Blogging or vlogging (that’s blogging through a video instead of typing!) is a great way of expressing yourself and sharing what you’ve learned about living with a mental health problem.
To help you craft a blog that we can share on our website and with our followers on social media, we’ve created some guidelines that we think you’ll find useful.
There is no pressure to share your story if you are not feeling well enough to do so. If you’re not sure you feel up to it yet, or need to talk to someone right now, visit our Urgent Help section.
Everyone has their own unique mental health experiences, and that’s what makes your blog special. Our readers tend to prefer blogs or vlogs that describe real-life events, as you experienced them rather than bits from a psychology text book!
Don’t feel you need to be ‘a writer’– just be you. A good way to let your personality come through in your writing is to write it exactly how you’d say it out loud to a loved one over a cuppa. Use short sentences, short paragraphs and keep it simple. Avoid long words where possible, for example, instead of ‘endeavour’, use ‘try’.
Resist the temptation to cover your whole life story. The perfect blog length is around 1,200-1,800 words, and blogs are much more effective when focussed around a shorter, defined period of time. Here’s some great examples from some Mind bloggers:
If you choose to vlog, try and keep your video to no longer than 5 minutes.
We know that living with a mental health issue or experiencing a mental health crisis, is much more common that some might think. By talking about it openly, we can lift the taboos and keep breaking stigma.
If you find these bits too painful to write about, put your blog or vlog to one side until you feel more able to work on it – put your wellbeing first.
How were things for you at the start of your story, compared to how they are now? What have you learned? Do you feel you have changed at all, because of what happened?
Do you have any tips or advice you’d like to share? What would you say to someone going through a similar experience? If you’ve used one of Solent Mind’s services, let our readers know how it’s helped.
When our staff and volunteers are very busy, it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to publish your blog immediately. We might also decide to delay the publishing of your blog if it fits in well with an upcoming campaign, project or even a time of year, like Christmas, Men's Health Day or World Mental Health Day. Your patience is very much appreciated.
We publish our blogs with the first name of it’s author. You don’t have to use your real name if you don’t want to. We understand some people haven’t told their friends, family or employer about their mental health problem and aren’t yet ready to. If you don't want to share your name, we can use a pseudonym – just let us know when you submit your story.
We’d also like to include picture of you in your blog. This image shouldn’t blurry or include any other people. A picture of you from shoulders up works really well (please turn your phone on it's side!), but you might want to submit something that reflects the theme of your blog. For example, if you’re blogging about looking after your wellbeing through running, send a snap of you in your running kit and trainers! If you prefer not to submit a photo, please let us know.
We will also point people to your blog on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn pages. If you prefer to not use your name or picture on social media, please let us know.
We will usually edit your final blog for clarity, readability or to maintain our house style. If we change your blog significantly, we will send it back to you to view before publishing.
By submitting a blog, vlog, name or picture, you are confirming that Solent Mind has permission to publish these (in full or as a quote) on our website, social media, leaflets, posters and more. If you have any concerns or change your mind at any time and want to remove your blog, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s not always possible to publish your submissions. Here’s a few possible reasons why: