More than 10,000 people with serious mental illness are set to benefit from a new £27m recruitment drive having been launched by mental health charity Think Ahead, and supported by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
Up to 480 mental health social workers will be recruited and trained, forming a vital part of the response to coronavirus and the support offered to those with serious mental health challenges.
Recruits will be trained to provide psychological and practical support, in order to help people with serious mental illness such as severe depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. They will also address issues such as relationships, housing and employment, which can play a major role in a person’s mental wellbeing.
Applications for the new training positions open today: September 29, 2020.
The full training package will take place across England over the next three years, with the funding supporting Think Ahead to expand their mental health social worker programme by 60% - from 100 trainees a year to 160 each year.
Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Nadine Dorries said: “The impact of the pandemic on those with pre-existing mental health conditions could be significant and long lasting.
“The NHS, local services and charities have done an excellent job in being there to support those who have needed help throughout the pandemic, but it is vital that we ensure our services are fit to meet ongoing demand.”
Think Ahead Chief Executive, Ella Joseph, added: “We are delighted to be able to train hundreds more social workers, who will play a key part in the nation’s mental health recovery from coronavirus.
“The pandemic has shown us more than ever that social factors like isolation, relationships, finances and living arrangements have profound impacts on mental health – social workers are uniquely placed to help people with severe mental health problems to address issues like these.”