Tag Archives: Facebook

Why on earth would a mental health nurse use social media?

Here’s my contribution to Chapter 15 “E-Mental Health” in “Mental Health: A Person-Centred Approach, 2nd edition.”

There is a famous quote attributed to author, speaker and Harvard Business School graduate Charlene Li that states, “Twitter is not a technology. It’s a conversation. And it’s happening with or without you.” This is not unique to Twitter – the same notion applies to all of social media.

Over the years a lot of talk about healthcare matters and nursing has happened without including nurses. Since the emergence of social media, nurses don’t have to wait to be invited to join in these conversations. We nurses we can share our experience, knowledge and values with the world, whether the world want to hear us or not. To paraphrase author, feminist and media expert Jane Caro, social media allows nurses and midwives unmediated access to public conversations for the first time in history.

We would be foolish to let that opportunity slip by.

I’m a mental health nurse working in consultation liaison psychiatry in a busy general hospital in a regional city in Australia. People like me often go unheard in the “big picture” discussions. As a busy clinician, I’m not ever likely to pump-out dozens of journal articles or write books about my role.

Clinical nurses like me are more likely to share ‘war-stories” with each other. A lot of interesting, funny, sad and (sometimes) scary things happen on the frontline. There’s a strong oral tradition of story-telling amongst nurses and midwives, and we learn a lot from each other. Social media allows us to share our stories beyond our workplace and beyond our immediate workmates. We can share our stories with nurses, midwives, and anyone else who is interested all over the world. As our circles of communication and connection become wider and more diverse, our minds expand, we learn more, we have an opportunity to reflect on our work more. It’s a fun way to do professional development.

Some of your patients, some of your colleagues, and some of your current or future employers will use a search engine like google to find out more about you. They probably won’t be malicious or creepy. They’ll probably just be idly curious. Either way – no matter their intent – don’t you want to be in charge of what they find?

I think it’s important to be clear and intentional when using social media. Nurses already know about boundaries and confidentiality, and are nearly always good at in the flesh. Sometimes nurses blur boundaries between their social life and professional life online. That’s where it gets tricky.  I suggest having two distinctly different social media identities: a personal one for family and friends, and a professional one for patients, colleagues and employers.

Personal use of social media is where you share photos of holidays and parties with family and friends on services like Facebook or Instagram. Relax. Have fun with it. Don’t bother naming your employer, or talk too much about work there. It’s a place to enjoy yourself. Do you have to use your actual name? A nickname will increase your privacy.

Professional use of social media is based on your area of expertise and interests. This use of social media allows you to share information and interact with other individuals and organisations that have the similar interests. Here you don’t want to hide your light under a bushel: use your real name.

I have a blog that I usually update every month or so with posts that are of interest to me: have a look at meta4RN.com if you’re interested in what a nursing blog looks like. It’s not the only nursing blog out there – in fact, there are many nursing blogs that are much fancier and more regularly updated than mine. Visit the NurseUncut Blogroll (www.nurseuncut.com.au/blog-roll) to track down others.

Twitter is a fantastic way to connect with people all over the world. The best way to learn about Twitter is to follow people who are already using it – please feel free to follow me via my Twitter handle: @meta4RN. By way of explanation, “meta4RN” is a homophone: read it as either “metaphor RN” or “meta for RN”.

I also use the meta4RN handle on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Prezi and other online accounts. Nearly all of the things I share on these social media platforms relate to my professional life, but there’s room for a bit of playfulness and fun too. Professional doesn’t have to be boring. Just check on yourself as go, and ask, “is this something I want my patients, colleagues and managers to see?” If not, either it belongs on your personal social media accounts, or shouldn’t be posted at all.

So, back to the opening question: why on earth would a mental health nurse use social media? To connect and collaborate with others, for professional development, to make sure that ordinary clinical nurses have a voice online, and to expand my horizons. Also, it doesn’t hurt that when people do search for me online I am in control of what is seen.

Explainer

You may be wondering why I’m sharing this excerpt now. Simple – I’m drawing attention to this news:

Being named best in category for “Tertiary (Wholly Australian) Teaching and Learning Resource: blended learning (print and digital)” at the Educational Publishing Awards 2018 is a pretty big deal. The authors and editors deserve to be congratulated.

I’m very grateful to Rhonda Wilson (aka @RhondaWilsonMHN) for inviting me to contribute to the book. It’s not false modesty to note that my contribution isn’t what won the book the award, but I’m pleased as punch to be part of it!

End

Thanks for reading. While you’re at it, have a squiz at Rhonda’s blog: rhondawilsonmhn.com 🙂

Paul McNamara, 22nd September 2018

Short URL: meta4RN.com/book

References

Israel, S. (foreward by Li, C.). (2009). Twitterville: How businesses can thrive in the new global neighborhoods. New York: Portfolio.

Wilson, R. (contribution by McNamara, P.) . (2017). E-mental health. In Procter, N., Hamer, H., McGarry, D., Wilson, R., & Froggatt, T. (Editors.), Mental health : a person-centred approach, second edition (pp. 360-362). Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, Australia.

Stay Connected, Stay Strong

“Stay connected, stay strong… before and after baby” is a really cool DVD featuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents. Using social media (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WordPress) I’ve promoted the video with the goal of improving access to it.

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Explanation

These Tweets were initially compiled using a social media aggregation tool called Storify
https://storify.com/meta4RN/stay

Unfortunately, Storify is shutting-down on 16 May 2018 and all content will be deleted.

I’m using my blog as a place to mimic/save the Storify pages I created and value.

End

As always, please use the comments section below for any feedback/questions.

Paul McNamara, 11th March 2018

Short URL: meta4RN.com/connected

Social Media and Digital Citizenship: A CL Nurse’s Perspective

This post is a companion piece to my keynote presentation at the 5th Annual Queensland Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Symposium “Modern Approaches in CL Psychiatry”, on 2nd November 2017,

The function of this page is to be a collection point to list references/links that will be mentioned in the presentation. The Prezi is intended as an oral presentation, so I do not intend to include a full description of the content here.

Click on the picture to see the Prezi

Bio/Intro (you know speakers write these themselves, right?)

Paul McNamara is a CL CNC in Cairns.

Paul has been dabbling in health care social media since 2010. He established an online portfolio in 2012 which includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and a Blog.

In 2016 Paul was appointed to the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing specifically because of his interest in social media.

This morning’s presentation “Social Media & Digital Citizenship: A CL Nurse’s Perspective” aims to encourage the converts, enthuse the curious, and empower the cautious.

Disclaimer/Apology/Excuse

Regular visitors to meta4RN.com will recognise some familiar themes.

Let’s not call it self-plagiarism (such an ugly term), I would rather think of it as a new, funky remix of a favourite old song.

Due to this remixing of old content I’ve included lots of previous meta4RN.com blog posts on the reference list.

This, in turn, makes the reference list look stupidly self-referential. #TrumpBrag

 

Anyway, with that embarrassing disclosure out of the way, here is the list of references and links cited in the Prezi prezi.com/user/meta4RN

References + Links

Altmetric Attention Score [example] https://wiley.altmetric.com/details/23964454

Australian College of Nursing (n.d.) Social media guidelines for nurses. Retreived from http://www.rcna.org.au/WCM/…for_nurses.pdf

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. (2014, March 17). Social media policy. Retrieved from http://www.ahpra.gov.au/News/2014-02-13-revised-guidelines-code-and-policy.aspx

Casella, E., Mills, J., & Usher, K. (2014). Social media and nursing practice: Changing the balance between the social and technical aspects of work. Collegian, 21(2), 121–126. doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2014.03.005

Facebook. (2015). Facebook logo. Retrieved from https://www.facebookbrand.com/

Ferguson, C., Inglis, S. C., Newton, P. J., Cripps, P. J. S., Macdonald, P. S., & Davidson, P. M. (2014).  Social media: A tool to spread information: A case study analysis of Twitter conversation at the Cardiac Society of Australia & New Zealand 61st Annual Scientific Meeting 2013. Collegian, 21(2), 89–93. doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2014.03.002

Fox, C.S., Bonaca, M.P., Ryan, J.J., Massaro, J.M., Barry, K. & Loscalzo, J. (2015). A randomized trial of social media from Circulation. Circulation. 131(1), pp 28-33

Gallagher, R., Psaroulis, T., Ferguson, C., Neubeck, L. & Gallagher, P. 2016, ‘Social media practices on Twitter: maximising the impact of cardiac associations’, British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, vol. 11, no. 10, pp. 481-487.

Instagram. (2015). Instagram logo. Retrieved from https://help.instagram.com/304689166306603

Li, C. (2015). Charlene Li photo. Retrieved from http://www.charleneli.com/about-charlene/reviewer-resources/

lifeinthefastlane. (2013). #FOAMed logo. Retrieved from http://lifeinthefastlane.com/foam/

My Tweets = my lecture notes. Other people’s Tweets also = my lecture notes. 🙂

McNamara, P. (2017, October 16) Delirium risks and prevention. Tweets re the guest lecture by Prof Sharon Inouye at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (and Cairns via videolink) collated on Storify. Retrieved from https://storify.com/meta4RN/delirium-risks-and-prevention

McNamara, P. (2016, November 18) Twitter is a Vector (my #ACIPC16 presentation). Retrieved from https://meta4RN.com/ACIPC16

McNamara, P. (2016, October 21) Why on earth would a Mental Health Nurse bother with Twitter? (my #ACMHN2016 presentation). Retrieved from https://meta4RN.com/ACMHN2016

McNamara, P. (2016, October 15) Learn about Obesity (and Twitter) via Nurses Tweeting at a Conference. Retrieved from  https://meta4RN.com/obesity

McNamara, P., & Meijome, X. M. (2015). Twitter Para Enfermeras (Spanish/Español). Retrieved 11 March 2015, from http://www.ausmed.com.au/es/twitter-para-enfermeras/

McNamara, P. (2014). A Nurse’s Guide to Twitter. Retrieved from http://www.ausmed.com.au/twitter-for-nurses/

McNamara, P. (2014, May 3) Luddites I have known. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/luddites

McNamara, P. (2013) Behave online as you would in real life (letter to the editor), TQN: The Queensland Nurse, June 2013, Volume 32, Number 3, Page 4.

McNamara, P. (2013, October 25) Professional use of Twitter and healthcare social media. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/NPD100

McNamara, P. (2013, October 23) A Twitter workshop in tweets. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/tweets

McNamara, P. (2013, October 1) Professional use of Twitter. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/poster

McNamara, P. (2013, July 21) Follow Friday and other twitterisms. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/FF

McNamara, P. (2013, June 29) Thinking health communication? Think mobile. Retrieved https://meta4RN.com/mobile

McNamara, P. (2013, June 7) Omnipresent and always available: A mental health nurse on Twitter. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/twit

McNamara, P. (2013, January 20) Social media for nurses: my ten-step, slightly ranty, version. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/rant1

Moorley, C., & Chinn, T. (2014). Using social media for continuous professional development. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71(4), 713–717. doi:10.1111/jan.12504

Nickson, C. P., & Cadogan, M. D. (2014). Free Open Access Medical education (FOAM) for the emergency physician. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 26(1), 76–83. doi:10.1111/1742-6723.12191

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (2010, September 9) Information sheet on social media. Retrieved from http://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/documents/default.aspx?record=WD10%2F3224&dbid=AP&chksum=qhog9%2FUCgKdssFmA0XnBlA%3D%3D

Office of the eSafety Commisioner (2017). eSafety logo. Retrieved from https://www.esafety.gov.au

Read, J., Harper, D., Tucker, I. and Kennedy, A. (2017), Do adult mental health services identify child abuse and neglect? A systematic review. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/inm.12369/abstract

Screenshot 1 “Trump: Twitter helped me win but I’ll be ‘restrained’ now” from http://money.cnn.com/2016/11/12/media/donald-trump-twitter-60-minutes/

Screenshot 2: “Melania Trump rebukes her husband “all the time” for Twitter use” from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-trump-melania-trump-60-minutes-interview-rebukes-twitter-use/

The Nurse Path (facebook) https://www.facebook.com/theNursePath

Tonia, T., Van Oyen, H., Berger, A., Schindler, C. & Künzli, N. (2016). International Journal of Public Health. 61(4), pp 513-520. doi:10.1007/s00038-016-0831-y

Twitter. (2015). Twitter logo. Retrieved from https://about.twitter.com/press/brand-assets

Wilson, R., Ranse, J., Cashin, A., & McNamara, P. (2014). Nurses and Twitter: The good, the bad, and the reluctant. Collegian, 21(2), 111–119. doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2013.09.003

Wozniak, H., Uys, P., & Mahoney, M. J. (2012). Digital communication in a networked world. In J. Higgs, R. Ajjawi, L. McAllister, F. Trede, & S. Loftus (Eds.), Communication in the health sciences (3rd ed., pp. 150–162). South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press

End 

Finally, a big thank you to the organisers of the 5th Annual Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Symposium, especially Stacey Deaville for suggesting this session, and Dr Paul Pun for pulling on all the right strings.

That’s it. As always your comments are welcome.

Paul McNamara, 19th October 2017

Short URL: meta4RN.com/CLPS

Blatant Self-Promotion

Ever written an article about yourself as an act of blatant self promotion?

I have. Here it is:

ijmhn-photo

Paul McNamara, photograph by Vera Fitzgerald

Cairns Nurse on Journal Editorial Board

Cairns CNC Paul McNamara has recently been appointed to the editorial board of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing (IJMHN). IJMHN is now in its 26th volume, and has built a solid reputation over the last quarter century. The journal’s impact factor of 1.943 is a great achievement.

Paul was specifically invited to join the board to help develop and drive a social media strategy for IJMHN. “I’ve been very active in using social media in a professional sense for the last few years, and have presented at conferences and published about health professionals using social media.”, says Paul. “I guess that’s what caught the attention of the IJMHN Editor in Chief.”

“Twitter is my favourite platform for work-related social media. I think it will be the best fit for IJMHN. Twitter allows information to be shared with the whole world. If it’s good enough for the Pope, the US President and the Australian Prime Minister, maybe it’s good enough for mental health nurses too.”, joked Paul. “Twitter is where the influencers are. As US marketing guru Charlene Li said, ‘Twitter is not a technology. It’s a conversation. And it’s happening with or without you.’ It’s a professional trait of Mental Health Nurses to want to be part of the conversation.” When asked about other social media platforms, Paul said, “We’ll keep an eye on what develops: nothing is static on the internet. Facebook is too big to ignore, so we’ll certainly have a look at smartening-up IJMHN’s presence there too.”

Traditionally the success or failure of a journal article was measured by citations. The only way authors/researchers knew if their work was being read was when other authors referenced their paper. Now that IJMHN is purely an online publication (with an iPhone/iPad app), there is another metric that can be used – how often the article is shared on social media.

Social media can help drive visibility and brand awareness of the journal, and raise awareness of Mental Health Nursing’s work and contributions. For the first time in history, nurses have unmediated access to the public conversation via social media. “Social media provides a terrific opportunity for all health professionals to share and acquire information. It’s a fun way to do professional development.”, Paul said. “It’s also a good way to let people know who we are and what we do.” When asked for a recommendation about using social media, Paul said, “Just be aware that some of your patients, some of your colleagues, and some of your managers will Google your name. Make sure you’re in control of what they’ll find. Don’t be afraid. Be intentional. Make your digital footprint your CV.”

Paul’s professional digital footprint is built around the homophone “meta4RN”, which can be read as either “metaphor RN” or “meta for RN” – try Google or go to meta4RN.com to see what it’s all about.

And follow @meta4RN and @IJMHN on Twitter!

End

This blatant piece of self-promotion could possibly also be included in a newsletter/magazine, but it’s one of those publications that’s organisation/member-specific. That means only a certain group of people will see it, and it will remain unknown to those not part of the organisation. A bit secretive, eh?

Maybe a modern reworking of the biblical “don’t hide you light under a bushel” thing could be, “don’t just do stuff – blog about it!”

Or maybe not.

As always your comments/feedback is welcome below.

Paul McNamara, 9th January 2017.

Short URL: https://meta4RN.com/IJMHN

Health Professionalism and Digital Citizenship

This post is the companian peice to a Prezi of the same name, and serves mostly as a collection point for references and thanks.

Prezi

The Prezi is intended as an oral presentation, so I do not intend to include a full description of the content here. After watching the Prezi/hearing the presentation regular visitors to meta4RN.com will recognise some familiar themes. Let’s not call it self-plagarism (such an ugly term), I would rather think of it as a new, funky remix of a favourite old song. Due to this remixing of old content I’ve included previous meta4RN.com blog posts on the reference list.

I am more than just a bit embarrassed at how self-referential the Prezi/my presentation is. Not only does this make me look like a total narcissist, it also calls the credibility of the presentation into question. I’ll need to cop those criticisms on the chin until more Australian mental health nurses provide examples of professional use of social media. When that happens, I intend to replace some of the meta4RN content of the Prezi with that of other Australian mental health nurses.

MediaTrad

Thanks

Thanks to all those who contributed to the Prezi/presentation either directly or indirectly. There are too many to name at the moment [I have a deadline looming], but you’ll see glimpses of their names and faces on Twitter, Blogs and Facebook as you look through the Prezi. These are some of the people that make using social media such a pleasure. When I have time, I intend to come back and list all the contributors below:

 

MediaSocial

 

References for Prezi “Health Professionalism and Digital Citizenship” prezi.com/at84cig99fij/health-professionalism-and-digital-citizenship/

Australian College of Nursing (n.d.) Social media guidelines for nurses. Retreived from http://www.rcna.org.au/WCM/…for_nurses.pdf

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. (2014, March 17). Social media policy. Retrieved from http://www.ahpra.gov.au/News/2014-02-13-revised-guidelines-code-and-policy.aspx

Casella, E., Mills, J., & Usher, K. (2014). Social media and nursing practice: Changing the balance between the social and technical aspects of work. Collegian, 21(2), 121–126. doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2014.03.005

Citizen Kane DVD cover. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.currentfilm.com/dvdreviews4/citizenkanedvd.html

Facebook. (2015). Facebook logo. Retrieved from https://www.facebookbrand.com/
Ferguson, C., Inglis, S. C., Newton, P. J., Cripps, P. J. S., Macdonald, P. S., & Davidson, P. M. (2014).

Social media: A tool to spread information: A case study analysis of Twitter conversation at the Cardiac Society of Australia & New Zealand 61st Annual Scientific Meeting 2013. Collegian, 21(2), 89–93. doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2014.03.002

Instagram. (2015). Instagram logo. Retrieved from https://help.instagram.com/304689166306603

Li, C. (2015). Charlene Li photo. Retrieved from http://www.charleneli.com/about-charlene/reviewer-resources/

lifeinthefastlane. (2013). #FOAMed logo. Retrieved from http://lifeinthefastlane.com/foam/

McNamara, P., & Meijome, X. M. (2015). Twitter Para Enfermeras (Spanish/Español). Retrieved 11 March 2015, from http://www.ausmed.com.au/es/twitter-para-enfermeras/

McNamara, P. (2014). A Nurse’s Guide to Twitter. Retrieved from http://www.ausmed.com.au/twitter-for-nurses/

McNamara, P. (2014, May 3) Luddites I have known. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/luddites

McNamara, P. (2013) Behave online as you would in real life (letter to the editor), TQN: The Queensland Nurse, June 2013, Volume 32, Number 3, Page 4.

McNamara, P. (2013, October 25) Professional use of Twitter and healthcare social media. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/NPD100

McNamara, P. (2013, October 23) A Twitter workshop in tweets. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/tweets

McNamara, P. (2013, October 1) Professional use of Twitter. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/poster

McNamara, P. (2013, July 21) Follow Friday and other twitterisms. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/FF

McNamara, P. (2013, June 7) Omnipresent and always available: A mental health nurse on Twitter. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/twit

McNamara, P. (2013, January 20) Social media for nurses: my ten-step, slightly ranty, version. Retrieved from http://meta4RN.com/rant1

Moorley, C., & Chinn, T. (2014). Using social media for continuous professional development. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71(4), 713–717. doi:10.1111/jan.12504

New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association [nswnma]. (2014, July 30). Women now have unmediated access to public conversation via social media for 1st time in history @JaneCaro #NSWNMAconf14 #destroythejoint [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/nswnma/status/494313737575096321

New South Wales nurses and Midwives’ Association. (2014). NSW Nurses & Midwives Association logo. Retrieved from http://housingstressed.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/NSWNMA.png

Nickson, C. P., & Cadogan, M. D. (2014). Free Open Access Medical education (FOAM) for the emergency physician. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 26(1), 76–83. doi:10.1111/1742-6723.12191

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (2010, September 9) Information sheet on social media. Retrieved from http://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/documents/default.aspx?record=WD10%2F3224&dbid=AP&chksum=qhog9%2FUCgKdssFmA0XnBlA%3D%3D

Twitter. (2015). Twitter logo. Retrieved from https://about.twitter.com/press/brand-assets

Wall Media. (2015). Jane Caro photo. Retrieved from http://wallmedia.com.au/jane-caro/

Wilson, R., Ranse, J., Cashin, A., & McNamara, P. (2014). Nurses and Twitter: The good, the bad, and the reluctant. Collegian, 21(2), 111–119. doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2013.09.003

WordPress. (2015). WordPress logo. Retrieved from https://wordpress.org/about/logos/

Wozniak, H., Uys, P., & Mahoney, M. J. (2012). Digital communication in a networked world. In J.

Higgs, R. Ajjawi, L. McAllister, F. Trede, & S. Loftus (Eds.), Communication in the health sciences (3rd ed., pp. 150–162). South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

YouTube. (2015). YouTube logo. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/yt/brand/downloads.html

End 

That’s it. As always your comments are welcome.

Paul McNamara, 14th March 2015

 

Free Open Access Mental Health Education for General Nurses and Midwives #FOANed

If you’re a nurse or midwife, and own an internet-enabled device you have unprecedented access to information.

Information + motivation = education.

Borrowing from the very successful #FOAMed initiative, recently there has been a flurry of activity regarding Free Open Access Nursing Education (aka #FOANed).  That is:

Free
Open
Access
Nurse
education

The #FOANed hashtag makes it’s easy to share info and resources via social media. If you’re cruising Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or even Instagram, have a look for the #FOANed hashtag.

Still not sure what the #FOANed hashtag is all about? Perhaps it’s just easier to see for yourself via this Storify (click here).

Mental Health #FOANed

Anyway, in the spirit of #FOANed, here are four suggestions for free open access nursing education re mental health for general nurses and midwives (click on each picture for more info):

1. Physical and Mental Health Care via Australian College of Mental Health Nurses:

2. Mental Health Liaison in General Hospitals via New South Wales Health:

inkysmudge.com.au/eSimulation/mhl.html

inkysmudge.com.au/eSimulation/mhl.html

3. Perinatal Mental Health Training for Midwives via Monash University:

perinatal.med.monash.edu.au

perinatal.med.monash.edu.au

4. MIND Essentials via Queensland Health:

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of the mental health #FOANed available online, but hopefully it’s enough to get you started if you’re looking for some CPD/info.

Please feel free to add your suggestions for other free open access nursing education re mental health in the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 20th October 2014

Short URL: meta4RN.com/FOANed

A Blog About A Blog About Suicide

I’m going to keep this short.

On the eve of the second anniversary of the meta4RN.com blog we (guest writer Stevie Jacobs and I) have finally released her powerful, gutsy post “These words have been in my head and they needed to come out (a blog post about suicide).” I thought by opening up meta4RN.com to occasional guest posts I would save myself some time and effort. Ha! Stevie’s post has had the longest, most difficult gestation of all of the posts on this blog.

Why? It’s not because of Stevie’s writing – she writes very well – It’s because of the content.

It’s because we don’t know how to talk about suicide.

mindframe I remember as a 14  year old learning about suicidal ideation via the famous Hamlet soliloquy which starts: “To be, or not to be, that is the question…” Shakespeare didn’t seem to be as afraid as getting the tone/message wrong as Stevie Jacobs and I have been.

Luckily, we don’t have to navigate this tricky territory without a map. Mindframe – Australia’s national media initiative – have some very handy tips aimed (mostly) at media. They also have info for universities, the performing arts, police and courts. It would be silly to replicate all their information here – cut out the middle-man and visit the Mindframe website:
www.mindframe-media.info

The only thing I want to make sure is included here is that we, the health professionals, remain mindful of responsible use of language in social media, including blogs (and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc) . Melissa Sweet of croakey (the Crikey health blog) has used the term “citizen journalist” to refer to us non-journos who are active on social media. I have shied-away from that label because I have zero knowledge/pretensions of being a journalist. However, when it comes to talking about mental health and/or suicide, I reckon that those of using social media as health professionals should take some ownership of the “citizen journalist” tag.

Health professionals are used to being informed by evidence-based guidelines, right? That’s what the Mindframe guidelines are. They are guidelines for how language should be used by journalists. Those of us who are blogging/Tweeting/Facebooking/whatever can, if we choose to be safe and ethical, abide by the same code of good practice (here).

Let’s watch our language.

Let’s edit and re-edit.

Let’s reflect and think about our impact. Let’s do that slowly.

Let’s be safe. ethical and kind.

Let’s do no harm.

Let’s follow the Mindframe guidelines when we’re blogging about mental health and/or suicide.

End.

That’s it. Thanks for visiting.

If you haven’t done so already, visit Stevie Jacob’s guest post here: meta4RN.com/guest02 My favourite part is the middle part (the meat in the sandwich?) which is honest, powerful, raw and gutsy. I hope/think that the edits made have been in keeping with the Mindframe guidelines. If  not, that is my responsibility. Please let me know and I will fix it as soon as possible.

Paul McNamara, 23rd September 2014

Short URL: meta4RN.com/mindframe