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Innovative 'Think Ahead' mental health social work training scheme kick-starts with online Summer Institute

High-profile programme is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care with MDX as the academic partner

An innovative post-graduate social work programme which fast tracks mental health workers of the future has kick-started with its first online Summer Institute featuring three weeks of online blended learning.

Middlesex University staff with the Think Ahead team have successfully launched the Summer Institute for Think Ahead's 2020 Cohort, which has 109 students enrolled.

This high-profile programme is delivered by the charity Think Ahead and funded by the Department of Health and Social Care with MDX as the academic partner.

During the Summer Institute, which is being staged online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, students are completing stage one of ‘readiness for direct practice’  before moving to their placements across England in mental health teams.

The programme continues with the delivery of regional teaching and supporting students in their placements which span every region of the country.

The team have adapted to COVID delivery of teaching social work skills in mental health, engaging with health trusts and employers nationally.

The Summer Institute has featured leading speakers from across the sector  including the CEO of the British Association of Social Work, Dr, Ruth Allen and the CEO of Mind, Paul Farmer and provides a rich learning experience.

Team members are completing an evaluation of delivering teaching nationally through mainly online delivery accompanied with a flexible placement model.

Dr. Lucille Allain, Head of Department, and Edd Carter, Director of Programmes (pictured), said they are pleased with the programme launch and positive student and partner feedback.

There has been particular praise for the ‘roundtable workshops’ which featured key topics such as: ‘COVID 19 and its effect on the mental health of those with existing mental health issues’.

The Department of Mental Health and Social Work is home to a broad range of researchers whose interests lie primarily in applied areas of practice and pedagogic research.

It is made up of three research centres: The Research Centre for Transcultural Studies in Health; The Drug & Alcohol Research Centre (DARC) and; the Centre for Co-Production in Mental Health & Social Care.

Each centre focuses on addressing the concerns and priorities of people who use the health and care services, the mental health professionals and decision makers.

Find out more about studying Social Work at Middlesex University

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