On 3rd July our current SLaM funder announced that they will cease to fund our media platforms at the end of September.
This news saddens us, because we all know that without the blog, Facebook and Twitter there would be limited space for those who use the mental health services to get their views heard, and hear other people’s stories.
Without our social media it would be difficult to support voluntary communities’ campaigns and let people know what these communities are doing.
Although some of will always strive to do social media in one form or another, we would prefer the involvement accounts to continue in their current shape rather than them disappearing.
If our social media is no longer funded, most of this work will be under threat or stop altogether on 30th September.
We all believe that it is really important to have service user and carer independent media. There are many benefits to SLaM: it is good PR for them to facilitate our platforms; staff can use it to signpost their clients to community resources and opportunities etc.
D manages the blog, which has nearly 300 subscribers, and on top of that the blog gets about 100 hits a day (i.e. from non-subscribers).
Bridget and Matthew co-run Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Soundcloud (for audio blogs). They try to post items that are not only about involvement work with SLaM but also things that they feel will be of interest to the service users and carers who follow us – such as local community events, support groups, news items etc.
They also try to engage with service users and carers who follow us to foster a community spirit. SLaM staff are encouraged to signpost service users and carers to our social media sites for extra support and a wealth of information. This is becoming more and more important as there are unfortunately significant cuts happening in the NHS both with physical and mental care.
Within Matthew’s social media role on the South London Involvement Forum, he works hard helping to run its Facebook, twitter and YouTube account. He also physically goes out to attend and support mental health communities in South London.
Our Facebook page currently has over 100 ‘Likes’ and we have over 800 followers on Twitter. Matthew does excellent video blogs that we post on YouTube. His blog for “Depression Awareness Day” was picked up by a major website, Psych Central, in USA and placed on their website.
We only have a short time to persuade SLaM to change its mind, or to come up with an alternative funding solution. Can you help us with any of these things? Do you have money or access to funds that could contribute to this?
If you value the blog, our Facebook page and / or our tweets, you can help now by writing to SLaM to tell them how it is of use to you and asking them to reconsider their decision to withdraw our funding (about £500 per month).
Please write to our current funder, Zoe at Zoe.Reed@slam.nhs.uk and SLaM Head of Communications, Sarah at Sarah.Crack@slam.nhs.uk. You may wish to copy it to the Chief Executive, Matthew Patrick at Matthew.Patrick@slam.nhs.uk.
Please send us a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org. We suggest you don’t use our SLaM address as the Trust can of course shut down our access to this at any moment.
Please share this widely.
We will also be posting on Facebook and twitter, and we would be grateful if you could share these also.
Abi, Bridget, D and Matthew
Your SLIF Communications team