Monthly Archives: September 2019

‘Supporting someone you know’ – new Miscarriage Association resource online now

I’m pleased to report that my rewrite of the Supporting someone you know leaflet from the Miscarriage Association is online and in print now.

We identified the need to update this resource as part of the pregnancy loss and mental health project – but obviously its application is much wider. We didn’t do any resource-specific research but I was able to draw on research and understanding from a number of projects I have worked on for the Miscarriage Association including our award-winning youth resources project, our pregnancy after loss resources, our NHS training films, our recently published pregnancy loss and mental health information and our current project on miscarriage and the workplace.

The new leaflet comes at the same time as the launch of new miscarriage cards – for sale on the Miscarriage Association website.

Workplace mental health hub highly commended at the BMA Patient Information Awards.

In 2017 I developed a content plan and wrote 26 articles for Bupa’s new workplace mental health hub. I used to be a workplace ‘health check’ consultant for Time to Change and I enjoyed using my knowledge and experience of the issues involved to create resources that would help organisations make positive change.

All the articles were written to the Information Standard – an NHS kitemark that requires them to be based on the latest evidence and regularly reviewed.

The hub was shortlisted for a Bupa Global Clinical Excellence Award in 2018 and was recently highly commended at the British Medical Association Patient Information Awards.

Last time my work was nominated (and came runner up in two special categories), I was 37 weeks pregnant and didn’t want to risk a trip to London. This time, I was recovering from a missed miscarriage and was again unable to attend. One day I’ll make it – it’s a good opportunity to catch up with old colleagues and meet people doing wonderful and innovative things in the world of patient information.

Moderating a Facebook-based peer support group. Training for Hemihelp staff and volunteers

I recently worked with Hemihelp (now part of Contact) to help them train volunteer moderators for their peer support group on Facebook.

The group was established in 2007 and became more active in 2011. It has over 5,000 members and over 11,000 interactions each month. It seems to be a strong community with a lot of peer support offered (there is little need for moderator input on this front). There is debate among members over the nature of the group and how it should be used.

I offered some advice around consultation with the community to help ensure the guidelines and moderation approach are based on the needs of the group. This can also be a really good way to introduce and embed changes.

Recruiting volunteers

Hemihelp planned to recruit volunteer moderators to help them manage the group moderation during office hours. I am usually a little wary about using volunteer moderators especially ones who are still active members of the group but this can depend very much on the community in question.

Initial response to the advert was quite low. This was perhaps understandable given the nature of the group (busy parents from all over the UK, many of whom couldn’t make it to London for training). I recommended that they emphasise the transferable skills volunteers might gain as well as the opportunity to help the community. This helped them recruit a few additional trainees but I think they would need to offer comprehensive online training to really increase their numbers.

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