Sometimes it’s good to experiment – play about with an idea, try something out, take a bit of a risk and see what happens.
I’ve followed with interest when some NHS Trusts have experimented with live-tweeting from A&E and been keen to try something similar. But we weren’t entirely sure about doing the equivalent from our crisis services – the risk of getting it wrong when people are connecting with the NHS at their most distressed, didn’t feel quite right.
However, getting conversations going around some of our strategic priorities did seem a better fit. We’re doing a lot of thinking in our NHS Trust about the notion of ‘recovery’ – to what extent it is a useful a concept in mental health, and how we can embed principles of hope, optimism and control so that people who use our services have a positive experience and get the right support to achieve their goals, whatever they may be.
At the moment these conversations are mostly taking place between practitioners, in services and with people using our services through surveys and in involvement groups. So we wondered about how we could expand that conversation by stimulating chats in different social media spaces. Like many ideas, this emerged from a natter with a few colleagues at the end of a long day before we set off home. It’s been brewing ever since.
So this week we’ve got a calendar of online and offline events and activities to start conversations on various social media platforms about recovery. We’ll be kicking off with a blog post by one of our new peer support workers who shares her personal recovery story. Later that evening we have a #MHNurseChat on the topic of recovery and living well. On Tuesday we hope to get people to our monthly social media surgery for a bit of help to get going with social media either personally and/or professionally. On Wednesday we’ll be live-tweeting from a Service User Network workshop on social media and recovery, and then later that afternoon @LeedsandYorkPFT is hosting a live #LYPFTrecovery Twitter chat 4-5pm about the role of social media in recovery. On Thursday we’re handing over the corporate Twitter account to a clinician from our York Community Recovery Service and on Friday we’ll be live tweeting and blogging from our annual nursing conference – which includes presentations and workshops on the topic, plus a social media surgery. Phew!
Equally as interesting to me is our collaboration with the Leeds Wellbeing Web who blog about keeping well in Leeds. They have posted a great blog for us about wellbeing, entitled Considering Lilies. And one of their community journalists, Vicky, is taking over the People of Leeds Twitter account for the week – stretching out the conversations into the city of Leeds and beyond the boundaries of the mental health sphere.
Lastly, we’ll be running an online barometer throughout the week to get people’s views about the term ‘recovery’ itself and we’ll be sharing the results on Friday.
I’m fascinated to see what emerges. Hopefully we’ll engage some people along with way, and I also have my fingers crossed that we get some good learning – not only about what works and doesn’t work from a social media point of view, but also about the concept of recovery – some new ideas about what it means for people using and working in services, and the wider public, that we can take back to our organisation. We’ll be curating everything that we learn along the way too, so we can share it more widely with others.
If you’re interested in the topic, please do get involved using the hashtag #LYPFTrecovery and I look forward to our conversations J