Advantages of Twitter/Facebook
Disadvantages of Twitter/Facebook
Peer Support Network
Shelter/Walled garden metaphor
The privacy of the forum and caution in rate of growth would deal with the above negatives and dangers of networks I mentioned in the disadvantages of directly applying Twitter and Facebook. This approach to safety and wellbeing of users by risk free involvement is often called a ‘sandpit’ in computing, a metaphor for being enabled to play with the technology and decide how to use it, without any worries.
Increasing numbers of people previously digitally excluded now use the Internet, a further trend is people becoming more savvy, using smart phones and iPads as well as computers. Digital inclusion of mental health patients can be encouraged by accelerating this process, within a safe environment. Assurance is needed that people posting on the site are considerate and careful, if someone wants help with a mental Health issue, we want the responder to be constructive, not destructive. If someone’s post is not appropriate this needs to be moderated carefully via a person/people and technology in a diplomatic and sympathetic way. Because as well as preventing the post from reaching anyone it could harm, we need to avoid discouragement and harm to the person posting whose mental health condition may cause difficulties in their judging what is or is not appropriate.
An excellent example of a peer support resource is this from Bristol University students who talk of their mental health issues and solutions :-
Final Stage of research – Education Provision
Protected environment for learning
Background to this proposal
Journal paper JVLC subscription required http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1045926X12000572 - 'User-Driven Modelling: Visualisation & Systematic Interaction for end-user programming' - open access - http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/17817/
Some organisers of peer review networks, presentations, magazines/twitte‘BPD FFS Sue Sibbald - https://twitter.com/@bpdffs - ‘Campaigning and Training for People with Borderline Personality Disorder.’
Shirley Ayres – ‘I work with innovative organisations to develop communication & digital engagement strategies which use technology & social media for social good.’
Information and Systems approach to improving mental health services
The information strategy from the Department of Health was published in May 2012. It sets a ten-year framework for transforming information for the NHS, public health and social care. One of the key commitments is that you will be able to view your GP record online by 2015.
I'm at an early stage of developing research into improving mental health through sheltered peer support forums to improve mental health and mitigate digital exclusion.