South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLSTG) will be partnering with charity Think Ahead to provide on-the-job training for highly talented graduates to become mental health social workers.
SWLSTG is one of 16 mental health services that have been selected to pioneer a new approach to improve support for people with mental illness. Over 23 graduates applied for each place on the programme, which is supported with £12m from the Department of Health.
David Bradley, Chief Executive at South West London and St. George's Mental Health NHS Trust, said, “We are proud to be chosen as one of the partners for Think Ahead’s graduate scheme. SWLSTG is committed to working on the social aspects of mental health and this scheme will enable more people with mental health problems to lead fulfilling lives by improving their social circumstances.”
The Trust will welcome the graduate participants in September this year.
The announcement coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week, which is emphasising the importance of relationships in mental wellbeing. One in three families now include someone with a mental health problem, and the graduates will be trained to work with people to improve social circumstances – such as relationships, support networks, and living arrangements – that have deep impacts on mental health.
David continued: “Through encouraging relationships with family and friends we can break down the barriers to encourage more people to seek help when they experience a mental illness.”
To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week, The Recovery College at Jubilee Health Centre will be displaying the work of a Recovery College student in the foyer highlighting the importance mental health education. The College will also run a one hour stall daily. On 17 May Sutton Uplift will hold a wellbeing workshop at the Mental Health Market at Sutton Library. On 18 May service users and staff will participate in a friendly volleyball game at Springfield University headquarters.