A search has today been launched for 10 volunteer community reporters for an innovative new media project aimed at promoting positive messages about what contributes to good mental health.
Known as ‘Mind Waves’, the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) project is the first of its kind in Scotland. It will bring together and give new skills and confidence to a group of volunteer community reporters who will raise awareness among the general public about mental wellbeing through social and traditional media.
The reporters will be trained and supported to use a wide range of ways to promote messages about mental wellbeing such as social networking, blogging, internet sites such as Youtube, mainstream media and the creative arts.
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.
The volunteers will be supported through the project by peers with social media and communications experience. Blair Jenkins OBE, former Head of News and Current Affairs at both BBC Scotland and Scottish Television and a Fellow of the Carnegie Trust currently chairing a six month review into the future of newsgathering across the UK, has already signed up as a mentor. Mr Jenkins said: “Sometimes you see a media initiative and you just know immediately that it's a great idea. I would put Mind Waves firmly in that category - a terrific new resource for the community, and a really good way of alerting the mainstream media to what's happening in an important area of health and wellbeing. I think it's very much to be welcomed and I hope it gets widespread support.”
Mind Waves was developed by NHSGGC together with partners Outside the Box Development Support, GAMH and other organisation across the area. Trevor Lakey, NHSGGC Health Improvement and Inequalities Manager for Mental Health, Alcohol and Drugs, said: “The need for new communication approaches on mental health is driven by the persistent problems of stigma, discrimination, misunderstanding and social exclusion that still loom large in the lives of many people who experience mental health problems.
“Through Mind Waves we intend to provide 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. At the same time we believe that social media offers real potential to help promote good mental health. 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.”
Public Health Minister, Michael Matheson, said: “The Mind Waves project is an excellent way of using increasingly popular social media channels to promote positive mental health. It is an opportunity for people with a personal understanding of mental health issues to gain new skills and share their knowledge with others. It comes as the Scottish Government consults on a new mental health strategy for the next four years, aimed at building on the mental health promotion, prevention and recovery work of recent years. I look forward to seeing Mind Waves progress and hearing of its success.”
Initially the project will run for a six month period and if successful may well be rolled out further.
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:
Outside the Box Development Support
150 Brand Street
Telephone: 0141 419 0451
For more information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email firstname.lastname@example.org