Accessibility statement

Laura Tucker

BSc (Hons) Social Work (University of Lincoln)

MRes Social Work (University of York)

  • PhD student


Thesis supervisors

Thesis topic

Unweaving the web: Using a mixed methods approach to understand the role and contribution of mental health social work to the delivery of mental health services in England and Wales.

Thesis summary

Social work has been integral to mental health services since the early days of formalised care. Despite moves toward genericism, specialist mental health social work has regained prominence in recent years, with the development of formal policy definitions and investment in fast-track specialist training. However, there is a lack of understanding of the structure and contribution of social work in mental health nationwide, with provision dictated by local agreements and resource pressures rather than an appreciation of unique social work skills and knowledge.

This research will use a mixed method approach to understand the national picture in the provision of mental health social work and to explore social worker perspectives on their role within and contribution to mental health services. This aims to generate a comprehensive, practice-led understanding of the role, which can inform service structure and delivery to support effective mental health care.

General research interests

  • Mental health
  • Social work role and identity
  • Ecotherapy and green care


Seminar Leader (Introducing Sociology & Psychology)

Seminar Leader (Exploring Social Policy & Social Justice)



I have worked in the health and social care sector since 2004, across a range of voluntary and statutory agencies with a primary focus on mental health social work. In 2017, after years of being mistakenly identified as a psychiatric nurse, I completed an MRes in Social Work at the University of York focusing on the role of the social worker in mental health services. Following this, I joined the academic team at York delivering the Think Ahead programme, which is a fast-track programme for mental health social work.

I was awarded an ESRC scholarship in 2018 to continue my research into the role of the mental health social worker.

Contact details

Laura Tucker

PhD student,
School for Business and Society
University of York
YO10 5DD