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Search Launched for Community Reporters to Share News About Mental Health

September 28, 2012 10:25 AM

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The search has today been launched for a further 10 volunteer Community Reporters to join the acclaimed Mind Waves new media team set up last year to promote positive messages about what contributes to good mental health.

Established by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) last year, in partnership with Outside the Box Development Support, the Mind Waves project is the first of its kind in Scotland and aims to empower people to tackle stigma and negative attitudes towards mental ill health though new media.

Eight volunteer Community Reporters were recruited to the project a year ago and have been using a wide range of ways to promote messages about mental wellbeing such as the launch of a dedicated ‘Mind Waves’ blog, social networking, community newsletters, internet sites, newspaper articles, recording pieces for radio and using the creative arts.

The Mind Waves blog has attracted attention from across the globe and after only a few months of going-live the team were shortlisted for the prestigious Technology 4 Good awards and narrowly missed out on a win at a star-studded awards ceremony hosted by Mariella Frostrup this summer in London.

Trevor Lakey, NHSGGC Health Improvement and Inequalities Manager for Mental Health, Alcohol and Drugs, said: "Mind Waves sprung from the idea that there are many new ways of giving people a voice. Social media can be a force for empowerment as well as tackling stigma and negative attitudes.

“The success of the team thus far has been inspirational and I am delighted that we are now extending the programme and offering the opportunity of becoming a community reporter to more people in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.

“Mind Waves provides the volunteers with a positive, confidence-boosting and empowering experience. New media is growing exponentially and the skills that the volunteers will have an opportunity to learn will become excellent life skills. Never has there been a better time to try to influence the way our communities view mental wellbeing through the stories and personal experiences of our community reporters.”

As with the volunteer Community Reporters who are already part of the programme, the new volunteers will receive training and continued support to enable them to get to grips with the various media being used in the project. They will also be supported by the current Community Reporters who will be sharing what they have learnt already and help the new members settle in.

One Community Reporter who has thoroughly enjoyed the experience since being recruited a year ago is 27 year old David Doherty from Glasgow. David said:
“When I was given the opportunity to work with the Mind Waves project I was very excited about the prospect. Not only did I consider it work that I believed in but I also appreciated the experience it would give me. Having once had mental problems myself I understood that it was difficult for people to share their problems due to the stigma attached. I felt that by promoting good stories surrounding mental health we could help tackle this serious problem. I too have taken a great interest in journalism and found this to be the ideal role in giving me experience. On a much more personal level, the role has given me a renewed sense of purpose. It has also aided in my recovery from depression.

“What has been a particular surprise in my role as Community Reporter has been the number of good projects that are going on in the fight to alleviate mental health problems. The role has opened my eyes to the number and range of projects that are tackling this issue something that is not widely reported in the media. Hopefully we as reporters are doing our bit and I am glad to be part of this endeavor.”

Anyone from the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area can apply but ideally the Mind Waves team are looking for people who have an understanding of what mental wellbeing is and some of the things which might affect it. Preferably they will have some personal experience either through using services themselves, being a carer or taking part in other community roles.

A special launch event for this second phase of the Mind Waves project was held today (28 September 2012) as part of Social Media Week in Glasgow.

If you want to be one of the project’s media volunteers, find out more about what is involved, or ask any other questions, then please contact:

Anne Connor
Unit F23
150 Brand Street
Glasgow
G51 1DH

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0141 419 0451

You can also check out the blog at mindwavesnews.wordpress.com

ENDS

For more information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]

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