VIDEO: Positive impact mental health social workers have in West Sussex

The positive impact a mental health social worker has had on a young West Sussex resident‘s life is revealed in a new short film.

Adam Drage, a senior social work practitioner at West Sussex County Council (photo submitted). SUS-150408-120803001
Adam Drage, a senior social work practitioner at West Sussex County Council (photo submitted). SUS-150408-120803001

The video, available on Youtube, is the third of a series called ‘Real Social Work: Making the difference in West Sussex’, and follows a day in the life of Adam Drage, a senior social work practitioner and approved mental health professional.

In it he meets Jack, a young person who has spent time in hospital because of mental health needs. Jack is about to move into a community placement where support will be available to him 24-hours-a-day.

The film also features Jack’s mum, Sue, talking about the impact Adam has had on Jack’s life. Sue said: “It’s been a very, very positive experience since Adam’s been involved with Jack. Adam has been there and supported us and made us feel actually there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Adam, 30, said: “I really enjoy my job. It can be challenging but if you put a lot into this job then you get a lot out of it. If you want to do something where you are doing a job that is making an impact and is meaningful then become a social worker.”

Peter Catchpole (Con, Holbrook), West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “Adam is one of over 250 social workers in Adults’ Services at West Sussex County Council. Social work is a difficult and complex job but extremely rewarding and can be a lifeline for individuals and their families.

“Every day of the year our teams of social workers are supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our county. The invaluable dedication of our social work staff can often make the difference to someone being able to get their lives back on track.”

The films have received the backing of two West Sussex MPs - Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing & Shoreham, and Crawley MP Henry Smith.

Mr Loughton said: “We rarely read headlines about the success stories of social workers yet to many they are the ‘4th emergency service.’

“Every day we expect them to deal with some of the most difficult cases of child protection, step in to help vulnerable adults or protect those with challenging mental health problems.

“Too often they are damned if they do or damned if they don’t. So I really welcome this initiative to show just what an essential role our social workers play and enable a wider audience to see what a difference they make and why society needs to value them more.”

Mr Smith added: “Social work is a challenging and complex profession yet it is remarkable to note just how committed and driven our social workers are across West Sussex to help those needing support and care.”

The county council is currently recruiting for people to join the adult social care team. To find out more visit or email [email protected]

For more information see

All three videos can be viewed on the County Council YouTube page (

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