Headlining Mental Health: Understanding Storytelling

30 Jun

Thursday 30 June 2022 10:30 - 12:00

Media Trust's Headlining Mental Health programme supports mental health organisations to strengthen their strategic communications, so they can increase their visibility and reach, challenge stigma, and get their voices heard. 

About the event 

We’ve teamed up with MediaCom to offer mental health and wellbeing organisations a one-hour masterclass on how to communicate effectively with stakeholders and peers through storytelling. 

Most people forget a statistic, but stories stay with us. They can change the way people think about mental health, challenge stereotypes, evoke empathy, and give hope. But storytelling is a skill. 

This session will cover:  

  • How to simply work out what you want to say 
  • The structure of a great story  
  • The secrets of clarity and editing 
  • The importance of knowing and writing for your audience 
  • Storytelling tactics to make your stories memorable

Plus: Bonus session on the upcoming Communications Strategy course 

This session will include an optional introduction to the free Headlining Mental Health Communications Strategy course taking place this autumn. 

About our speakers 

James Parnum has 15+ years of media planning experience, working with John Lewis, Waitrose, and most recently, Tesco.  His award-winning approach has been recognised with Grand Prix awards at Cannes. He is Head of Planning at MediaCom, leading a 250+ person department across the UK 

Katy Harkness has over 20 years of media planning and strategy experience.  Her innate curiosity into understanding people’s behaviour (some would say nosiness) mixed with a love of popular culture and technology has made it her natural habitat.  

Katy is passionate about brilliant ideas and brilliant stories. This has helped her clients win bucketful’s of awards and also keeps her 7-year-old entertained at bedtime with ‘Made Up On The Spot Storytime’  

Attendance and eligibility 

The masterclass is open to all mental health organisations, including service providers, campaigning and research organisations, and organisations working with wellbeing, addiction, the psychological effects of violence and abuse, and the mental health impacts of physical illness. The masterclass is also open to charities working intersectionally on mental health and other issues. 


This masterclass is at beginner level and is open to all mental health charity professionals who have an interest in communications.  

Accessibility support  

Funded accessibility support is available. Please include your requirements in your booking. We can arrange language interpreters, BSL interpreters, STTR captioning, early access to materials, large print and screen reader accessible documentation.  


10.30 – Storytelling masterclass 

11.15 – Q&A with our speakers 

11.30 – Break 

11.40 – An introduction to the free Headlining Mental Health Communications Strategy Course 

Book your place

To secure your place on this course, register today via our Eventbrite page.