GAMIAN-Europe: Mental Health Groups to Boost Digital Capacity
Mental health patient groups must boost their digital capacity, patient alliance survey finds – GAMIAN-Europe
A recent survey carried out by GAMIAN-Europe (Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks-Europe) among its member organisations revealed that over half spend less than 10% of their annual budget on creating content for digital media and 55% had not optimised their website for mobile use. The main reasons being for not making the most of digital opportunities, was lack of resources, time as well as financial and digital expertise. Following on, the results were presented by GAMIAN-Europe’s Secretary General, Aikaterina Nomidou, at its Annual Convention, held in Budapest, on 22-24 September 2017, which focused on ways patient groups can boost their digital capacity.
GAMIAN-Europe works to improve its own digital effectiveness and better support its members. Ms Nomidou commented, and highlighted two current initiatives: MoodApp, an app being developed with C-MAST to accompany mental health patients through their recovery process. Secondly, a video campaign to raise awareness about mental health and feature members’ experiences of living with their conditions.
Going forward, she also made three main recommendations to help member organisations boost their digital capacity:
- To begin with, create a specific, measurable, attainable and realistic advocacy strategy
- Secondly, to build a digital network between member organisations by actively using social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn)
- Lastly, to engage in online campaigns to create visibility and keep the digital audience in the loop.
Digital tools were also vital to boost fundraising, she said, highlighting three aspects:
- A modern and visually appealing website is KEY. Make sure it’s mobile-friendly and the ‘donate’ button is clearly visible
- Transparency: Run donation campaigns for specific purposes so sponsors will know what the money will be used for.
- Keep in regular touch with your donors.
In breakout sessions, the participants came up with their own recommendations on how they would like GAMIAN-Europe to provide better digital support to member organisations:
- Guidance on rules and restrictions on content creation where mental health is a medical area
- Guidance on complying with privacy regulations
- General sponsorship to increase capacity
- Surveys to know what the members need and reinvent the platform accordingly
- Set up a chatroom or members-only area to stimulate inter-partner communication
- Leverage capabilities among the members for multilingual communication
- Online tutorials on digital tools like Facebook
- Set up partnerships with different patient groups to increase the number of followers.
Full report of the GAMIAN-Europe 2017 Annual Convention (including survey results):
MasterMind (Management of mental health diSorders Through advancEd technology and seRvices–telehealth for the MIND)…