This paper addresses a number of issues concerning the future prospects for social work and mental health in England and the implications of these for social work education. In particular the significance of interprofessional practice and education will be examined and these will be located within the wider context of the social work contribution to mental health services. The experience of social work in promoting the interests and involvement of service users and carers and of working within a holistic model will also be recognised. The particular value of the social work contribution to mental health in both mental health and non-mental health settings is emphasised and attention is paid to how this could be strengthened and extended in the light of the opportunities for positive and creative developments offered by the introduction of the new 3-year degree. These will include the development of shared learning with other professional groups and the need to prepare social work students for practice within a rapidly changing world.