Blogs and stories can show that people with mental health problems are cared about, understood and listened to. We can use it to challenge the status quo and change attitudes.
We believe that no-one should have to face a mental health problem alone – and blogs, real stories from real people, can play a part in achieving this.
Reading a blog or watching a vlog by someone going through a familiar experience can have a big impact. ‘You’ve put into words how I feel’ is a comment we often see on our guest blogs. And reading or watching a piece about an experience we didn’t know about can open up our eyes, give us a unique insight and help us learn.
Planning a blog/vlog
Before you submit blog, take some time to think about what you want to share, what might be the best way to engage people and how you can get your point across.
- Keep it personal and focused on events in your life – our supporters tend to prefer blogs or vlogs that describe real-life events rather than abstract ideas.
- What period in your life would you like to focus on? Resist the temptation to cover your whole life story. This will be far too much for one blog or vlog. It’s usually much more effective to focus on a shorter, defined period.
- Describe particular moments or events and how they made you feel. Sometimes little moments can help readers to understand your point and how things were/are for you.
- Try not to shy away from the difficult bits – these are the experiences that make your story real and interesting. Without them, there is no story! How did you get through these moments or cope with these feelings? (If you find these bits too painful to write about, perhaps you should put the blog/vlog to one side until you feel more able to work on it – put your wellbeing first.)
- Have you come on a journey? How were things for you at the start of your story, compared to how they are now? Do you feel you have changed at all, because of what happened?
- Do you have any tips or advice you’d like to share? What would you say to someone going through a similar experience?
We find that blogs work best when the style is informal and conversational. Here are some tips.
- Write as if you were talking. Picture someone you’d like to tell your story to and imagine telling it to them in person as you write.
- Be yourself. Don’t feel you need to be ‘a writer’– just be you! Let your personality come through in your writing (writing as if you were talking will help with this).
- Use short words instead of long words where possible, for example ‘try’ instead of ‘endeavour’.
- Use short sentences and short paragraphs.
- Think about your opening sentence. What can you say that will have an impact on your readers and get them interested straight away? This doesn’t mean you need to say something shocking, it could be something simple and honest.
- Think about the events in your story and build your story around these. Stay focused and keep it simple –make it easy for your reader to understand what’s going on. Avoid repeating yourself.
- Once you’ve finished, try to read through your blog/story from the perspective of one of your readers. Will it make sense to them? Is it focused? Edit it to make any changes/improvements you think are needed. Most writers say that editing their story down to size is most difficult – but also the most useful – part of the process.
- Aim for your blog to be between 600 and 1,000 words in length.
Submitting your blog
Please bear in mind the points in the planning your blog section when submitting your idea. Be as specific as you can, i.e. briefly describe any events or moments you’d like to write about, your feelings, changes in your life or tips you’d like to share.
To submit a blog to Hull and East Yorkshire Mind please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
A member of the public would like to share his experiences of depression, he considers himself an ordinary family man with a fulltime job and a “normal life”. No one is immune from mental health problems, if this blog strikes a chord, please contact us for help and support.
My name is Jack, Im 19 and work full time. I enjoy going out with friends, sometimes gym and lots of holidays. Check out my first blog about how social media has both a positive and negative affect on young people’s mental health.
My name is Fran, I’m 41 and I run my own business. I have 5 kids. I have had depression and post- natal depression three times. Depression sucks. People don’t get it. They don’t understand why, when you seem to have so much to be thankful for, that you’re not.
I lost my sight a few years back, strangely enough, I cannot remember the year let alone the date, I remember very little detail in relation to my diagnosis, in fact I didn’t want to hear what the consultant had to say. Read more…