Thursday, June 27, 2013

Nomination for Mind Media Awards 2013

Nominating myself for an award goes against all my self-depracating Britishness, but buoyed on by being named on the list of most influential people in Britain I thought I would give it a go.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have long-term mental health problems and this is something I write about regularly. I also produce a podcast whose first episode was dedicated to mental health and stigma, in an interview with Charlotte, aka Bipolar Blogger. The fact that I often write from a service user's point of view does not mean that I feel I can get away with poor research or inadequate information: I always thoroughly investigate whatever subject I am writing about.

I also try to write about mental health issues in forums which are not dedicated to health or disability issues. In particular, in the past year, I have written about mental health at The F-Word feminist website and for the New Statesman:

Challenging stigma is particularly important to me. The discrimination which occurs daily, and the prejudice displayed against people with mental health problems is an incredibly widespread problem and this is made worse by irresponsible reporting in the media. Making sure that I write responsibly is therefore a key priority, and in particular I take care to follow the Samaritans guidelines on writing about suicide and self-harm. I also publicise these and share them when appropriate on social media and with other writers. I also use Trigger Warnings and Content Notes when needed.

The platforms where my writing is published have considerable reach, and I expand this further by sharing the work on my Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts. This social sharing means that more people are able to find and read what I write, and can in turn share it with their friends and contacts. 

Being named on the Most Influential Disabled People in Britain list does demonstrate the reach and impact I have. Through my writing and social media work I have made contacts and been able to network with a wide array of people and organisations, and I particularly enjoy having the opportunity to connect with people who would be isolated without social media as a means of communication. 

It is for all these reasons that I am nominating myself for the Digital Media section of the Mind Media Awards 2013. I believe so strongly that reporting on mental health should be responsible and should have service user voices at its core that I follow these principles throughout my work, and it is because of these core beliefs that I am putting myself forward.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Converge Podcast 03 "Zines are a good place for radical hope" - Interview with Zinester Cath Elms

On this episode of the Converge Podcast, I talk to Cath Elms, feminist and author of feminist perzine Here. In my Head.

We talk about feminism, longevity, typewriters, relating real life events to feminist theory, the zine community, how and why to start your own zine and much, much more. Enjoy!

Say hi to Cath and Philippa on Twitter - the text is populated for you but you can edit it.

Show Notes

Direct Download: converge_ce_zines_3.mp3

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Converge Podcast 02 “Once you open your eyes and see it it doesn’t go away, it gets worse” – Interview with Cath Smith of The Women’s Room

When two women on Twitter heard BBC Radio 4′s flagship Today programme host discussions with all-male participants, and the show said they had not been able to find any qualified women to feature, they decided to do something about it. They set up The Women’s Room, where over 2,000 women have signed up to register their expertise and experience.

In this episode of the Converge Podcast I talk to one of the site’s co-founders about sexism, Twitter and women’s representation in the media.

Show Notes

Music (Creative Commons Licences)

  • Holloway Holiday by Scragfight (This is what feminism sounds like)
  • I dunno by Grapes (ccMixter)

Direct download: 02_Converge_The_Womens_Room.mp3

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Converge Podcast 01 "A place to explore what I was feeling, and why I thought I was feeling like that" - Interview with Bipolar Blogger

Mental health service users face regular discrimination and are misunderstood and misrepresented by public opinion and the media. In this first episode of the Converge Podcast, I talk to Charlotte Walker, also known as the Bipolar Blogger, about her experience of mental ill-health, and how she has developed her blog and social media presence. We compare notes, share similarities and offer hints and tips to anyone listening who wants to better understand the issues surrounding mental illness and stigma.

Show Notes

Music (Creative Commons Licences)

  • Terminal by Drained Glory (Mansplaining on the Dancefloor
  • I dunno by Grapes (ccMixter)

Direct download: 01_Converge_Bipolar_Blogger.mp3

Subscribe to the podcast