The kindness of supportive strangers: a Twitter donation story
Yesterday evening, I put out a plea over our mental health Twitterverse to our followers, for any donations to in2gr8mentalhealth which I run voluntary out of my own pocket, to help us keep going. My paid own work ends in March and I needed help to continue to fund our yearly peer support website running costs of £250 whilst I job hunt for new posts.
This morning I awoke to donations coming in from our Twitter friends, many amazingly kind strangers invested in changing mental health stigma, totalling £200!
I have been bowled over by how they have shown their faith in what we are doing and what we represent here. I am so grateful, I have to say I was joyfully tearful getting ready for my Wednesday at UCL Unit for stigma research (contact ending in March when we complete our project on writing guidance on supporting and getting lived experience in our clinical psychology training community... I'm loving openly bringing my lived and trained experience to this!).
Below is the plea I originally put out over Twitter and then some of the lovely responses and retweets we got.
Thank you to all of you who support this venture, and for your advice as to how we might get more funding, there is so much I want to develop I haven't even touched the sides! I'm looking into digital health platform funders and some other lovely advice that has been sent my way. If you can help with advice, or you are a funder interested in helping develop this grassroots peer support platform from within the mental health professions, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm all ears, full of ideas, mental health and publicity savvy. There's also loads I don't know, and I'm a fast and curious learner!
A donation plea and a story
I run the in2gr8mentalhealth website and campaign out of my own pocket. It was the first platform to peer support any mental health professional with lived experience, and challenge organisational stigma since launch in 2017. We are 301 members now!
It was born of my own experience of how hard mental health stigma can be to navigate as a professional within our own systems, a lack of support, and how our lived experience is rarely valued.
I am recovered, and recovering my career and my finances from the impact of needing time out to heal. I now work in mental health part-time on strategy and guidance and I love reconnecting with trainees and colleagues about something I am so passionate about in ways that I can.
My current work is due to end in March and I'm excited to look for new positions in mental health policy, consultancy, project management and training. However, the immediate worry is that personal funds are tight and the in2gr8 web cost is one of my priories to keep going!
On behalf of all of our members, campaign supporters, and myself in my dream of helping stigma change happen through running and speaking about this, I'd like to ask my Twitterverse for any donation towards keeping us going! There are people to support out there!
If you can, buy a supporters badge or make a direct donation through the following page on the in2gr8 website (direct donations at footer). If we can get £250, that will cover my website upkeep costs for the year, your money will be used very wisely!
To all those who can donate, thank you so much from us all! We have plans for 2020 to keep challenging the stigma of lived experience in the mental health professions, through the narrative of our own lived experience. This in the hope that we dispel an idealistic notion that any of us can be immune to mental health difficulties in the face of life's traumatic challenges, these challenges do not descriminate based on job title, no matter what it is, and can always be understood given a deeper look at what has gone on for any individual in that situation.
No one should ever feel alone, but stigma has a habit of creating isolation. Our peer support exists to counter that!