Taking our mental health support service to a national level

Posted 21 June 2023

Seeking to enhance their understanding of media engagement in the charity sector, Nikki, a trustee at Chasing the Stigma, took part in our Headlining Mental Health programme hoping to develop the charity’s messaging, improving their campaigning, and increasing their visibility. She achieved this, and more, by creating a partnership with the UK’s leading mental health charity, Mind, and ensuring an impact that was felt directly by the people they support.

Chasing the Stigma is a UK-based mental health charity dedicated to challenging the stigma associated with mental illness and removing barriers to seeking help. Our organisation operates through various initiatives, including the Hub of Hope, which serves as the nation’s leading mental health signposting tool. With over 11,000 local, national, and grassroots mental health support services and groups listed, we strive to create an environment of understanding, working towards the goal of humanising and normalising mental health for everyone, every day.

I wanted to improve my understanding of media engagement in the charity sector and particularly focused on mental health.

Chasing the Stigma logo

Our journey with Media Trust’s Headlining Mental Health programme began when we discovered the programme through social media and were also personally invited to apply by Media Trust. As a former national journalist and senior communications professional, I had been supporting Chasing the Stigma in a voluntary role as a trustee with a focus on PR and media. With limited communications experience within our team and reliance on external consultants, we sought to enhance our understanding of media engagement in the charity sector, particularly in the context of mental health. I also wanted to develop skills that I could share with future team members, which we were recruiting for at the time. I hoped that, by learning with peers and industry leaders, I could help the charity carve out its niche, develop our messaging to stand out and improve our campaigning.

The Media Trust team and their dedicated volunteers provided exceptional support throughout the Headlining Mental Health programme. The training environment fostered a safe space for learning and sharing among peers. The programme‘s volunteer speakers and session leaders, who possessed extensive experience in their fields, imparted new, valuable knowledge even in areas where I already had existing expertise.

I really value being part of the Media Trust community as alumni!

Chasing the Stigma logo

The media interview training session was particularly impactful, equipping me with insights to advise team members on engaging with the media effectively. Moreover, the opportunity to have Havas, a renowned agency, review our campaign idea was invaluable! Although the campaign’s launch was delayed due to organisational changes, our newly appointed Head of Communications, Jordan (who has also worked and volunteered with Media Trust in the past!), carried forward the work done in alignment with our business strategy. 

As an additional note, I work with several other charities and the team at Media Trust have been incredible in connecting me to relevant contacts to help us move campaigns and activities forward, which was an additional element I didn’t expect, but has been a drastic help!

A person holding a phone showing the Hub of Hope logo.

Ultimately, the impact of the support we received from Media Trust goes beyond media recognition, as it directly contributes to improving the lives of those we aim to support.

Chasing the Stigma logo

The support received from Media Trust has had a profound effect on our organisation. The programme informed our communications strategy, leading to increased media coverage. The knowledge gained empowered us to leverage existing partnerships, enabling us to raise our profile effectively. 

Furthermore, our training and partnerships team ensured the growth and visibility of the Hub of Hope. The programme was recently selected by the leading mental health charity, Mind, to replace their peer support service, becoming their new signposting tool! Hub of Hope now lists over 11,000, more than doubling its listings in the last two years. This expansion means that more individuals struggling with their mental health can easily access relevant and timely help.  

Looking ahead, with our newly appointed Head of Communications and the knowledge shared from the programme, we anticipate further growth in visibility and impact, especially following our partnership with Mind. We are so thankful for the Headlining Mental Health Programme and its volunteers for their invaluable programme and ongoing support. As alumni of the Media Trust community, we cherish the opportunity to continue making a difference! 

Chasing the Stigma is one of the most important mental health charities in the U.K. and great friends of Mind. I am so pleased that we are able to join forces as a Hub of Hope partner to make sure people get the right help at the right time, no stone will be left unturned in the mission to make sure people get support for their mental health.

Mind logo. Dr Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive of Mind

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