My name’s Victoria and I set this blog up in January 2012 to share my PhD adventure, whilst researching mental health and online social networks at the Institute of Communications Studies in the University of Leeds. My research explored the relationship between institutions such as mainstream media and healthcare with mental health stigma and discrimination. I evaluated the affordances of online social networks to create spaces where power can be negotiated, disrupted and complicated. I am interested in digital inclusion/exclusion and in July 2014 I was named as one of ‘five to follow on Twitter’ by The Guardian Society Professionals in relation to tackling digital exclusion.
I’v now completed my PhD and my interests have shifted and evolved over the last few years. In January 2014 I set up mHabitat and nowadays I tend to ponder not just about social media, but also digital in health more generally, and so the focus of my blog has similarly evolved. I sometimes blog here, and I sometimes blog at mHabitat, and sometimes post to both sites. I am currently writing a book about the internet, digital technologies and social media aimed at practitioners supporting teens with mental health difficulties
I ran #TheProfileProject in 2016 – a personal project to document stories behind the profile pictures that people choose on their social media accounts. I’ve always been by fascinated profile pictures and what people hope to convey through them – from glass of wine holiday selfies to apparently random objects and everything inbetween. My (now finished) project intended to creat a space for people to share the stories behind their profiles.
I have worked in health and social care for many years, in both the voluntary and statutory sectors and in various different roles. In January 2014 I set up mHabitat – an NHS hosted team catalysing and incubating digital innovation in health and care social care. You can find out more about mHabitat here. I am a trustee for Solace refugee and asylum seeker charity and on the HIMSS UK advisory board. I can often be found volunteering with Bibi my Pets as Therapy dog on the wards at the Becklin Centre.
I regularly run workshops and speak at conferences and other events on the topics of social media and digital in relation to health and wellbeing.