Dr Ian Tucker, from the School of Psychology, has secured nearly 8k follow-on funding from the EPSRC Communities and Culture Network+ to develop an innovate method for online user engagement and to further investigate the impact of peer support through the mental health charity Mind’s online community, Elefriends.
The project follows on from the ’Social Media and Austerity: Online Peer Support in Mental Health Communities’ project that ran in 2014. The initial project aimed to provide a working definition of ‘online peer-support’, and to address the experiences of a vulnerable community through exploring the capacity of service users to enhance their mental health by engaging with peer support practices through social media.
The follow on project involves the use of an animated storyboard to engage users with the findings from initial project and to provide the opportunity for user feedback on the analysis as well as the animated storyboard as a dissemination tool. Further analysis of project data will be conducted to examine how talk of treatment acts as a central topic for community engagement on Elefriends. The pilot project identified this as a core issue for which people sought (and provided) online peer support.
Follow on work will facilitate knowledge transfer with other social media initiatives in health and mental health arenas.