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Media interest in study published by SPSW Think Ahead MA student

Posted on 27 July 2020

A research study by a Think Ahead Master's student in SPSW, published in the BJSW, has led to a flurry of media and professional interest.

Mike Bonnet, a Think Ahead participant who graduated from the University of York in 2019 with an MA in Social Work Practice after qualifying as a social worker specialising in mental health, published the findings of his MA research project in January 2020. The paper, co-authored by Bonnet’s academic tutor, Dr Nicola Moran, Lecturer in SPSW, was published in The British Journal of Social Work (BJSW) as previously reported earlier this year on SPSW news. The paper, entitled: ‘Why Do Approved Mental Health Professionals Think Detentions under the Mental Health Act Are Rising and What Do They Think Should Be Done about It?’ (Bonnet and Moran, 2020) explored Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs’) views surrounding the significant rise in detention under the 1983 Mental Health Act, and potential solutions.


The study findings, publicised by both Think Ahead and the University of York, were also reported by Health Business, a publication for healthcare professionals. Bonnet was subsequently approached by Community Care, a publication for professionals working in social care, to write an opinion piece based on the paper which was published on 6 March 2020. The press interest shone a spotlight on the issue of rising detentions under the Mental Health Act and in particular the lack of research seeking the perspectives of AMHPs on this matter; this is an interesting omission as AMHPs are the professionals, usually social workers, who ultimately make the application for a person to be detained. Subsequently, Bonnet and Moran were invited to speak at two conferences, one organised by the London AMHP leads on ‘The Role of the AMHP in all its Complexity’ scheduled for 17 April 2020 in Kensington and the other to speak at the Approved Mental Health Professional National Conference 2020 on ‘Research-Informed Practice; Practice-Informed Research’ scheduled for 6 May 2020 in Birmingham. Unfortunately, both conferences were cancelled due to restrictions around COVID-19, but invitations have been extended to the relevant conferences in 2021.


Bonnet, M. and Moran, N. (2020) Why Do Approved Mental Health Professionals Think Detentions Under The Mental Health Act Are Rising and What Do They Think Should Be Done About It?, The British Journal of Social Work

Further information

For further information please contact Dr Nicola Moran or Mike Bonnet.