The Department of Health and Social Care have announced today (Sept 29) that £27m will be awarded to mental health charity Think Ahead.
The funding will be used to recruit approximately 480 mental health social workers over the next 3 years, a 60% increase on the previous years intake.
The Government estimates that these health workers will provide care for approximately 10,000 people across the country.
The social workers will provide psychological and practical support to people suffering with mental health issues such as severe depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and address issues such as relationships, housing and employment, which can have a huge bearing on mental wellbeing.
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.
“By expanding the mental health workforce this new funding will boost support for the most vulnerable at a time when they need it most.”
The Think Ahead programme has been running since 2016 and provides a way for those wanting to get into mental health social care to establish a direct path to working within the NHS or local authorities.
Think Ahead Chief Executive, Ella Joseph, said:
“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.”