York storytelling boosts understanding of mental health

4 Feb 2013 @ 3.30 pm
| News

The launch of the Leeds part of Sharing Stories last month
Sarah Elwell of Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust invites everyone to get involved as a 2013 campaign is launched to raise awareness of mental health and learning disabilities, and to reduce related stigma and discrimination

This Wednesday, February 6, we will launch our Sharing Stories campaign in York. The campaign looks to use the power of storytelling, sharing stories and harnessing the power of the written word to encourage understanding around mental health and wellbeing.


It will run throughout the year and during that time there will be a host of activities and events taking place such digital storytelling, a 24-hour readathon, book of the month recommendations with Waterstones and York Libraries, create your own comic book and caption competitions. What we have planned so far includes:

  • Your Stories – a bi-annual magazine comprising stories from people using our services
  • A ‘Your Stories’ section of the website – we’ll upload stories shared by people using our services, carers, volunteers, members and staff. These will include blogs, podcasts and vodcast
  • Creative writer in residence – someone who will create a book of stories plus resource material for staff on the topic of storytelling
  • Readathon – a month-long fundraising campaign to encourage schools, colleges, prisons, hospitals and libraries to read for 24 hours during March, the month of World Book Day
  • Digital storytelling – a series of twelve monthly ‘mini-campaigns’ on a variety of social media platforms
  • A day in the life – a section of the website where we share factual stories about a day in the life of a range of professionals working in our Trust
  • Love Arts festival – the theme for the 2013 festival will be on storytelling and include lots of participatory activities with a strong storytelling thread running throughout

The trust hopes to bring people together around this common purpose. Stories are about making connections, encouraging empathy and understanding, decreasing prejudice and stigma and about creating shared experiences.

The launch event will take place at Rowntree Park Reading Café and will be a drop-in style event, where everyone is welcome to come along and find out more and get involved. The event takes place between 12pm and 2pm.

People can find out more by visiting the Sharing Stories website or call 0113 305 55976 to get involved.

  • Sarah Elwell is communications officer in the strategy & partnerships directorate of Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust