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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Think Ahead: Meeting the workforce challenges in mental health social work

How can England address challenges with the recruitment and training of mental health social workers?

Demand for mental health services continues to rise. There is a growing need for effective services based in the community, delivered by social work professionals. However mental health social work is not seen as an attractive career option for many talented people, and many new entrants to the profession struggle to work effectively in integrated mental health teams.

At this launch event for our report, Think Ahead: Meeting the workforce challenges in mental health social work, we were pleased to host the following speakers:

  • Norman Lamb MP, minister of state for care and support
  • Frances Turner, social worker, Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust, Milton Keynes
  • Paul Farmer, CEO, Mind
  • Chaired by Jackie Ashley – columnist and political interviewer, Guardian and New Statesman

We were also joined by a number of leading figures from the sector including Lord Andrew Adonis, chair of IPPR, and Baroness Claire Tyler, chair of CAFCASS.

This project was generously supported by the Department of Health.


Norman Lamb speaks at the launch of IPPR's report, Think Ahead  View audio page

Frances Turner speaks at the launch of IPPR's Think Ahead report  View video page

Paul Farmer speaks at the launch of IPPR's Think Ahead report  View video page

Key interviews from the Think Ahead launch  View video page