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Think Ahead

Mental Health Social Worker
Location Nationwide
Starts Jul 2022
Deadline ASAP

Become a Mental Health Social Worker

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.

Location: Nationwide

What you will be doing

Mental health social workers empower individuals with mental illness as well as their families, carers, and communities helping them to lead fulfilling, independent lives.

Through talking therapy, support, and advocacy, they enable people to manage the social factors in their lives such as relationships, housing, and employment. This allows them to get well and stay well. Building resilience in individuals, their networks, and their communities transforms people’s wellbeing and improves our society and economy.


1st Year bursary £17,200 (£19,100 with London weighting)

2nd Year: Your exact salary will depend on the NHS Trust or Local Authority employing you, typically ranging from around £21,000 – £33,000, location dependent.

What month would employment start?

July 2022 and ends in September 2024, lasting 26 months. You must be able to commit to the programme for its entire duration, on a full-time basis.

When is the application deadline?

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.


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Company benefits

The Think Ahead programme is designed to provide accelerated learning and experience in an intensive environment, so we provide thorough support for participants.

In Year One, your Consultant Social Worker will be your full-time manager, responsible for your personal and professional development in your host organisation. Our Consultant Social Workers are highly experienced mental health social workers, who have been given tailored Think Ahead training. They will be able to provide technical coaching, and support and advice in dealing with the pressures of your work.

In Year Two, you will be supported by the line manager for your NHS Trust or Local Authority role. Throughout the two years, you will get tuition and support from an academic tutor.

You will also be able to exchange advice and support with colleagues in your NHS Trust or Local Authority, and with your Think Ahead peers, including within your organisation, across the whole group of people within your cohort, and within other cohorts.

What you will have

  • You are available to participate in the programme full-time, for the entire two years (for our fifth cohort, this is from July 2022 to September 2024).
  • You have the right to remain and work in the UK (including access to public funds) for the entire duration of the programme.
  • You have at least a grade C GCSE in Maths, and in English or English Language (not English Literature), or an equivalent level 2 qualification. To check if your qualifications are sufficient, please visit the NARIC website where you can order a statement of comparability for your qualifications. (You may apply if you do not hold these qualifications, but you must gain them before starting the programme. This requirement is common across social work courses.)
  • You have or are predicted to hold by the time the programme starts, at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree from a UK university in any subject except Social Work, or an equivalent degree awarded by an overseas university.

Think Ahead - Could you be a mental health social worker


Think Ahead - Maisie


Learn more about Think Ahead

We are Think Ahead

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.

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.

Through our two-year fully funded training programme 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.

It is vital that the mental health workforce represents the people it supports. We encourage applications from 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, who are underrepresented on the workforce. Find out more and apply to our fully-funded training programme today