#SomewhereOverTheRainbow – A Mental Health and Wellbeing Cake Club Event

Somewhere over the Rainbow is a special Clandestine Cake Club event that will be held in Leeds City Centre on July 6th, with the aim of bringing people together Clandestine Cake Club style, whilst also being an opportunity to raise awareness about mental health and the importance of the little things for improving wellbeing, like coffee, cake and chat.
Please share this with anyone who might like to attend.


#SomewhereOverTheRainbow is a special cake club event for people who struggle with their Mental Health and Wellbeing every day.

This will be held in the centre of Leeds on Sunday 6 July 2014 from 2-4pm

The idea of this event isn’t the same as our usual Clandestine Cake Club events… it’s to try encourage people to come along and see if tea and cake and meeting people with similar problems can help their Mental Health and wellbeing.

We’re not saying ‘no’ to existing CCC members and organisers… we know some of us have been helped by being a part of CCC, but we want to share the happiness that we get from attending cake club.

There really is something special about baking… it’s a therapeutic hobby, the weighing of ingredients and then patiently waiting for the cake to bake, I find it a good way to relax and de-stress after a busy day…

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Guest post @markoneinfour: social media and public professionals #expo14NHS

Loved this talk by @MarkOneInFour at NHS Expo today about the value of public professionals in social media spaces, so thought I’d share it here.

Connecting Social Care and Social Media

Mark Brown who tweets as @markoneinfour is exploring “What is the role of social media in health and care?at the Health and Care Innovation Expo 2014 along with @AgencyNurse and @VictoriaBetton. Mark is Development Director of Social Spider CIC and editor of “One in Four” magazine  

This is a transcript of Mark’s rather excellent presentation today. 

Hello! I’m Mark Brown.  I mostly do mental health stuff. My work comes from my own experience of mental health difficulty. I don’t work for the NHS but I do spend lots of time effing about on twitter.

At a time when the NHS is experiencing it’s biggest challenges for at least a generation, I want to talk to you about the way in which social media can help to root the NHS in the fabric of communities. I want to talk to you about the ways…

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The This Week in Mentalists 2013 Awards – The Winners

The winners of this years TWIM Awards, celebrating Mental Health blogging


It gives me great pleasure to announce the This Week in Mentalists Awards 2013, recognising the best in mental health blogging (and for the first time this year, vlogging). You can view the results for 2012 here.

2013 was a year in which the weekly This Week in Mentalists blogging roundups stopped running. I don’t think this is because people aren’t writing blogs anymore – far from it; in fact there’s more and more. I think it’s more due to changes in the way blogs are used. Whereas before they acted as self-contained online communities, they’re now more part of a multi-platform social media dialogue involving Twitter, Storify etc. With each year we’re seeing more and more innovation in the way people use social media to talk about mental health. When done responsibly, I think that’s a very useful and healthy thing.

A few words on how the winners…

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Introducing the This Week in Mentalists Awards 2013

The TWIM Awards 2013


Thanks for your time folks. Nominations are now closed (except for Best New Blog and Most Sadly Missed) and we look forward to announcing the winners soon.

As the weekly This Week in Mentalists social media roundups transfer from The World of Mentalists website to here, it’s also time to announce the start of the annual This Week in Mentalists Awards. This is where we recognise the best in mental health blogging (and for the first time this year, vlogging as well). We’ll be asking for your help to pick them.

We want you to leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post, telling us who you think should win in the various categories.

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This Week in Mentalists Awards 2013 – The Shortlist

This week in Mentalists, 2013


After a month of nominations from the public, we now have a shortlist for the This Week in Mentalists Awards 2013. This is the fourth year of the awards, showcasing the best in mental health blogging (and also for the first time this year, vlogging).

Sifting through the nominations to come up with a shortlist turned out to be a tricky one, not least because a lot of people nominated without stating a category, or stated a category when a blog seemed more to belong in a rather different once. Hence I’ve had to do a certain amount of juggling between the categories.

The more eagle-eyed readers may notice that one category has disappeared altogether. The “therapy” category simply didn’t attract a sufficient number of relevant blogs, so that category has been scrapped.

Compared to previous years I’ve had to cast a fairly high number of deciding votes this year…

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#DigitalMentalHealth13: A few thoughts.

This week, I attended the Northern version of the Digital Innovation in Mental Health event, which was organised by @victoriabetton and @charliey . It was a replication of an event in London that had occurred earlier in the year. Greedily, I attended both. I must admit I was curious to see whether the Leeds version had a discernible Northern flavour ( I’m still pondering on this).

The event was held at Leeds Art Gallery, which I think was an inspired choice as a creative space which brought together a very eclectic mix of people, united by a mutual curiosity about the huge potential of digital innovations in mental health.


The event itself was wonderfully facilitated by @mikechitty in an open space ‘unconference’ style, which meant that we as a group called the conversations that we wanted to have and we were then presented with the opportunity to gravitate towards whichever conversation intrigued us most. The only rule being ‘the law of two feet’ meaning that you simply moved onto the next conversation when you were ready.


The formula of the event made me think that if the NHS is serious about driving at people’s values and about creating a culture that truly values co- production as a process for change, then the formula of #DigitalMH13 needs to be replicated widely because the magic was in the diversity of perspectives shared between people with lived experience, health and social care professionals, students, IT developers (and refreshingly many who were open about occupying several of these roles at the same time).

So, I joined a conversation about online safety and I must admit that I was torn between this one and another that was about disruption. It was fascinating to hear many different views expressed about personal and professional responsibilities and boundaries around supporting people in distress within a digital space. Opinions were very much shaped by factors such as whether individuals were tweeting from individual versus corporate accounts and by factors relating to professional duty versus peer support.


I’ve been to so many traditional events where the experts have been stood on a podium preaching to largely passive participants ( who often have interesting perspectives to share themselves). As an antidote, it was a real pleasure to attend an event with an emphasis on democratic, sociable learning, not least because I think the most creative ideas always develop if you bring a group of people together with different views and perspectives.

What was also lovely about the disruptive formula about the event was that it got me thinking greatly about the potential of digital technology with regards to reducing isolation for some older people. Older People are not a demographic that immediately spring to mind for me when thinking about digital technology, probably because the stereotypical view is that many older people are switched off with regards to their use of digital technology.

Here’s where I now recognise that there needs to be a shift in mindset, because if the focus is about looking at a person; their interests and situation, then technology clearly has huge potential.


There were many great examples of this. However, I particularly liked a local pilot project by Age Concern, whereby tablet devices are being given to older people to reduce social isolation ( It’s also fair to say that there are lessons to be learnt here about this approach for other groups, who may find themselves isolated too) .

The Age Concern project also resonated with me personally because recently I’ve had a conversation about this with my rather glamorous Grandma who is in her 80’s. These days, she lives in sheltered housing and lacks independence because she suffers from quite severe osteoporosis. However, in her time, she travelled the world, living and working in Beverley Hills for many years. She’s a fascinating story teller, full of wisdom and interesting insights and I was struck when I was talking to her last, by the thought that if she can’t get out much, then why not bring the world to her by digital means. Not just to reduce her isolation, but also because she’s a wonderfully interesting person, full of wisdom and insights to share with the world. It gave me a glow today when my Dad told me that she’s now acquired a tablet device. I’m sure she’ll take to social networking very naturally. Watch this space. 😊

Carrying on the conversations

It was great talking to so many interesting people, but as with many of these events, the day is over before you know it. It was a relief then that there was so much interest in carrying on these conversations after the event, using lots of different spaces. I’ve connected with people since on Social Media and I’ve also arranged to visit a few people who I met on the day. There was also some interest in our local Health and Social Care networking forum #HSCLeeds, so I’m also hoping to see a few faces at our next event.

What I was struck by most of all then was the appetite for taking forward the digital agenda in mental health and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this progresses over coming months.

Thanks to @victoriabetton , @mikechitty and @charliey and also to all the people that I had a good chat with on the day:-)

*Art Work within this post is by Tom at Arts and Minds Leeds, who was an event eavesdropper on the day.