (subject to approval from the Health and Care Professions Council). Participants will be in units of four supported by Consultant Social Workers within community mental health teams.

The academic staff will work closely with the Consultant Social Workers to deliver practice learning for the Think Ahead participants. They will support case consultation groups and lead tutorials to support participants to embed social work theory and research in their practice. There will be a particular focus on training in social interventions to enable participants to become confident in working with individuals, families and communities.

The work will involve travel throughout England to meet regularly with Think Ahead participants and Consultant Social Workers. The Senior Lecturer and Lecturer will also work with me in the International Centre for Mental Health Social Research developing a programme of research to inform practice in the UK and beyond.

World Mental Health Day

To mark World Mental Health Day, Think Ahead has today released a video highlighting the transformational potential of mental health social work. Narrated by Stephen Fry, it reminds us that social workers can and do make a difference in people’s lives.

Mental health services need to draw upon social and community perspectives to support people with their personal recovery. Mental health social workers have an important contribution to make here. I believe that by using evidence-informed social interventions as part of their routine work mental health social workers can help individuals to achieve their recovery goals.

These are exciting times for mental health social work. If you’re interested in helping us to make a difference, please join us!

3 thoughts on “Join us to make a difference in mental health services

  1. Nick Hervey says:

    Hi Martin, I hope you don’t mind me using this site to contact you, but I am interested in the Think Ahead programme for my son William. He is now 24, got a 2:1 in Criminology at Bangor, and has been building up a profile in order to get onto a social work course. He volunteered at Lewisham Carers, and was then working at Southwark Carers as a Health Liaison worker for 15 months. Sadly Southwark Carers are now in funding trouble, and he has recently moved to work for Age UK. He has also had two winter’s experience of volunteering in a Winter Shelter in Lewisham (the 999 Club), and several summers experience of helping run a summer activities camp for children from inner city areas, and one summer in Canada of acting as a canoe instructor and helper for a summer camp for children. I am interested to know if the Think Ahead programme operates in different university sites, as he would like to go to Bristol but I am worried he is restricting his options. Do you apply to the TA programme as a whole, and then get assigned to a particular course, or do you apply to individual courses?



    1. Hi Nick,

      Great to hear from you. More information about Think Ahead and applying can be found at http://thinkahead.org/. Applicants apply to the programme as a whole and are then allocated placements in community mental health teams which are located throughout England. There is a Summer Institute and recall days, but the rest of time is spent in placement.

      Hope this helps.

      All the best,


      1. Nick Hervey says:

        Thanks Martin, that makes it a bit clearer. I will encourage William to apply to the programme.

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